SINGAPORE - Four individuals, all family members who ran separate employment agencies, have been fined for operating without a licence and will no longer be allowed to operate in the industry.
In a media statement on Thursday (Aug 4), the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said the four - Iris Tan, Kiff Tan, Grace Tan and Pauline Teo Swee Ling - were convicted between May 19 and Aug 4 of multiple offences under the Employment Agencies Act and Employment of Foreign Manpower Act.
MOM added that the four performed or abetted the conduct of illegal employment agency activities.
Iris facilitated the employment of two work permit holders, and Kiff committed a similar offence with one work permit holder, when they no longer held an employment agency licence.
Grace allowed Iris to use her employment agency account to make work permit applications. Grace also serviced a former client under Pauline's employment agency, hence performing work there without being registered.
Iris and Kiff also overcharged two work permit holders of agency fees by $1,172 and $7,538.
Iris, a licensee of Des Ressources was fined $45,000, and Kiff (K&E Ressources) was fined $32,500 and a compensation order of $7,534. Grace (International Ressources) was fined $32,500 while Teo (Paul Network) was fined $2,500.
If they fail to pay the fines, they will have to serve jail terms ranging from 10 to 107 days.
MOM has issued a reminder that operating an employment agency without a licence is a serious offence, with offenders facing fines of up to $80,000 or jail time of up to two years, or both.
Employment agency operators who have been convicted of any criminal offence or have contravened the Employment Agencies Act (EAA) or licence conditions can have their licences revoked.
Anyone who abets an unlicensed employment agency may also be liable to the same penalties.
To protect work pass holders, Singapore employment agencies are allowed to collect no more than one month of a worker's monthly salary for each year of service, capped at two months' salary.
Employment agencies that do not comply with the EAA or Employment Agency Licence conditions can be fined up to $5,000. Reoffenders can also be jailed for up to six months.
Those who have information on unlicensed employment agency activities or are aware of the overcharging of agency fees should report the matter to MOM at firstname.lastname@example.org