New performance bond not necessary, MOM reiterates

We refer to the letter (Forfeiture of bond will be last resort; May 15).

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has made it clear to the Indonesian Embassy and the Indonesian Ministry of Manpower that the performance bond requirement is unnecessary given Singapore's comprehensive regulatory framework to protect all foreign domestic workers (FDWs).

It remains unclear if all conditions for forfeiting the Indonesian Embassy performance bond will be spelt out clearly in the performance bond guarantee terms and conditions and whether there will be neutrality during the dispute resolution.

The Indonesian Embassy cited the number of FDW cases it handled. However, the vast majority were never referred to the MOM for follow-up action.

Last year, it referred 64 FDW cases with employment issues. Every case that was referred to the MOM was carefully looked into.

In six cases, there were breaches of our employment regulations and enforcement action was duly taken against the errant employers and one employment agency. Two cases are under investigation. No breaches were found in the remaining cases.

There were 40 referrals from the Indonesian Embassy, between January and April this year. There was no breach of the law by employers in 31 cases, while nine are under investigation.

MOM takes a serious view of any violation of our laws and regulations that protect the well-being of FDWs, regardless of nationality. We urge the Indonesian Embassy to refer to MOM all FDW cases that require follow-up action.

We are also taking proactive steps to educate FDWs on the protection available to them.

All new FDWs must attend the mandatory settling-in programme.

In addition, there are various channels of assistance, such as the MOM FDW hotline on 1800-339-5505.

They can also seek assistance from NGOs like the Centre for Domestic Employees and Foreign Domestic Worker Association for Social Support and Training.

Caryn Lim (Ms)
Director (Foreign Manpower Unit)
Workplace Policy and Strategy Division
Ministry of Manpower

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 19, 2018, with the headline 'New performance bond not necessary, MOM reiterates'. Print Edition | Subscribe