Written Answer by Mrs Josephine Teo, Minister for Manpower, to Parliamentary Question on salary-related disputes
NOTICE PAPER NO. 1153 OF 2018 FOR A SITTING ON OR AFTER 21 MAY 2018
QUESTION NO. 1935 FOR ORAL ANSWER
MP: Mr Melvin Yong Yik Chye
To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) what are the current top three sectors with the highest number of salary-related dispute cases involving work permit holders; and (b) in how many of these cases are the salaries of the work permit holders paid electronically.
The Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management (TADM) handles salary-related dispute cases, including cases lodged by work permit holders. From its inception in April 2017 to December 2017, there were 3,100 salary claims involving work permit holders. The top three sectors with the most number of claims were Construction, Manufacturing, and Wholesale and Retail Trade, which accounted for 2,600 claims, or 83% of all salary claims. Of these 2,600 claims, 280 workers or 11% had their salaries paid electronically.
Our laws already require employers of work permit holders to pay salaries electronically if their workers make the request. MOM has been facilitating the process of opening bank accounts for FWs during the Work Permit application process since 2014. In addition, MOM and our partners such as the Migrant Workers’ Centre (MWC) have been working to encourage salary payment through electronic means. A recently concluded survey conducted by MOM showed that 76% of foreign workers were paid electronically, higher than the 67% in 2014. We will continue to work with stakeholders to improve take-up rates, and also consult them on the option of mandating electronic salary payment.