Tag Archives: Labour relations

Relationships between employers and employees

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

Introduction Accompanying this introduction is a six-part series of that spotlights 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 with a laudable aim —   Continue Reading »

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 »

To encash two cheques, Raju had to jump through hoops

For a long, long time, TWC2 has been calling for electronic payment of salaries to be made mandatory. Giving employers the option to pay in cash allows all sorts of abuses to happen and seriously disadvantages workers when salary is not paid or only partially paid. Workers are left with no evidence as to how  Continue Reading »

Costs of low-waged labour migration: Difficulties, implications and recommendations

Unlike other studies that tend to be more focussed on a particular issue, e.g. recruitment costs or access to healthcare, this study takes a more inclusive approach, to look at the various costs of migration, as surfaced by migrant workers themselves in face-to-face interviews. It therefore reveals issues that may be missed by other studies,  Continue Reading »

Durzey finds hospital bills unpaid, his belongings thrown into trash bin

By Megan Tan Min Chih, based on an interview in August 2018 Durzey did his best to remain calm after the call. It was a harrowing few minutes, in which he could barely make out what the hospital staff on the other end of the phone was trying to communicate. Eventually, he understood the gist  Continue Reading »

Chand gets ready to prove he’s been injured in an accident

By Koh Jie Min, based on an interview in August 2018 Seeing Chand’s well-groomed face and clean clothes, it is hard to believe that he has been alone and out of a job in Singapore for ten months. Despite having been involved in a workplace accident in July 2017, his work injury compensation claim has  Continue Reading »

Short of information, Forhad worries while Mondal thinks everything’s going fine

By Ng Zu Xiang, based on interviews in July 2018 Workplace injuries are not an uncommon occurrence in construction, especially with the number of projects burgeoning across Singapore. As such, the Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA) is crucial and it has been used in regularly, but not all cases transpire the same way. Here are  Continue Reading »

Lack of functioning transfer market makes skills retention elusive

By Alston Ng, based on interviews in June 2018 About a month ago when Rifat (not his real name) showed up at TWC2, he was evidently distressed by the prospect of repatriation. Having resolved a salary dispute with his former employer, Rifat was left to his own devices as he embarked on a so-far unsuccessful  Continue Reading »

Listen as peeved MOM officer flames out in phone call

A Bangladeshi worker Rimon (not his real name) received this phone call (audio below) from a case officer of the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). As you will hear, the officer was telling Rimon off for not returning to the company dormitory as earlier instructed. As penalty for disobedience, Rimon would be repatriated forthwith. The tone  Continue Reading »

Akther, absent doctor and absent rights

By Zhan Nanxin, based on an interview in April 2018 Akther, a young looking construction worker, sits down at TWC2’s free meals station for the first time, with a serious looking injury. Like many, Akther came from Bangladesh to Singapore in hope of being able to remit money back home to support his family –  Continue Reading »