Things to Consider When Employing Foreign Workers in Singapore

Like other countries, Singapore has set guidelines on the employment of foreign workers. The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) monitors the inflow of foreign workers by setting strict terms of service, such as the acquisition of work permits and a security bond.

Employers seeking unskilled or semi-skilled foreign workers have to take steps to ensure the workers come into the country legally. They also have to follow the set rules and regulations attached to their work passes and apply for security bonds.

You could lose the security bond. 

In a bid to ensure employers only employ workers who comply with the terms of the work permit, MOM requires employers to deposit $5000 as a security bond for every foreign worker they employ. Considering the possible forfeiture of this sum should the employee mess up, employers have to be careful when vetting employees.

You need to find out everything you can about a potential foreign employee before taking them on. If necessary, use an agency that you will hold responsible should the employee go against the terms of the work permit.

Find out which work pass is ideal.

Singapore has different types of work passes, depending on the skill level of the potential employee. For example, the S Pass is for semi-skilled foreign workers earning at least $2,500, while the employment pass is for foreign professionals, managers and executives earning at least $4,500 a month.

When searching for a worker, you need to appreciate the financial implications of each pass. Singapore has strict guidelines on how much employers should pay employees possessing certain passes. So, as you consider the position you want the foreign worker to occupy, you need to be certain you will meet your obligations as an employer.

Ensure the worker is of the right age

MOM not only has guidelines on the skill level attached to a specific work pass, but it also has limits on acceptable age for foreign workers. Employers are expected to indicate the worker’s age when applying for a work permit and security bond MOM.

Foreign workers should be at least 18 years old for them to get a work pass in Singapore. The maximum age limit for Non-Malaysian workers is 50 years, while Malaysians should not be older than 58 years.

Does the worker have all the necessary documents?

Before recruiting a foreign worker, you need to make sure he can submit all the necessary documents to process the work permit and security bond. For example, the worker’s employment pass is subject to the validity of the passport. A foreign worker is unlikely to get a work permit for two years if his passport is expiring in nine months.

You also need to check all the documents to establish his skill level against the type of pass for which he will be applying.

As an employer, you will be undertaking a huge responsibility hiring foreign employees. Any failure on your part to ensure the employee meets the work permit and security bond requirements will reflect badly on you.

Carrying out due diligence and ensuring the employee has all the necessary documents will guarantee smooth processing of the work permit and security bond.