SINGAPORE: Employment agency Xuri Employment was fined S$6,000 on Thursday (Feb 25) under the Employment Agencies Act for failing to ensure that in-principle approval documents were received by work permit holders prior to their departure for Singapore, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said in a press release.
As a result of this conviction, Xuri Employment will also have its agency licence revoked, said MOM.
A Xuri employee was separately fined for offences discovered during investigations into the company.
“Under the Employment Agencies Licence Conditions, employment agencies are required to take all necessary steps to ensure that a foreign employee receives a copy of his in-principle approval document in its entirety as furnished by the Ministry of Manpower no later than three days prior to his departure for Singapore,” the ministry said.
“This is to ensure that employees are aware of and have an opportunity to clarify their key employment terms, as well as rights and responsibilities prior to their arrival in Singapore."
Xuri had forwarded the in-principle approval documents of five work permit holders to their overseas agent on Sep 20, 2019, but did not ensure that the workers received a copy of the documents, investigations revealed.
As a result of this, the workers set off for Singapore with different expectations of how much they would be paid, the ministry said.
INVESTIGATION UNCOVERED EMPLOYEE’S OFFENCES
Investigations into the company also revealed that one of its employees, Lim Hann Yeong, had overcharged six work permit holders of agency fees. He also falsely declared their agency fees to the Controller of Work Passes, MOM said.
Lim, 38, was convicted on Feb 13 and fined S$29,000 under the Employment Agencies Act. He has been barred from working in the employment agency industry.
“Under the Employment Agencies Act, employment agencies are allowed to collect agency fees of no more than one month of a worker’s fixed-monthly salary for each year of service, capped at two month’s salary,” MOM said.
“However, Lim had collected an excess of almost S$1,000 from each worker in agency fees.”
MOM said that Lim has since refunded the agency fees to the affected work permit holders, including the excess amount collected.
“It is imperative for employment agencies and employment agency personnel to uphold fairness in the recruitment process,” the ministry said.
“MOM will not hesitate to take errant employment agencies and their personnel involved to task, including prosecution.”