Tag Archives: Contract substitution

In-Principle Approval: uses and abuses 2011 – 2018, part 3

Part 3: Getting around IPAs in salary disputes Part 2 of this series described the uneven way in which the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) officers and the ministry’s Labour Court [footnote 1] handled salary claims. Sometimes, the In-Principle Approval letter (“IPA”) [footnote 2] was admitted as the basis for adjudicating claims. When that happened, employers  Continue Reading »

In-Principle Approval: uses and abuses 2011 – 2018, part 1

Introduction This five-part series of articles throws a spotlight on the In-Principle Approval for a Work Permit (“IPA”), a key document in the import of foreign labour into Singapore. Behind the document is a process that, over time, has shown several weaknesses. What began as a document and process to better assure migrant workers that  Continue Reading »

Policy brief 2018, no. 3: Require standard employment contracts

In the third of our policy briefs for 2018, Transient Workers Count Too recommends that it should be mandatory for work permit holders to first sign a Standard Employment Contract (SEC) even before a work permit application is made. The SEC should set out all the key employment terms, and these should be in accordance  Continue Reading »

Grappling with trafficking is like nailing jelly to a wall

Former president of TWC2, John Gee, was a panellist at a human trafficking forum at the National University of Singapore’s Stephen Riady Global Centre on Saturday 27 January 2018. In his talk, titled ‘Nailing jelly to the wall’, he drew attention to how terms and labels can be misconstrued, and responses can vary greatly. For  Continue Reading »

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  Continue Reading »

“Agree to lower salary, or you won’t get your pay,” says company manager

By Wahid Al Mamun based on an interview late July 2017 A lot of things can happen in two months, and Mollah Showrov has learned this the hard way. His right leg is now in held immobile in an orthopaedic boot. I notice how gingerly he seats himself in the plastic chair beside me. Here  Continue Reading »

Wage theft as it happens

There are many stories on this website about employers arbitrarily reducing migrant workers’ salaries soon after the latter have started on their jobs. Employers and their agents promise certain terms of employment while the worker is still in his home country, but once the worker has arrived in Singapore, salaries are lowered and deductions increased. Sometimes, the  Continue Reading »

Contract substitution made easier by ministry?

Over the years, Transient Workers Count Too has seen many cases where, after arriving in Singapore to start on their jobs, migrant workers are told by their bosses that the salary stated on the In-Principle Approval (IPA) letter will not be honoured. Instead they are given the choice of accepting a lower salary, or be sent  Continue Reading »

Migrant workers in Singapore “vulnerable to forced labor, including debt bondage”, says US TIP 2017 report

Transient Workers Count Too is deeply appreciative of the US State Department’s efforts at drawing attention to the evil of trafficking in persons, through its annual Trafficking in Persons Report. The 2017 segment relating to Singapore can be found here: https://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/countries/2017/271276.htm  Singapore was classed as Tier 2. TWC2 notes in particular these comments in the report:  Continue Reading »

Bangladeshi bank charges 10% interest per month

Rakib and Kanak don’t know each other, but both come on the same day to Transient Workers Count Too with similar stories. The chief similarity was that they both had borrowed from Brac Bank whose branches and billboards can be seen all over Bangladesh. This bank is a major loan-maker to Bangladeshi men needing to  Continue Reading »