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Written Answer by Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Minister for Manpower, to Parliamentary Question on Repatriation of Foreign Worker For Dependency Ratio Ceiling Violation

Notice Paper No. 15 Of 2015 For The Sitting On 19 Jan 2015
Question No. 174 For Written Answer

MP: Mr Gerald Giam Yean Song

To ask the Minister for Manpower given a recent instance of a foreign worker being repatriated for a Dependency Ratio Ceiling violation whereby the ruling was subsequently reversed on appeal but the foreign worker was not able to return as a work permit holder, what provisions are in place to ensure processing of appeals prior to repatriation or to allow for the reversibility of rulings post-repatriation.


  1. Business employers are required to keep within their Dependency Ratio Ceiling (DRC) when hiring foreign workers. The DRC is calculated based on the company’s local workforce, as reflected via its CPF contributions to its employees. When a company reduces its local workforce or fails to make its CPF contributions on time, its Dependency Ratio will exceed the DRC.
  2. MOM will then request the company to rectify the situation by either increasing its local workforce or cancelling some work passes so as to keep within the DRC. In such instances, employers are given a choice as to which work pass holders to retain and which to let go. Employers are given ample opportunity to take remedial action before MOM cancels any work passes. We will also take in appeals from employers if the situation is rectified before the workers are sent home. Employers may still re-hire the workers if they have sufficient room within their DRC.
  3. To avoid unnecessary disruption to business operations, employers should ensure that they maintain sufficient local workers to keep within its DRC.