Kay Lim Construction and Trading, a construction company in Singapore was prosecuted in the Supreme Court for housing foreign workers in “unacceptable” and “unhygienic living conditions,” reported a statement by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) yesterday.
The firm also did not update the ministry on the housing addresses of the foreign workers, thus facing a total of 80 charges factually.
Further investigation revealed that the company had housed the workers, from its company and nine other companies in “rat-infested” quarters at a construction site at Commonwealth Avenue/ Ghim Moh Link, Straits Times reported.
Also during the period between March 2014 and September 2015, the company failed to update via an online system the housing address of 20 other foreign workers, staying in the temporary dormitories at a construction site at Ang Mo Kio Street 44.
“MOM has since ordered the accused company to improve the hygiene and living conditions of all their existing construction site temporary quarters. The accused company has complied with the order,” said the ministry. The case has been adjourned to April 18.
According to rules laid by the Employment of Foreign Manpower (Work Passes) Regulations, employers are required to provide acceptable accommodation for foreign workers that comply with various statutory requirements, and also update the latest address of their foreign workers in the Online Foreign Worker Address Service within five days of the change in their residential address.
Employers who fail to abide with any of the conditions of the work pass will be guilty of an offence under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act, and if convicted offenders can be fined up to $10,000 and /or jailed for up to a year, for each offence.
For those foreign workers who face issues with the housing conditions should inform their employers promptly. If their employers do not make improvements to the living conditions, workers could get help from the Migrant Workers’ Centre at 6536-2692 or report the matter to MOM at 6438-5122.
Members of the public can also inform the authorities of people who breach the Act, or refer foreign workers in distress to MOM, by calling 6438-5122 or e-mailing email@example.com. All information will be kept strictly confidential.
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