Coronavirus: More employers and employees caught breaching leave of absence rules

A work-pass holder, who was nearing the end of her mandatory leave of absence, being checked on by Ministry of Manpower's foreign manpower management division on Feb 12, 2020.
A work-pass holder, who was nearing the end of her mandatory leave of absence, being checked on by Ministry of Manpower's foreign manpower management division on Feb 12, 2020.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has taken action against 10 more work-pass holders and suspended the privileges of nine more employers for breaching leave-of-absence (LOA) requirements between Feb 10 and Monday (Feb 24).

MOM said in a statement that as of Monday, it has taken action against a total of 14 work-pass holders and 15 employers.

Of the 10 work-pass holders who most recently flouted the rules, six have had their passes revoked.

The ministry said that among the six, one foreign worker had his work pass revoked and is permanently banned from employment in Singapore after he was caught visiting a casino.

Two of these workers claimed they were not aware of the LOA requirements despite being informed by MOM earlier. Their work passes were revoked, and they have been permanently banned from employment in Singapore.

Their employers' work-pass privileges have also been suspended for two years.

Three workers did not respond to calls by MOM despite repeated attempts and MOM revoked their work passes and suspended the work-pass privileges of the two employers involved for failing to ensure that their workers were contactable during the LOA period.

The four work-pass holders who did not have their passes revoked have been given stern warnings.

Three of these cases involved workers on LOA who were instructed by their employers to report to work. The workers were given a warning, while MOM has suspended the work-pass privileges of their employers for three years.

 
 

Among these, the first case involved a worker who approached MOM to lodge a complaint against his employer, freight forwarding firm Element Logistics, after his company's business development manager instructed him to work.

The second case involved a worker from architecture firm SCDA Design, who was instructed by her company's human resources manager to report to the office even though she was on LOA.

Finally, the third case involved a worker from manufacturing firm Cham Brothers Engineering, who was instructed by his company director to work during his LOA.

The fourth foreign worker was given a stern warning for being out of his residence for a prolonged period of time after his meal.

MOM also said on Monday that it has been conducting regular checks through physical inspections, as well as telephone and video calls, to ensure that work-pass holders on mandatory LOA follow the requirements.

It reminded employers and employees that they have a joint duty to ensure that the employee behaves responsibly during the LOA.

 
 

Employers were also warned not to instruct their employees to turn up for work while on LOA, with ignorance of the requirements not being an excuse.

MOM will not hesitate to revoke the work passes and withdraw work-pass privileges of errant employers or employees.

Members of the public who have any information on work-pass holders or employers breaching the LOA requirements can e-mail MOM at mom_qops@mom.gov.sg