MOM: Stop relying on foreign talent, cut down on moonlighting!

The Ministry of Manpower has always been clear on foreign workers taking on part-time jobs. They are strict on this matter.

But there will always be some opportunists willing to take this risk. Maybe some of you might have come across online job ads like these…

Former Minister of State for Manpower Teo Ser Luck once stressed that the government will persist with its strict rule that foreign workers holding employment passes, S-Pass, work permits are not allowed to hold a part-time job.

He stressed this move was needed to cut down on the reliance on foreign workers as it could create unnecessary competition for local workers. On the other hand, those foreign workers might not be aware of this ruling and could have been exploited by their employers.

In documented cases, domestic maids have been exploited to help out at food stalls, clean up at home-grown business offices, which is largely outside their working job scope.

Mr Yeo Guat Kwang, the Assistant Director-General in the National Trades Union, also has this thought: “if the foreign workers were to obey their employers, they could be penalized, even facing the risk of being deported. That will also see them lose the rights and privileges a foreign worker enjoys in Singapore. It’s just not worth it.”

Offenders will be severely punished. Employers who break the law will face a fine of $10,000 and barred from employing foreign workers.

If foreign workers are found breaking the law, their employers could face a fine up to $30,000 or 1 year imprisonment, or both.

It won’t be hard to know why the MOM has raised the bar when it comes to EP applications, raising the minimum salary from $3300 to $3600. Singapore is unlikely to relax this rule in the near future.

Singapore is always experiencing a manpower crunch, and this ruling could, in effect, give SMEs some discomfort and pressure.


Here’s some comments from the chat forums:

1.Now already got manpower crunch, it’s a fantasy if you were to rely on local talent.

2.Just why companies are willing to take this risk? It is because locals ask for too much! The government should consider this aspect too.

If you, as a EP or S-Pass holder that is currently doing part-time work, it’s best advised you stop now. Do things the right way. Be more hardworking, be more responsive at your workplace, apply for PR, curry flavor a bit…and well, this could lead you to a pay raise or promotion! So, do it the right way!

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