In a blogpost to mark International Migrants Day, Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin revealed some statistics:
MOM receives some 7,000 telephone enquiries and 2,500 emails per month on employment-related matters from both local and foreign workers. Some 600 statutory employment claims (e.g. non-payment of salary or overtime pay, unauthorised deductions made from salary etc) are processed every month, which are resolved through conciliation or adjudication by the Labour Court. More than 90% of such cases are settled within 1 month. For non-statutory contractual grievances related to the workplace (e.g. dissatisfaction with employment terms, wages, job scope), workers should raise the matter with the company or their unions who can take up their grievances.
On the housing front, MOM issues warnings, composition fines (which have recently been increased to up to $5,000 per charge with the amended EFMA), or prosecutes employers for housing their foreign workers in unacceptable accommodation. Since 2005 to June this year, MOM has taken enforcement action against 7,660 employers for failing to provide acceptable accommodation for their foreign workers. As a result of MOM’s enforcement actions against these employers, over 50,000 foreign workers were relocated to acceptable accommodation.
— Manpower blog, 18 Dec 2012, Recognising the contributions of foreign workers in Singapore.
The figure of 7,660 employers since 2005 who has had “enforcement action” taken against them is rather eye-popping, but he did not disclose what kind of enforcement action.
Tan also acknowledged “various criticisms directed at our management of migrant worker matters” and said he believed his ministry can do more. He promised that “Our various systems, including those dealing with employment issues for workers, can be improved and we will continue to work on them.”