At the State Court, the Ministry of Manpower charged a 60-year old Singaporean woman, Noor Hayah Binte Gulam (the accused) for running an employment agency without a valid EA license. As per terms of the law, the accused will be fined up to $80,000, or imprisoned for up to two years or both under the Employment Agencies Act (EAA).
Deeper investigations conducted on account of breaching the EAA revealed that from November 2014 to March 2016, the accused performed employment agency work despite not having a valid EA license. She also posted job advertisements in the web portal for job seekers, placed foreign domestic workers with their employers, collected bio-data and resumes, conducted interviews and sourced for potential employers.
Agency fees were also collected by the woman from the employers, for the services rendered. In light of this awakening call of employment agencies working without a valid license, MOM advised employers to check and verify the EA license, before proceeding with a contract with the employment agency, rendering talent acquisition services. They can do so by going through the EA Directory on MOM’s website at www.mom.gov.sg/eadirectory.
See: Fair and Progressive Employment Practices Remain Strong amidst Rapidly Changing Business Environment in Singapore
The EA Directory also provides other information to include EA’s retention and transfer rates that reflect its ability to match FDWs and employers’ requirements, the placement volume of FDWs, years of experience in the industry, violations committed previously, as well as the rating of the EA based on customer feedback. Such information will help employers to make an informed choice, on the selection of which EA services to use.
While it is an offense for an EA to operate without a valid EA license, so are equally the employers or companies who engage to avail of services from an unlicensed EA. The offenders can be fined upto $5,000 per charge.
Members of the public who have any information on unlicensed EA activities can report the matter to MOM on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 6438 5122. All information shared with the Ministry, will be handled with due confidentiality maintained.
Also read: MOM Steps Up to Protect Rights of FDWs in Singapore