Employment Agencies without a Licence

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Singapore: Four individuals, who are family members and former licensees of different employment agencies (EAs), were convicted on 19 May 2022, 7 July 2022 and 4 August 2022, respectively, for multiple offences under the Employment Agencies Act (EAA) and Employment of Foreign Manpower Act (EFMA).

Following the conviction, all four individuals will be debarred from operating in the EA industry permanently. The EAs, their licensees and the respective sentencing outcomes are as follows.

No Employment Agency Licensee Sentencing outcomes
1 Des Ressources Iris Tan (“Iris”) Fined $45,000 (in default 107 days’ imprisonment)
2 K&E Ressources Kiff Tan (“Kiff”) Fined $32,500 (in default 55 days’ imprisonment) and Compensation order of $7,534.41 (in default 1 week’s imprisonment)
3 International Ressources Grace Tan (“Grace”) Fined $32,500 (in default 57 days’ imprisonment)
4 Paul Network Pte. Ltd.(“Paul Network”) Teo Swee Ling, Pauline (“Pauline”) Fined $2,500 (in default, ten days’ imprisonment)

Case Details

Investigations by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) revealed that all four individuals had performed or abetted the conduct of illegal EA activities:

  • Iris and Kiff had facilitated the employment of two and one Work Permit Holders (“WPHs”), respectively, when they no longer held an EA licence.
  • Grace had allowed Iris to use her EA’s account to make work permit applications. Grace also serviced a former client under Pauline’s EA, performing EA work there without being registered.
  • Iris and Kiff had also overcharged two WPHs of agency fees by $1,172.49 and $7,538.41.

Advisory to Employers and Employment Agencies

Operating an EA without a licence is a serious offence. Offenders can be fined up to $80,000 or jailed for up to two years, or both. EA operators who have been convicted of any criminal offence or have contravened the EAA or licence conditions can have their licences revoked. Anyone who abets an unlicenced EA may also be liable for the same penalties.

To protect work pass holders, Singapore EAs are allowed to collect no more than one month of a worker’s monthly salary for each year of service, capped at two months’ salary. EAs who do not comply with the EAA or Employment Agency Licence Conditions can face a fine up to $5,000. Those who re-offend may also be jailed for up to six months.

Source: MOM

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