Coronavirus: 89 work passes revoked for flouting rules

The Ministry of Manpower said that it also has suspended the work-pass privileges of employers for periods ranging from one to three years.
The Ministry of Manpower said that it also has suspended the work-pass privileges of employers for periods ranging from one to three years.PHOTO: ST FILE

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has revoked a total of 89 work passes as of yesterday for those who breached entry approval or stay-home notice requirements.

Of this number, 73 were work-pass holders who had been to countries hit by Covid-19 but did not obtain the necessary approvals from MOM before returning to Singapore.

The rules state that they must serve a 14-day stay-home notice (SHN), which means they cannot leave their homes during the time.

Another 16 work-pass holders were caught breaching the SHN or leave of absence (LOA) requirements.

An LOA is less stringent in that it allows people to leave their homes to get food and other necessities.

MOM said in a statement that some were caught at their workplaces. Others were caught leaving their place of residence during the period of their SHN or LOA, even when instructed not to do so.

"Many of these violations occurred during the first month following the imposition of the SHN requirement. In the second month, the number of violations fell to four," MOM said.

SHN was introduced last month, initially covering those with travel history from mainland China. The workers have been permanently banned from working in Singapore.

MOM said that it also has suspended the work-pass privileges of employers for periods ranging from one to three years, as they have failed to discharge their duties to ensure that their employees comply with the necessary requirements.

 
 
 
 

With stricter border requirements, entry approvals and SHN are now required for work-pass holders entering Singapore from anywhere in the world.

MOM said employers are reminded to seek approval using the online facility for work-pass holders to enter or return to Singapore.

"Employers should inform their employees not to make travel plans to Singapore until approval has been obtained from MOM," it added.

"MOM will continue to take enforcement measures against errant employers or employees who do not comply with the requirements set out above, including the revocation of work passes and suspension of work-pass privileges," the ministry stressed.

Sue-Ann Tan

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 22, 2020, with the headline '89 work passes revoked for flouting rules'. Subscribe