Written Answer by Minister for Manpower, Dr Tan See Leng, to PQ on Excessive Overtime Hours
NOTICE PAPER NO. 799 OR 2021 FOR THE SITTING ON 2 NOVEMBER 2021
QUESTION NO. 1283 FOR WRITTEN ANSWER
MP: Mr Desmond Choo
To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) for the past three years, what is the number of reports filed by workers that they are made to work longer than that allowed under the Employment Act; (b) what have been the actions taken; and (c) how can tripartite partners work together to protect workers from being overworked.
- Between 2018 and 2020, MOM received about 180 complaints each year on excessive working hours in breach of Part IV of the Employment Act.
- Enforcement action was taken against 65% of the cases ranging from the issuance of warnings to fines, and prosecution for more serious cases. The rest of the complaints were either issued with an advisory for minor contraventions or were unsubstantiated.
- Enforcement is also complemented with education to raise awareness of both employers and employees. This is done through the Workright initiative which conducts annual education campaigns through various media platforms and on-the-ground roadshows in the heartlands.
- Tripartite partners come together to address deep seated practices which may need to be changed. For example, the security industry used to routinely rely on overtime exemptions. The Security Tripartite Cluster studied this issue and took progressive steps to change industry practice and norms. This resulted in the industry being able to do away with overtime exemptions from January 2021.
- MOM will continue to undertake both enforcement and educational efforts to ensure compliance with the law and to better the well-being of our workers.