SINGAPORE: Chairman of the Migrant Workers’ Centre Yeo Guat Kwang has welcomed the amendments to the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act which will come into effect on 9 November 2012.
In a statement on Thursday, Mr Yeo said he noted that employers will be held responsible for the care and maintenance of their workers even after their Work Permit expires or is cancelled.
He noted also that the failure to discharge that responsibility can attract prosecution as a breach of Work Permit conditions.
Mr Yeo said that since the Migrant Workers’ Centre was set up in April 2009, it has handled more than 4,500 migrant worker dispute cases, ranging from salary, to work injury and other employment—related complaints.
He said that over 10 per cent of the workers that the Centre reaches out to have needed help with housing or food while waiting for their cases to be resolved.
Mr Yeo said he is optimistic that with responsible employment practices towards migrant workers from their entry till their departure, they will receive the proper care they deserve.
Whistle—blowing will be an important part in uncovering malpractices and it is an area which the government will be working out details in.
Mark Hall from Kelly Services said: "A methodology has to be provided where (whistle—blowing can be done) in a confidential nature. But the most importantly, companies need to know that employees can actually inform on them. I think that’s going to be a big difference; companies know that there’s a medium that our employees may inform on us and there are significant penalties."
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