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Human Resource and Immigration | Amendments to the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act in Singapore

The amendments to the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act or EFMA will kick in with effect from 9 November 2012.
In gist, the amended bill aims to ensure that errant employers and agents do not take advantage of foreign workers without incurring heavier penalties. It also aims to nab errant employers who have schemed of ways to circumvent Singapore’s tightened work visa framework.

The amendments bolster our efforts to:
– Create sustainable and inclusive growth and ensure Singaporeans remain at the core of our workforce
– Ensure employers pay for true costs of hiring foreign workers
– Create level playing field for law-abiding employers
– Stem the worst abuses against foreign workers

In turn, law-abiding employers will benefit from a more level playing field. Errant employers on the other hand, will face up to $20,000 per penalty.

The common illegal practice by the employer which will attract heavy penalty by now is summarised as follows:-
1) Offenders illegally importing and supplying foreign workers by setting up shell or partialsham businesses
2) Foreign workers submitting forged educational certificates to qualify for work passes
3) Employers collecting monies from foreign workers in consideration for employment (kickbacks to employers to secure a job in Singapore)
4) Employers illegally recovering employment costs from foreign workers (levy, security bond, etc)
5) Employers inflating foreign worker quota by paying CPF to local ‘phantom’ workers
6) Employers failing to submit a request for re-assessment for work pass eligibility before reducing the salary of S- and Employment Pass holders

The second tranche of the EFMA review is in the pipeline. It will focus on improving the wellbeing of foreign workers.

For quick info guide for EFMA, please refer to Changes to the Employment of Foreign Manpower ACT (EFMA)