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Employment Agency and Personnel Fined for Various Offences Under the Employment Agencies Act

  1. On 25 February 2021, an employment agency (“EA”), Xuri Employment Pte Ltd (“Xuri”) was convicted and fined $6,000 under the Employment Agencies Act (“EAA”) for failing to ensure that the In-Principle Approval (“IPA”) documents were received by the work permit holders prior to their departure for Singapore, in accordance with the Employment Agencies Licence Conditions (“EALC”).
  2. Separately, an employee of Xuri, 38-year-old Lim Hann Yeong (“Lim”), was convicted on 13 February 2020 and fined $29,000 under the EAA for overcharging six work permit holders of agency fees and falsely declaring their agency fees to the Controller of Work Passes.

    Case Details for Xuri
  3. Under the EALC, EAs are required to take all necessary steps to ensure that a foreign employee receives a copy of his IPA document in its entirety as furnished by the Ministry of Manpower (“MOM”) no later than three days prior to his departure for Singapore. This is to ensure that employees are aware of and have an opportunity to clarify their key employment terms, as well as rights and responsibilities prior to their arrival in Singapore.
  4. Investigations by MOM revealed that Xuri forwarded the IPA documents of five work permit holders to their overseas agent on 20 September 2019, but did not ensure that the workers received a copy of the documents. This resulted in the workers setting off for Singapore with expectation of different pay. 
  5. Following the conviction, MOM will be revoking Xuri’s EA licence in addition to the fine.

    Case Details for Lim
  6. Investigations also revealed that Lim, an employee of Xuri, had overcharged the same five workers and one other work permit holder in agency fees.   
  7. Under the EAA, EAs are allowed to collect agency fees of no more than one month of a worker’s fixed-monthly salary for each year of service, capped at two month’s salary. However, Lim had collected an excess of almost $1,000 from each worker in agency fees. He also falsely declared the amount of agency fees collected to MOM.
  8. Lim has since refunded the agency fees, including the excess amount collected to the affected work permit holders. Following his conviction, MOM has debarred Lim from working in the EA industry for his actions, in addition to the fine.

    Reminder for EAs and EA Personnel

  9. It is imperative for EAs and EA personnel to uphold fairness in the recruitment process. MOM will not hesitate to take errant EAs and their personnel involved to task, including prosecution.
  10. Members of the public who have any information on the contravention of the laws under the EAA should report the matter to MOM via the MOM website (www.mom.gov.sg/efeedback). All information will be kept strictly confidential.