TWC2 submits proposals for improving Singapore’s Employment Act

The Singapore government invited submissions for proposed amendments to the Employment Act. TWC2 made a proposal centred on five areas which will benefit the most number of workers.  As our submission makes clear, TWC2’s proposed amendments are envisioned to support all employees in Singapore. Even if some of our ideas are of particular importance to...

Employer sent to jail, worker’s compensation still unpaid. Is this good enough?

Suriakumar Ridgeway Ramaiah, will be serving jailtime for failing to pay injury compensation to a worker. Strictly speaking, the sole proprietor of Ridgeway Marine and Construction, was fined $21,000 on 16 November 2016 for failing to buy work injury insurance for his workers, and for not paying compensation when so ordered, but having defaulted on these, he was...

A look back at job mobility policies 2011 – 2017

There has been a gradual liberalisation over the last few years allowing construction workers to transfer to new jobs. This paper takes stock of evolving government policy in this area. Transient Workers Count Too has argued for a long time that retaining workers with experience in Singapore will be good for our much-hoped-for improvement in productivity....

Victims of unpaid salaries have hard time getting transfer jobs

One of the more encouraging things that Transient Workers Count Too has noticed in the past few years is that now, nearly all victims of unpaid salary are given a chance by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) to look for new jobs in Singapore without first having to return home. The significance of the above may be...

TWC2 president speaks at Singapore UN Association’s UNASMUN

TWC2 was invited to speak at the 2017 United Nations Association of Singapore Model United Nations (UNASMUN) preparatory conference which took place at the Singapore Institute of Management from 19-22 December 2017. At the conference, TWC2 President, Dr Noorashikin Abdul Rahman, presented an overview of the working and living conditions of migrant workers in Singapore...

Asean consensus on migrant labour: gaps between reality and Singapore’s commitments

In November 2017, Asean heads of government signed an ‘Asean Consensus on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers’. The terms of the document were not binding, and every article within was made subject to national laws. Despite such inauspicious beginnings, Transient Workers Count Too has taken a microscope to the document....

MOM booklet sweeps forward, then stumbles

Arriving in our mailbox earlier this week was a new booklet published by the Ministry of Manpower, titled ‘6 Simple Steps to comply with Employment Laws’. This is indeed a good initiative; from here on, employers will have fewer excuses not to do things in accordance with the law. The six ‘simple steps’ featured in...

Rafa and the line between white and black

By Isaac Ong, based on an interview in November 2017 “This is my wrong but I don’t want pay [you] money. Even if I go jail, [even if] I no company, but I still don’t want pay money”, Rafa (not his real name) was told by his boss. 49-year-old Rafa is practically a veteran of...

MOM wrong to accuse us of ‘inaccurate’ and ‘untrue’ account

On 5 December 2017, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) put up a note on their Facebook page accusing TWC2 of publishing an “inaccurate” account. This was in relation to the story we had posted on 12 October 2017 titled “Fraud committed using ministry letterhead“. We stand by our story. We consider MOM’s accusation against us...

Bridging the academic-NGO divide: Making research relevant to migrant workers and their front line supporters.

This is a speech given by Nicholas Harrigan, a member of TWC2’s research subcommittee, at the ‘Health of Migrants and Refugees Workshop’ in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 10 November 2017. This workshop was hosted by United Nations University – International Institute for Global Health. Attendees and speakers came from across South East Asia and included academics, civil society...