SINGAPORE: A construction firm was on Tuesday (Mar 14) slapped with 80 charges for housing offences, including housing foreign workers in rat-infested quarters, according to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).
Kay Lim Construction and Trading was prosecuted in court for housing its foreign workers in accommodation with unhygienic living conditions, abetting nine other companies in housing their foreign workers in the same unacceptable workers’ quarters, and failing to update the housing address of these workers in the Online Foreign Worker Address Service (OFWAS), according to a release from the ministry.
Investigations showed that the company housed 60 foreign workers, comprising the company's own and those from nine other companies, in a construction site's temporary quarters at Commonwealth Avenue and Ghim Moh Link which were rat-infested.
It also failed to update the accommodation addresses of 20 other foreign workers in the OFWAS between March 2014 and September 2015, MOM said.
The ministry ordered Kay Lim to improve the hygiene and living conditions of all their existing construction site temporary quarters, and the company has complied, it said.
The case will be next mentioned in court on Apr 18.
Under the Employment of Foreign Manpower (Work Passes) Regulations, employers are required to provide acceptable accommodation for their foreign workers that comply with the various statutory requirements, and update their latest addresses in OFWAS within five days of the change in their residential address.
For employers who flout the rules and are convicted, they can be fined up to S$10,000 and/or jailed for up to 12 months for each offence.