It cannot regulate overseas agencies that charge more than the maximum agency fees.
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has no jurisdiction for the regulation of employment agencies (EAs) in foreign workers’ home countries that charge workers beyond the stipulated fee cap, Minister of state for manpower Zaqy Mohamad said in parliament.
Despite this, the agency does not hesitate to provide pertinent information with relevant foreign embassies whenever MOM’s investigations reveal suspicious or irregular fees so that the embassies could aid in addressing malpractices in respective countries.
Singapore-based EAS are not allowed to impose fees exceeding one month of the worker’s salary for each year of contracted service, capped at two months’ salary.
Mohamad noted that MOM had already took action against 23 EAS for violating the rule from 2015 to 2017. Amongst them, three went through prosecution and had their licences revoked whilst others were given written warnings or had composition fines imposed on them.
“MOM also helped the workers who were in Singapore to recover their excess agency fees in full,” the official said.
Mohamad’s statement was a reply to MP Christopher de Souza who asked about the enforcement actions that have been taken against agencies that charge foreign workers more than the maximum cap for agency fees.
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