SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has taken action against several private security agencies, including two that made their security officers work up to 20 hours a day.
For deploying their officers beyond the permissible working hour limits, MOM charged Erawan Security Services and Volantra Security under the Employment Act.
Security officers from these two companies were found to have worked back-to-back shifts - between 17 and 20 hours in a day - on multiple occasions between February and March 2021.
"Under the law, private security agencies must not deploy their security officers to work beyond 12 hours in a day, unless the exceptions stated in the Employment Act (EA) are applicable," said MOM on Thursday (Oct 14).
ACTION AGAINST ERRANT EMPLOYERS
In enforcement operations from April to August, MOM inspected almost 200 private security agencies to find out if they had been complying with the Employment Act, particularly on working hours and overtime limits.
Around 36 per cent of agencies were found to have committed breaches.
While most of these were minor, MOM said it was taking action against 15 private security agencies for deploying their security officers beyond the permissible working hour limits.
Errant employers found to be flouting Employment Act provisions providing for rest days, limits on hours of work and other conditions of service may be prosecuted and fined up to $5,000 for each offence.
On conviction of the second and subsequent offence, the employer can be fined up to S$10,000 or jailed up to 12 months, or both.
Those with information on Employment Act infringements should report the matter at www.mom.gov.sg/report-ea-violation. All information will be kept strictly confidential, said MOM.
"The Ministry of Manpower is committed to safeguarding the welfare of all workers," said Christine Loh, Director of Employment Standards Enforcement Department.
"As we continue to educate employees on their rights, we will also carry out regular site inspections and take stern action against errant employers found to be flouting the law.
"Security agencies should refer to the Tripartite Advisory on Ensuring Sustainability of Security Sector in View of COVID-19 to plan ahead, and leverage technology-enabled solutions to optimise manpower.”