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Written Answer by Minister for Manpower Dr Tan See Leng to PQ on the management of foreign workers in the CMP sectors


MP: Mr Leong Mun Wai 

To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) whether the relevant dependency ratio ceiling applies to companies who supply labour to the construction, marine and process (CMP) sector and services sector; (b) to date, what are the types and respective numbers of violations that the Ministry has discovered with regard to recruitment of foreigners in these sectors; and (c) whether the Ministry will consider resuming regular publications of the Employment Agency (EA) Enforcement Digest on the Ministry’s website that contains these information.


  1. Labour supplying of foreign workers by the employer to another company is only allowed within the construction and process sectors and not in the marine sector. The employer of the foreign worker continues to be subject to the dependency ratio ceiling (DRC). Companies that supply their own labour to another company are not required to obtain an employment agency (EA) licence, unless they perform EA work.1
  2. EAs perform work to facilitate the recruitment and hiring of workers by their client companies. The EA Enforcement Digest was introduced in 2016 to share enforcement statistics on common EA infringements with the industry. The statistics provided in the Digest are for infringements across the whole EA industry, where the clients come from all sectors. They are not specific to the construction, marine and process (CMP) sectors. The most common infringements in the EA industry were contravening EA licence conditions and performing EA activities without an EA licence. In the CMP sectors, common offences committed by employers include illegal employment and unacceptable accommodation.
  3. Since 2019, instead of publishing the Digest, MOM has engaged the EA industry through small-group sessions involving the relevant associations, and electronic mailers to the industry such as EA alerts. These have been effective in ground sensing and updating the industry on compliance issues.

Note(s) to Question No(s)30:

1 Under the Employment Agency Act (EAA), an EA licence must be obtained to do any one of the following work: (i) communicate with any jobseeker for the purpose of processing any employment-related application by that jobseeker; (ii) collate the biodata or resume of any jobseeker for the purpose of helping the jobseeker establish an employer-employee relationship; (iii) submit any work pass application on behalf of any employer or jobseeker; (iv) place any jobseeker with an employer.