Employment agency fined, to lose licence after lapse led to workers coming here expecting different pay

SINGAPORE - An employment agency was convicted and fined on Thursday (Feb 25) after its lapse caused five work permit holders to come here with the expectation of different pay.

Xuri Employment was fined $6,000 for offences under the Employment Agencies Act (EAA) and will have its employment agency licence revoked by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

Xuri Employment had forwarded the In-Principle Approval (IPA) documents of five work permit holders to their overseas agent on Sept 20, 2019, but did not ensure that the workers received a copy.

The IPA documents are to ensure that employees are aware of and have an opportunity to clarify their key employment terms as well as rights and responsibilities prior to their arrival in Singapore.

But because the workers did not receive the documents, they had come to Singapore with different pay expectations.

The five were also among six work permit holders who were overcharged by Xuri Employment staff member Lim Hann Yeong. Lim, 38, also falsely declared the agency fees collected to MOM.

Employment agencies are allowed to collect agency fees of up to one month of a worker's fixed monthly salary for each year of service, capped at two months' salary.

But Lim had collected almost $1,000 more from each worker in agency fees.

He was convicted on Feb 13 last year and fined $29,000. MOM has also debarred him from working in the employment agency industry.

Lim has since refunded the fees, including the excess amount collected, to the affected work permit holders.

MOM said in a statement on Thursday night that it will not hesitate to take errant employment agencies and their personnel involved to task, should they fail to uphold fairness in the recruitment process.

Members of the public who have any information on the contravention of the laws under the EAA should report the matter to MOM at this website.