Employers in the construction, marine shipyard and process (CMP) sectors will be required to provide proof of acceptable accommodation for their new work permit holders before the workers are allowed to enter Singapore, said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on Monday.
This new requirement will apply to non-Malaysian workers arriving in Singapore from Sept 19, and is in addition to the work permit approval. Employers will need to provide documents, such as tenancy or rental agreements, or contracts with accommodation providers, to the ministry.
Those who house their workers in purpose-built dormitories, construction temporary quarters (CTQs), temporary occupation licence quarters (TOLQs), or their own dormitories, will obtain approvals within a week. Employers who house their workers in private residential properties, hotels or hostels should expect the approval process to take around six weeks or longer due to additional checks.
Employers who bring their workers into Singapore without the required proof of accommodation may face suspension of their work pass privileges.
The move comes as the number of work permit holders in the CMP sectors in July was 19 per cent higher than during pre-Covid-19 levels, as MOM has been facilitating the entry of workers into Singapore so that employers can catch up on Covid-19-delayed projects.
The Government has been working with the industry to increase dormitory bed supply, adding nearly 17,000 beds since December 2022, MOM said. “Nevertheless, the increased number of work permit holders has led to near full occupancy at dormitories and more migrant workers are being housed in non-dormitory accommodation. There is a need to moderate the demand for non-dormitory accommodation, and to ensure that workers have acceptable accommodation,” the ministry added.
Employers are encouraged to contribute to bed supply by building their own accommodation such as CTQs, TOLQs or factory-converted dormitories to house their workers. This will also expedite approval for these workers as the verification process will be quicker, MOM said.