MOM’s response to TWC2 article "Hossain Sabuj tells us who got rich from his working in Singapore”
A TWC2 article cited the case of a foreign worker, Hossain Sabuj, who was allegedly approached by an unlicensed employment agent in Singapore and asked to pay $3,500 to secure a job. Based on the case, TWC2 implied that enforcement of the Employment Agencies Act against unlicensed employment agents in Singapore and agency fees cap is weak.
This is untrue. MOM has taken action against unlicensed employment agents and for overcharging agency fees under the Act. From 2015 to the first half of 2017, 15 persons were convicted for conducting employment agencies activities without a valid licence. And as recently as November 2017, a foreign worker was fined $30,000 for conducting unlicensed employment activities (http://www.mom.gov.sg/newsroom/press-releases/2017/1122-foreign-worker-fined-30000-for-conducting-unlicensed-employment-agency-activities).
MOM will investigate all reported cases of unlicensed employment agent activities. Hossain did not file a complaint. By the time TWC2 published the article, Hossain had left the country. TWC2 should have encouraged him to report the matter to MOM so that other foreign workers do not fall prey to such errant employment agents.
Members of the public who have any information on unlicensed employment agents or employment agencies should report the matter to MOM at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 6438 5122. All information will be kept strictly confidential.
We would like to remind foreigners who seek employment in Singapore to only use a licensed employment agency and to verify the credentials of the agency through our online MOM Employment Agency Directory (www.mom.gov.sg/eadirectory). Foreign workers in the construction sector, whose work permits are about to expire, and are looking to change employer can register with the Foreign Construction Workers Directory System (www.fcwds.com.sg), co-managed by the Singapore Contractors Association Ltd, for new employers to recruit from.