Some employers are experimenting with public posters offering a reward to anyone who can help located a missing worker rather than turn to repatriation companies, reported the Straits Times, November 21, 2011. James Ng, a construction firm manager, is one of them, offering $2,000 as reward. Two of his workers had gone missing and with the help of posters, one was located recently through a tip-off. Ng, a colleague Jack Chew and several others dashed to the scene and found him.

When workers go missing, some employers would engage the help of repatriation agencies, which usually charge between $300 and $500 to track down a worker and pack the person off to the airport.

But Mr Chew and Mr Ng said they did not seek help from a repatriation agency because they wanted to avoid ‘trouble’.

Mr Chew said: ‘Sometimes, the worker could get locked up (by the repatriation company). We don’t want the worker to complain. We thought it’s better if we settle the matter ourselves.

— Straits Times, November 21, 2011, Wanted posters for missing foreign workers, by Leonard Lim & Lin Wenjian

Other employers, the newspaper said, still preferred to use repatriation companies. Quoting a Wendy Ng, 46, managing director of Senying Air-con Engineering, which employs technicians from China: ‘The agency I have hired before is an expert at finding these workers. I’ll go to them if necessary.’