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MOM regulates local recruitment fees

  • ZB (1 Nov 2017): Should enhance regulation of employment agencies placing foreign workers

MOM regulates local recruitment fees

  1. We refer to the letter (“Should enhance regulation of employment agencies placing foreign workers”, 1 Nov).
  2. We agree with Mr Lin Rihao that recruitment fees payable by foreign workers should be capped. This is why the law prohibits Employment Agencies (EAs) operating in Singapore from collecting more than two months’ salary, and no more than one month for each year of service.
  3. EAs must also refund at least half the agency fees collected from workers who are prematurely terminated within the first six months of employment. They are also required to issue itemised receipts, stating the services rendered and amount collected. As a matter of good practice, EAs and employers should inform workers upfront if there is any requisite test that they may have to pass as a condition of their employment.
  4. While we do our best to protect foreign workers here, there are cases of foreign workers charged high agency fees in their home countries. In such instances, we have to leave it to respective foreign embassies to combat any malpractices. To this end, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) does its part by sharing pertinent information obtained from our investigations with them.
  5. On Mr Lin’s concern over excessive working hours, workers should not be contractually required to work more than eight hours in a day or 44 hours in a week, and must be given at least one rest day per week. Even if the worker agrees to work overtime, they should not be working more than 12 hours a day or more than 72 hours of overtime a month. This is prescribed in our employment laws.
  6. Members of the public with information on illegal recruitment and workplace practices can call the MOM at (65) 6438-5122 or email mom_fmmd@mom.gov.sg. All information will be kept strictly confidential.















Last Updated: 06 November 2017