MOM Imposes New Conditions on Dorms Housing Foreign Workers

August 26, 20168:06 am2245 views

Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has imposed new conditions on all operators of Factory-Converted Dormitories (FCDs) when seeking approvals or renewals to use their industrial premises to house foreign workers, from 1 January 2017.

These new conditions were announced at a FCD seminar held this week in Singapore.The FCD Seminar was attended by some 550 industry operators. It covered good and bad practices observed during MOM’s inspections at FCDs over the past year.

Minister of State for Manpower, Teo Ser Luck, who oversees foreign manpower management matters, delivered an opening address at the seminar.

Speaking at the seminar, Teo said, “Foreign workers make important contributions across so many different jobs and capacities in various sectors. It is only right that we ensure they are well taken care of while they work here. We have made improvements on the foreign worker housing front. Dormitory operators have an important role to play in this. But our journey for higher housing standards should be a continuous process, and we should constantly strive to do better. It is timely now to strengthen the regulatory requirements to further improve the living conditions of the workers in FCDs.”

From 1 January 2017, FCD operators need to meet four new conditions imposed by MOM, on top of existing ones. These new conditions are:

  1. Provision of feedback channel for workers to report issues related to the housing conditions of the FCD.
  2. Provision of personal locker for each worker.
  3. Provision of at least one sick bay in the FCD. Alternatively, the operator can develop a contingency plan to deal with cases of infectious diseases.
  4. Provision of Wi-Fi within the FCD.

See: MOM concerned with “deteriorating” workplace safety situation: Lim Swee Say

Operators have to submit documentary proof to show they have met all the conditions, before they are allowed to operate the FCDs. They are also required to adhere to these conditions at all times during their operations.

MOM will continue to conduct regular inspections and will take enforcement action against operators who fail to meet or adhere to these conditions.

FCD is one type of approved housing for foreign workers in Singapore. FCD operators, like other dormitory operators, have a legal obligation to ensure that they provide some 80,000 or so foreign workers with a safe and secure living environment.

At the seminar, MOS Teo also announced that MOM is planning to introduce a dormitory awards initiative. The aim of the awards is to commend exemplary FCDs and Purpose-Built Dormitories, recognising them for going beyond compliance with regulatory standards in looking after the well-being of their foreign workers.

Also read: MOM Takes Action against Companies Illegally Bringing in Foreign Labour

Image credit: straitstimes.com

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