Advisory to employers with foreign workers living in dormitories
- Foreign workers have been restricted from moving in and out of dormitories since 21 April 2020, in order to help contain the spread of COVID-19. Medical support has also been put in place at all dormitories to ensure residents receive the medical treatment they need. MOM has received feedback on queries from employers and dormitory operators concerning various aspects of the ongoing management of the dormitories.
- This advisory provides guidance to both employers and dormitory operators. The goal is to ensure that residents, dormitory operators, and employers cooperate to fight COVID-19 together.
- During this period, some foreign workers continue to live in the dormitories, while others may have been temporarily rehoused by the Government at other housing facilities, moved to isolation facilities, or to other medical facilities. At the same time, dormitory operators have also continued to manage the dormitories, and due to the residents residing for the whole day at the dormitories, stepped up maintenance and other services.
- Employers are advised to continue to pay rent promptly to the dormitory operators according to your rental contracts for workers housed at dormitories. This is and continues to be your obligation under the work pass conditions. You should do so even if your workers have been temporarily rehoused by the Government, or moved to isolation or medical facilities, as you are not incurring the cost of accommodating them at those facilities.
- Employers who had voluntarily made their own housing arrangements for their workers before movement at the dormitories was controlled, and are paying for the new accommodation, should make reference to their contracts with the dormitory operators on matters relating to termination or suspension.
Measures to relocate foreign workers within dormitories
- The Government has announced that on-site Community Care Facilities (CCFs), Community Recovery Facilities (CRFs) and Blocks for Recovered Workers (BRWs) will be created at dormitories to house COVID-19 positive patients who are clinically well or display mild symptoms, as well as recovered patients.
- The Inter-agency Task Force (ITF) is working with dormitory operators to progressively create CCFs, CRFs and BRWs. In order to do so, it will be necessary to relocate certain residents to other parts of the dormitories, so that the spaces vacated can be disinfected and serve as CCFs, CRFs or BRWs. It may also be necessary to place workers from different employers into the same room or level. These steps are all part of a plan to enable the dormitory population to be housed in blocks free from COVID-19 infection, and to be eventually able to resume work safely.
- The dormitory residents may also be swabbed or tested and then segregated, so that they can be isolated, and the uninfected eventually able to join other workers in the BRWs.
- To ensure that on-site CCFs, CRFs and BRWs can be set up quickly, we are making it a requirement1 for you and your workers to cooperate with the dormitory operators to effect the relocation as necessary.
- We seek your cooperation on these measures in the fight against COVID-19 and preparation for eventual recovery. The sooner we are able to implement these measures, the sooner we can have dormitories that are free from COVID-19.
- Please direct any clarifications which you have to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
- The requirement is imposed by the Controller of Work Passes under section 7(4A) of the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act (Cap. 91A).