We agree with Mr George Pasqual that foreign workers should be provided with in-principle approval (IPA) letters by their employers prior to departure for Singapore (Stricter oversight on foreign worker documents needed, June 19).
This is why the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has instituted a stern, maximum financial penalty of $10,000 on errant employers who fail to comply with this. Also, they are barred them from employing foreign workers in future.
Since October last year, new foreign construction workers have been required to produce their IPA letters when attending the mandatory Settling-in Programme (SIP).
MOM issued advisory letters to 60 employers whose foreign workers did not have or had incomplete IPA letters during the SIP.
In May, five employers and an employment agency were also investigated for failure to provide IPA letters in full prior to the worker's departure from Singapore. These efforts have been shown to be effective.
From February to April, 97 per cent of new foreign construction workers had their IPA letters when they arrived in Singapore.
When the SIP is extended to new foreign workers in the process, manufacturing and marine sectors by the end of this year, the SIP will be an effective touch-point to ensure foreign workers receive their IPA letters.
Foreign workers who do not receive their IPA letters should report the matter to the Migrant Workers' Centre, which conducts the SIP, or approach MOM by calling 6438-5122.
Caryn Lim (Ms)
Director, Planning and Organisation Development
Foreign Manpower Management Division
Ministry of Manpower