The Migrant Workers' Centre (MWC) has spent the last two years working with stakeholders like the Dormitory Association of Singapore to raise the bar for migrant worker housing conditions ("Errant bosses faking addresses of foreign workers"; July 27).
However, all the work to improve living conditions for migrant workers will be wasted if employers are able to game the system to avoid having to comply with legal standards of care for their workers.
It is important that the mechanism used for ensuring compliance among employers to place their workers in acceptable housing is robust and rigorous.
We urge the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) to tighten its Online Foreign Worker Address System as well as step up enforcement action for non-compliance.
Errant employers who abuse the system should be made examples of, with strict sanctions to send a strong message of deterrence.
Ultimately, this is in line with making migrant worker abuses not only criminally liable but socially unacceptable among Singaporeans as well.
In the last month, MWC has referred two possible illegal housing complaints to MOM for investigation and enforcement action, if needed. With MOM following up on these cases, we will continue to push for sanctions wherever and whenever we detect employers shirking their responsibilities for their workers.
Yeo Guat Kwang
Migrant Workers' Centre
This article was published on Aug 4 in The Straits Times.
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