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Advisory to employers that certain foreign employees in the construction sector (and their dependants) are put on Stay-Home Notice from 20 April 2020 to 18 May 2020

Issued on 18 April 2020
Updated on 1 May 2020

  1. As the number of COVID-19 infected cases involving foreign employees in the construction sector is increasing, Foreign Employees (as defined below) and their Dependants (where applicable), have been put on Stay-Home Notice (SHN) effective from 20 April 2020, 0000 hrs to 4 May 2020, 2359 hrs (“SHN Period”).
  2. Since then, agencies have been closely monitoring the infections among construction workers living outside purpose-built dormitories (PBD), where movement restrictions remain in force. The number of infected construction work pass holders living in non-PBD premises continues to rise. Their incidence/prevalence remains noticeably higher than the general community. This suggests that transmission at construction worksites among such workers had occurred before the start of the SHN Period. The cases that are now being observed could have been incubated earlier or may have spread among the workers’ close contacts and house-mates.
  3. Unlike most individuals who serve their SHN in isolation, the construction work pass holders are likely to be in shared accommodation where they have continued interactions with one another. Based on the public health assessment by the Ministry of Health, an extension of the SHN Period by a further 14 days to cover another incubation cycle will help to break the cycle of transmission.
  4. After careful consideration, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and Building and Construction Authority (BCA) will extend the SHN Period from 5 May 2020, 0000 hrs to 18 May 2020, 2359 hrs (“Extended SHN Period”). The requirements for the Employer and Foreign Employees in the Extended SHN Period are the same as those in the original SHN Period.

    Additional work pass conditions
  5. To recap, since 20 April 2020, additional conditions have been inserted in all work passes issued to all foreign employees in the Construction Sector holding Work Permits and S Passes (“Foreign Employees”), as well as family members issued with a Dependant’s Pass (Dependants), residing in a Specified Place of Accommodation as defined in the Notifications to Employers (see Appendices A and B). It excludes any dormitory gazetted as an “isolation area”, or any foreign employee dormitory as defined in the Foreign Employee Dormitories Act (FEDA) 2015 as special arrangements have been made for foreign employees living in these places of accommodation.
  6. Foreign Employees and their Dependents as well as Employers of Foreign Employees should have been complying with the additional work pass conditions (“Additional Work Pass Conditions”)6 since 20 April 2020. For details, please refer to the Notifications to Construction Sector Employers on the SHN in Appendices A and B
  7. Employers are required to take the following steps by19 April 2020, 2359 hrs:
    1. Issue the Additional Work Pass Conditions to your Foreign Employees (and require and take reasonable steps to ensure that your Foreign Employees issue the additional special conditions to their Dependants, if any).
    2. Remind your Foreign Employees and their Dependants (if any) to fully comply with the additional conditions, failing which their Work Permits, S passes or Dependant’s Pass may be revoked.
    3. Ensure that each of your Foreign Employee and their Dependants (if any) has a local mobile number registered with MOM and inform your Foreign Employees and their Dependants (if any) to download the WhatsApp and TraceTogether apps.
    4. Inform your Foreign Employees and their Dependants (if any) that enforcement officers may contact them via WhatsApp audio and/or video call during the SHN Period.
    5. Require and take reasonable steps to ensure your Foreign Employees and their Dependants (if any) monitor themselves for any signs of fever, cough, breathlessness or a runny nose including providing thermometers for the workers to record their temperature.
    6. Arrange to deliver food to your Foreign Employees during the SHN Period, as they are not allowed to leave their premises to buy food.
  8. From 20 April 2020 onwards and for the full duration of the SHN Period and the Extended SHN Period, employers are required to submit a daily declaration on compliance to the measures listed above in paragraph 4.

    Exemption for Foreign Employees carrying out essential services
  9. Employers, who have been approved by BCA for their Foreign Employees to carry out essential services during the SHN Period, may continue these works during the Extended SHN Period unless these approvals have been terminated by BCA. No reapplication is necessary. Foreign Employees granted exemption are allowed to leave their places of residence only to perform essential activities. All remaining conditions of the SHN (e.g. employers to ensure workers do not travel elsewhere except to-and-from work, daily declaration of workers’ health status) shall continue to apply.

    Actions to be taken for non-compliance
  10. As an Employer of Foreign Employees (and sponsor of DP holders), you have a joint duty with the pass holders to ensure that they complete the mandatory SHN Period and Extended SHN Period, and behave responsibly during this time. Enforcement officers will be contacting your Foreign Employees and their Dependants based on the mobile numbers registered with MOM. Employers should ensure that the Foreign Employees and their Dependants’ addresses and mobile numbers registered with MOM are updated at the Online Foreign Worker Address Service (Work Permit holders) or Employment Pass (EP) Online (S Pass holders and their Dependants).
  11. Failure to comply with the additional conditions may lead to prosecution in the Courts, and/or the revocation of work passes, and/or withdrawal of work pass privileges.
  12. For enquiries, please contact BCA.

Building and Construction Authority
Ministry of Manpower

FOOTNOTE

  1. List of foreign worker dormitories licensed in accordance with the FEDA.
  2. Imposed by the Controller of Work Passes pursuant to section 7(4A) of the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act (Cap. 91A) and regulation 8(3) of the Immigration Regulations respectively.