MOM acts against more workers and bosses over LOA breaches

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

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 yesterday.

MOM said in a statement that as of yesterday, 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 had their passes revoked.

Among the six, one foreign worker had his work pass revoked and is permanently banned from employment here after he was caught visiting a casino.

Two workers said they were not aware of the LOA requirements, despite being informed earlier. Their work passes were revoked, and they were permanently banned from employment here. Their employers' work pass privileges were suspended for two years.

Three workers did not respond to repeated calls by MOM. It 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.

For the other four workers who did not have their passes revoked, they were given stern warnings.

Three of these cases involved workers on LOA who were instructed by their employers to report to work. MOM has suspended their employers' work pass privileges for three years. These companies are freight forwarding firm Element Logistics, architecture firm SCDA Design, and manufacturing firm Cham Brothers Engineering.

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 yesterday that it has rejected about 500 applications a day for work pass holders with travel history to mainland China to return to Singapore, since new measures to help contain the coronavirus outbreak kicked in on Feb 9.

This is higher than the 400 daily rejections in the first week after the measures were implemented.

  • 220 Number of applications approved on average daily, up from the average of 200 in the first week after entry approval requirements kicked in.

    11 Number of work passes that have been revoked because workers breached the entry approval requirements.

The ministry said it now approves 220 applications on average daily. This is slightly higher than the daily average of 200 in the first week after the entry approval requirements kicked in.

It has also since revoked the work passes of 11 workers who breached entry approval requirements by entering Singapore despite failing to get approval. They were sent back to their home countries and permanently banned from working here. Their employers' work pass privileges were also suspended for a year.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 25, 2020, with the headline MOM acts against more workers and bosses over LOA breaches. Subscribe