Written Answer by Mr Lim Swee Say Minister for Manpower to Parliamentary Question on number of work permit holders granted transfer of employer
NOTICE PAPER NO. 926 OF 2017 FOR THE SITTING ON 06 NOVEMBER 2017
QUESTION NO. 680 FOR WRITTEN ANSWER
MP: Louis Ng Kok Kwang
To ask the Minister for Manpower since the transfer policy was implemented for construction and process workers, (a) how many work permit holders have been granted a transfer of employer with the employer's agreement and without the employer's agreement respectively; and (b) whether the Ministry will consider extending the scheme to work permit holders in other sectors.
- Since 2005, we allow work permit holders (WPHs) in the construction sector to change employers if their current employers agree. Since 2015, we also allow all construction sector WPHs to change employers at the end of their work permit term, if they are not able to come to a mutual agreement on the renewal of their work permits. Since June this year, we also allow WPHs in the process sector the same flexibilities. In addition, WPHs who have valid claims against their employers have been allowed to find another employer. The transfer policy improves productivity as employers benefit from hiring WPHs with work experience in Singapore. Employers also save on repatriation, search and hiring costs, as the WPHs do not have to leave Singapore.
- As of Oct 2017, approximately 128,000 WPHs changed employers before the end of their work permit terms with their employers’ consent. Another 400 WPHs changed employers after completing their work permit terms.
- MOM is reviewing whether the transfer policy can be extended progressively to other sectors at an appropriate time, taking into account the impact on both businesses and workers.