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Amendments to the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act

The Employment of Foreign Manpower Act (EFMA) prescribes the responsibilities and obligations pertaining to the employment of foreign workers. The EFMA was last amended in 2007.

Since 2010, following the recommendations of the Economic Strategies Committee, MOM has been taking steps to moderate the inflow and raise the quality of foreign manpower in Singapore. The aim is to shift from labour-driven to productivity-driven growth, and ensure that Singaporeans remain at the core of our workforce.

While employers are by and large responsible, there are some who seek to profit by circumventing our work pass framework. As we further tighten the policies on the hiring and retention of foreign manpower, we can expect errant employers to try harder to get round our rules. If unchecked, this will erode employment opportunities for Singaporeans and give such businesses an unfair advantage over law-abiding competitors.

The latest amendments to the EFMA enhance the government’s ability to ensure the integrity of our work pass framework. MOM will be able to step up enforcement action against errant employers, errant foreign workers and syndicates more expeditiously and effectively, thereby enhancing deterrence against EFMA contraventions.

The amendments bolster our efforts to:

  1. Create sustainable and inclusive growth and ensure Singaporeans remain at the core of our workforce
  2. Ensure employers pay for true costs of hiring foreign workers
  3. Create level playing field for law-abiding employers
  4. Stem the worst abuses against foreign workers

The amendments to the EFMA took effect from 9 November 2012.

Second reading of Employment of Foreign Manpower (Amendment) Bill 2012

Second Reading Speech for Employment of Foreign Manpower (Amendment) Bill by Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Acting Minister for Manpower & Senior Minister of State for National Development, 11 September 2012

More information on the amendments to the EFMA

Last updated on 08 January 2013 07:01:49