Do more to protect those who report errant employers

The Settling-In Programme will help in the effective integration of new migrant workers into our local environment (Mandatory scheme to help foreign workers settle in; Nov 27).

With more foreign workers knowing their rights and what to expect, errant employersmay be deterred from indulging in irresponsible practices such as unpaid salaries, poor housing conditions and lack of safety procedures.

Employment agencies may also think twice before overcharging.

However, there will be workers who do not dare to complain about unfair treatment, as they worry about the repercussions, especially of being repatriated to their home country.

To ensure workers seeking redress for grievances are not victimised, the Manpower Ministry and social organisations must have a mechanism to protect workers who report employment issues.

Also, it can be a challenging task for the Manpower Ministry alone to conduct this mandatory Settling-In Programme, as there are too many foreign construction workers.

It would be ideal if employment agencies are also involved in conducting the programme, as they are the main point of contact for workers whom they recruit for their clients.

Above all, the employment agencies have a better understanding of the workers' profiles, thus facilitating easy communication.

Jeffrey Law Lee Beng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 29, 2017, with the headline 'Do more to protect those who report errant employers'. Print Edition | Subscribe