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EA Enforcement Digest

The EA Enforcement Digest is MOM’s publication to share enforcement statistics and raise awareness for EAs.

Our aims

Our aims are:

  • To share enforcement statistics.
  • To raise awareness of common offences and highlight areas that require additional attention. Through raising EAs’ awareness, we want to improve EAs’ practices and achieve a better regulated EA landscape.


Total number of EAs in the industry

Licence type 2015 2016 2017
CL (All) 3,034
CL (Local) 37
until 2015
208 N.A. N.A.
CL (non-FDW)
since 2016
N.A. 198
Select Licence 286
Total 3,565 3,716 3,657

Complaints received

Total complaints 2015 2016 2017
Received and acted upon 949 1,105 1,587
With enforcement action of advisory and above 210 290 307

Persons or businesses issued with enforcement action

Persons or businesses issued with enforcement action - 2015
Persons or businesses issued with enforcement action - 2016
Persons or businesses issued with enforcement action - 2017

Infringements found

Infringement 2015 2016 2017
EA Act Sec 23(5)
Contravenes any conditions of the licence
196 82 *204
EA Act Sec 6(2)
Performing EA activities without a licence
70 84 157
EA Act Sec 22(A)(1)
Any person directly or indirectly uses the services of an unlicensed EA
73 46 71
EA Act Sec 11(1)(f)
EA’s actions detrimental to public interest EA Act Sec 11(1)(c) - EA’s actions detrimental to the interest of its clients
54 71 79
Other infringements 238 171 137
Total infringements found 631 454 *648

* Exclude infringements under the new EA Licensing Condition 5B as there is no comparable data in 2015 and 2016.

Responsible EAs

There is an increase in offences involving unlicensed EAs.

As EAs, you can play your part to avoid unknowingly facilitating the work of an unlicensed person.

We strongly encourage EA personnel to verify the identity and the relationship of the person doing the referral. You should also ensure that the referrer has not collected any money from the prospective worker.

EAs who come across dubious persons or companies should report them to MOM.

Many complaints and infringements were related to violation of the licence conditions, such as:

  • Failure to issue itemised receipt to clients.
  • Failure to obtain written authorisation before performing any work pass transaction.
  • Failure to furnish employment history of FDW.

As EAs, you must ensure that you adhere to the licence conditions.

For FDW-placing EAs, you can refer to the responsible guidelines for EAs.

Settling-in Programme (SIP) for foreign workers

In 4th quarter of 2018, MOM will introduce an SIP for foreign workers to raise their awareness on their rights and responsibilities.

The SIP will, for a start, cater to first-time non-Malaysian construction workers in Singapore. We will progressively roll out to other sectors, such as marine shipyard, process, manufacturing, and services.

As an EA, you can value-add your services by reminding your clients to register their foreign workers for SIP in a timely manner. Please remember to inform your clients in advance that they will have to bear the course fees.

More information.

Underaged FDWs

MOM has stepped up the detection of underaged FDW and action against EAs that place underaged FDWs.

EAs are the first point of contact for FDWs even before they arrive in Singapore. As such, it is important for EAs to conduct thorough checks. It is insufficient to rely solely on the details found in the FDWs’ passports and biodata.

Bringing in an FDW below 23 years old can have serious consequences on both the employer and the FDW. Enforcement action will be taken against EAs that are found to be placing underaged FDWs.

More information.

FDW boarding houses

Since May 2017, MOM has taken a proactive approach in boarding house inspections.

This was done to ensure the standard and conditions of the boarding houses registered by EAs are acceptable for FDWs to be housed.

While officers have encountered lodging that were below acceptable standards, we have also found EAs who provide good accommodation for their FDWs.

Some good practices we have come across are as follows:

  • Provide ample space for sleep arrangements by shifting or removing unnecessary furniture.
  • Provide and maintain fans and air-condition to improve comfort.
  • Ensure that FDWs are given a balanced meal daily.
  • Provide basic toiletries, such as bathing soap and shampoo.
  • Provide free wi-fi for FDWs to communicate with their families back home.
Maintain a clean and uncluttered space to prevent potential fire hazards
Maintain a clean and uncluttered space to prevent potential fire hazards.
Provide ample space for sleeping arrangements
Provide ample space for sleeping arrangements.
Provide basic toiletries
Provide basic toiletries.

More info

MOM will continue to share relevant information through our publications and EA Alerts.

Ensure that your emails are updated in your profile page in GoBusiness Licensing.

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