19 work pass holders, employers punished for flouting COVID-19 Leave of Absence requirements

19 work pass holders, employers punished for flouting COVID-19 Leave of Absence requirements

People wearing protective face mask at Orchard Road
People are seen wearing protective face masks at Orchard Road, Singapore on Jan 28. (Photo: Gaya Chandramohan)

SINGAPORE: A total of 19 work pass holders and employers were punished for flouting the Ministry of Manpower’s Leave of Absence (LOA) requirements in place for the COVID-19 outbreak.

The authority found 10 work pass holders and nine employers in breach of the requirements, MOM said in a news release on Monday (Feb 24).

As part of efforts to manage the novel coronavirus situation in Singapore, all work pass holders with recent travel history to mainland China are required to serve a mandatory 14-day LOA upon their arrival in Singapore.

READ: Work passes of 2 workers cancelled for breaching COVID-19 requirements: MOM

Of the 10 work pass holders, six of them had their work passes revoked.

In two cases, both the workers and employers claimed ignorance of the LOA requirements although MOM had previously informed them. 

On top of having their work passes revoked, the workers were also permanently banned from employment in Singapore. The employer’s work pass privileges were suspended for two years as well.

Another foreign worker also had his work pass revoked and permanently banned from working in Singapore after he was caught visiting a casino.

Three of the workers with their work passes now revoked did not respond to MOM’s calls. The ministry also suspended the work pass privileges of the two employers for failing to ensure that their workers remain contactable during the LOA period.

"STERN WARNINGS" FOR SOME WORKERS

The remaining four work pass holders were given "stern warnings".

In three cases, the workers were instructed by their employer to report to work.

One of the workers from Element Logistics lodged a complaint against his employer for making him work. Another worker from SCDA Design was told to report to the office by her company’s HR manager. The third worker from Cham Brothers Engineering was instructed by his company director to work during his LOA.

MOM suspended the work pass privileges of their employers for three years.

In the fourth case, a foreign worker was given a stern warning for being out of his residence for a prolonged period of time after his meal.

READ: Manpower ministry revokes 4 work passes for Leave of Absence breaches, suspends employer privileges

To date, MOM has taken action against 14 work pass holders and 15 employers.

“Employers and employees have a joint duty to ensure that the employee behaves responsibly during the LOA,” MOM said.

“Employers are not to instruct their employees to turn up for work.

“Ignorance of the requirements is not an excuse and MOM will not hesitate to revoke the work passes and withdraw work pass privileges against errant employers or employees.”

So far, 11 workers have been banned since Singapore implemented entry approval requirements for work pass holders with travel history to mainland China.

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Source: CNA/aa(rw)

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