Tag Archives: Laws & regulations

Discussion: laws and regulations

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  Continue Reading »

The friendly man in the coffee shop

By Troy Lee, based on two interviews in October 2017 Shamim paints a picture of how he got his latest job. In the second half of 2016, while he was happily in his previous job, “I meet his man, Basir, at a coffee shop Mustafa near.” Mustafa is a well-known departmental store in the Little  Continue Reading »

Only 400 survived the fight for new jobs. Out of 100,000?

“As of Oct 2017,” said Lim Swee Say, Minister for Manpower, in a written answer to a parliamentary question, “400 [Work Permit holders have] changed employers after completing their work permit terms.” He gave this reply on 6 November 2017. To assess the significance of this number, it is necessary to provide some background. Over  Continue Reading »

After ten years, Asean reaches ‘consensus’ on migrant labour rights

Asean heads of government put signatures to an ‘Asean Consensus on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers’ on 14 November 2017, at their recently concluded summit meeting in Manila. This document was ten years in the making, after Asean members first signalled their intention to arrive at an agreement of this  Continue Reading »

Employer of ‘release’ workers sentenced to jail with caning

For the first time, a company director will be caned for offences under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act. Goh Eng Kiat, 33, was found guilty of fraudulently obtaining work passes for 30 foreign workers as construction labour. It was fraudulent because the company, Jasper Contractors, did not require them and did not have work  Continue Reading »

Basic salary stated in IPA is “prima facie” the applicable basic salary, rules the High Court

In a landmark judgment released 1 November 2017, the High Court has ruled that the basic salary stated in the In-Principle Approval for a Work Permit (IPA) “would constitute prima facie evidence” of the correct basic salary rate, unless the employer can prove otherwise. The bar for proving otherwise was also set very high. This  Continue Reading »

What are the rules for housing injured workers?

The law as to who is responsible for workers’ accommodation is a dustball of words. The exact meaning is fuzzy and can be squeezed every which way. In practice however, the words are largely rendered moot. Employers have their own requirements for where to place their workers. Construction employers will want all their workers to stay  Continue Reading »

When being unreasonable pays off

By Jiang Zhi Feng, based on an interview in October 2017 After Rana Masum approached a lawyer to lodge an injury compensation claim, he found his Work Permit cancelled by his employer. Not long after, his boss wanted him to move out of his current dormitory, Westlite Dormitory at Toh Guan in Jurong East and  Continue Reading »

Employer charged for taking money from workers

In a press statement, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) reported that Chen Quan, director of Hong Lu Engineering Pte Ltd has been charged for kickback offences. Chen, 35, who is also managing director of Trusty Aluminium Pte Ltd, is accused of collecting more than $64,000 from 21 foreign workers, as a condition for their employment. He  Continue Reading »

When an employer says a worker has ‘run away’, what really happened? Sumon’s story

By Liang Lei, based on an interview in August 2017 Sometimes, when it comes to foreign workers, it is both worrying and terrifying to realize just how much they are at the mercy of the employers, in an environment of lax enforcement and subdued consequences. Drastic measures can be taken at any time against injured  Continue Reading »