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Written Answer by Mrs Josephine Teo Minister for Manpower to PQ on Electronic Payment of Salary

NOTICE PAPER NO. 271 FOR THE SITTING ON 24 FEBRUARY 2021

QUESTION NO. 488 FOR WRITTEN ANSWER 

MP: Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang

To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) whether she can provide an update on whether all migrant workers living in dormitories are now being paid their salaries electronically; (b) if not, what is the timeline for ensuring that all migrant workers living in dormitories are paid salaries electronically; and (c) whether the requirement for electronic payment will be extended to work permit holders not living in dormitories. 

Answer:

  1.  As of January 2021, more than 97% of employers with foreign workers living in dormitories were paying salaries electronically, up from 76% before the requirement was introduced in April last year.
  2. Among the small minority of employers who have yet to switch to electronic payment of salaries, some have indicated administrative issues with the setting up of workers' bank accounts, while others have cited their workers' preference for receiving salaries in cash. MOM will take steps to ensure full-compliance, including educating employers and workers on why and how to implement electronic payment of salaries.
  3. Paying salaries electronically has proven to be beneficial, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. It ensures that foreign workers continue to receive salaries even when there are movement restrictions in place. It also helps prevent salary disputes, as there are digital records for each transaction.
  4. Given the benefits of paying salaries electronically, MOM is in consultation with our tripartite partners on extending the requirements for electronic payment of salaries to more workers, including local workers and work permit holders who are not living in dormitories.