Knowing where work pass holders are staying is crucial in cases such as emergency contact tracing. But in the last two years, 175 firms have been fined over $1.1 million in total for failing to promptly update the residential addresses of 960 of them.
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said on Wednesday (Jan 26) that these companies had failed to do so despite repeated reminders through calls and e-mails.
The firms were fined between $500 and $2,000 for each work pass holder.
Employers must keep the ministry informed of the residential addresses of their work pass holders via MOM’s Online Foreign Worker Address Service online system under the Employment of Foreign Manpower (Work Passes) Regulations.
Changes in residential addresses must also be updated in the system within five days of relocation.
“The accuracy of this information is critical in facilitating communications to work pass holders, and for public health or emergency contact tracing purposes,” said an MOM spokesman.
Employers are encouraged to maintain regular communication with their workers, and to get their workers to keep the companies updated if they move to a different address on their own, added the spokesman.
MOM said it will continue to take enforcement action against employers who fail to update their workers’ residential addresses in the online system promptly.
Those who do not comply with Employment of Foreign Manpower (Work Passes) Regulations conditions may be fined up to $10,000 or jailed for up to 12 months, or both, per charge.
“We urge all employers of work pass holders to heed this reminder,” said MOM.