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Employment agencies charging excessive placement fees 'not prevalent': Hawazi

However, the Ministry of Manpower is concerned about the possibility of foreign domestic workers having to pay high agency fees to seek employment in Singapore says Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Manpower Hawazi Daipi.

SINGAPORE: The Government believes that the practice of local employment agencies charging excessive placement fees to foreign domestic workers, is not prevalent, said Senior Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Manpower Hawazi Daipi in Parliament on Tuesday (Aug 5). But he gave the assurance that whenever this does happen, the Government will act.

He was responding to a question by Nominated Member of Parliament Mary Liew. Mr Hawazi also said that the Ministry of Manpower is concerned about the possibility of foreign domestic workers having to pay high agency fees to seek employment in Singapore. Therefore, the Employment Agencies Act states that Singapore employment agencies are allowed to collect no more than one month for the worker's salary for each year of service, capped at two months' salary. 

"Over the last three years, MOM looked into six complaints from (Foreign Domestic Workers) pertaining to the collection of placement fees above the stipulated cap by employment agencies," Mr Hawazi said. "MOM also investigated in other 15 cases uncovered in the course of proactive audits or investigations. Three of these cases are still under investigation. MOM took action in eight cases. For the remaining cases, there was no evidence that the employment agencies had committed an offence.

"In instances where we find excessive charging happening overseas and where our laws cannot apply, we will inform the embassies or high commissions of the relevant countries, so that action can be taken at source."

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