Employment agency fined S$78,000 after uploading insensitive maid ads on Carousell

Employment agency fined S$78,000 after uploading insensitive maid ads on Carousell

File Ministry of Manpower building
File photo of the Ministry of Manpower building. (Photo: Calvin Oh)

SINGAPORE: Employment agency SRC Recruitment was fined S$78,000 on Tuesday (Apr 30) after uploading insensitive advertisements of foreign domestic workers on online marketplace Carousell.

The posts on Carousell between Sep 1 and Sep 17, 2018 likened 49 domestic workers to commodities, the Ministry of Manpower said.

The company was fined S$48,000 on Tuesday after it pleaded guilty on Mar 26 this year to 16 charges of breaching employment agency licensing conditions by advertising the workers "insensitively and casting them in an undignified light".

SRC was also fined a further S$30,000 on 29 charges for other employment offences, including failing to administer safety agreements and incomplete authorisation forms for work pass transactions.

Another 99 charges were taken into consideration for sentencing by the State Courts on Tuesday.

READ: MOM suspends employment agency behind maid advertisements on Carousell

READ: Maid advertisements on Carousell: SRC Recruitment, employee face 243 charges

An agent who worked at the company became the first to be prosecuted and convicted in November 2018 for putting up the posts on the online selling site.

MOM had sent three alerts to employment firms in July 2014, November 2016 and February 2018 about the licence condition on responsible advertising. 

Despite the reminders, SRC failed to "exercise sensitivity" when marketing its services and breached the licence condition, the ministry said.

"MOM does not condone any offensive and insensitive advertising methods that portray foreign domestic workers in a negative light," the Commissioner for Employment Agencies Kevin Teoh said.

"We remind all employment agencies of the need to uphold professional standards when discharging their duties. MOM will not hesitate to take stern enforcement actions, including licence revocation, against errant EAs."

A notice of licence revocation has been served to SRC.

Source: CNA/nh(mi)

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