With effect from 14 January 2020, the Ministry of Manpower (“MOM”) has increased the penalties on discriminatory employers for greater deterrence against workplace discrimination.
The penalties across the board for all discrimination cases (e.g. age, race, gender, nationality or mental health conditions) are now as follows:
- The debarment scope has been expanded to include work pass renewals, in addition to new work pass applications
- Previously – Companies on MOM watch list are not allowed to apply for new work passes during the period of debarment
- Now – Companies on MOM watch list are not allowed to apply for new work passes AND process renewals during the period of debarment
- Duration of debarment for errant employers to apply for new work passes has doubled
- Previously – Minimum of 6 months
- Now – at least 12 months, and can extend up to a maximum of 24 months for more extreme cases
MOM will prosecute employers and key personnel who make false declarations that they have considered all candidates fairly. Those found guilty of false declaration under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act may be jailed for up to two years, fined up to $20,000, or both.
Things to note:
Companies need to give fair consideration to Singaporeans by advertising vacancies for jobs paying below $15,000 per month on MyCareersFuture.sg before offering the job to foreigners under the Fair Consideration Framework (FCF) guideline.
As most work passes are valid for 2 – 3 years, the implications of debarment will be as follows:
- Debarment period of 12 months
- One third to half of the company’s existing foreign workers’ work passes cannot be renewed and the firm cannot hire new foreign workers during the debarment period
- Debarment period of 24 months
- Almost all of the foreign worker’s work passes cannot be renewed and the firm cannot hire new foreign workers during the debarment period, which means they will need to hire locals to continue operations
Penalty for false declaration to the Controller of Work Passes in the Employment Pass (EP) application. Read about the case.
This alert is for informational purposes only. If you are interested to know more, please contact our Employment Pass Specialists at: