Four work pass holders and six employers were found to have breached the leave of absence requirements in place due to the coronavirus situation.
As a result, the workers will no longer be allowed to work here, while the employers had their work pass privileges suspended, announced the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on Feb 9, 2020.
It is the first such action taken since the ministry announced on Jan 31 that all work pass holders with recent travel history to mainland China have to serve a mandatory 14-day leave of absence upon their arrival in Singapore.
The work pass holders were repatriated within 24 hours and banned permanently from working in Singapore. The six employers will not be allowed to hire work pass holders for two years.
Between Feb 4 and Feb 8, the four work pass holders were caught working at their workplaces during their leave of absence period. Acting on information received, the ministry also found two Singapore permanent residents working at their workplaces during the leave of absence. All their employers were penalised.
Employers and employees have a joint duty to ensure that the employee behaves responsibly during the leave of absence, reported Straits Times, adding that it would not hesitate to revoke the work passes and withdraw work pass privileges against errant employers or employees.
Since Feb 8, employers have to obtain the MOM’s approval for all work pass holders who have travelled to mainland China within the last 14 days before they can enter or return to Singapore. To ensure that work pass holders placed on mandatory leave of absence abide by the requirements, MOM has been carrying out regular random checks through inspections, telephone or video calls.