Knowing your rights
HealthServe generally helps migrant workers who are on Work Permit or Special Pass. We hope that the information below will serve as a general guide to help you understand your rights as a Special Pass holder, Work Permit holder or even as an employer.
Special Pass Holders
- A Special Pass (SP) card allows a foreigner to stay in Singapore while they are assisting in investigation, work injury claims or salary claims.
- The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) are the only issuing authorities for such SP cards.
- Foreigners who are issued SPs are not allowed to work in Singapore. SP holders who are found working without a valid work pass would have committed an offence and will be dealt with under the relevant laws.
- All SP cards have a validity date.
- Your SP can be renewed at MOM (Hall C) or ICA (if the pass is issued by ICA).
- If you lose your SP card, you must make a police report and apply for a replacement at MOM/ICA.
Work permit holders
Here are some basic information we’ve compiled from the Ministry of Manpower’s website to help Work Permit holders understand the dos and don’ts while working in Singapore:
- You must have a valid Work Permit (WP) to work in your job and are not allowed to hold a second job to earn more money. If you do not follow the rules, you could get fined or jailed for up to 2 years.
- Check whether your employment agency is licensed. You can find out here:https://service2.mom.gov.sg/eadirectory
- If you engage an employment agency in Singapore, you should not need to pay more than 1 month’s salary in fees for each year of your contract or work permit.
- It is illegal for your employer to ask you to pay for: securing your job, work permit renewal, medical insurance, levy payment, medical fees, compulsory training, repatriation costs and security bond.
- Your employer can only deduct your salary for these reasons: absence of work, cost of meals supplied by your employer, accommodation, amenities and services, recovery of advances, loans, or adjustments in salary overpayment. However, for foreign workers who could not work during Circuit Breaker, employers must continue to be responsible for their maintenance and work out mutually agreed salary and leave arrangements with the unions and employees, especially for low-wage work permit holders who may need more support.
- You should receive your salary regularly every month, within 7 days after the salary period.
- If you work more than 44 hours per week, your employer must pay you overtime pay of 1.5 x your basic salary.
- The accommodation provided by your employer must be clean, safe, and not overcrowded. Private homes can house up to 8 occupants only.
For more information, please read this comprehensive guide provided by MOM:
About Employment Agencies
- Agency Fees: https://www.mom.gov.sg/-/media/mom/documents/publications/foreign-workers/agency-fee-know-the-limits.pdf?la=en&hash=7F78EC16F107A10333FE733911565179
- Legitimate Agencies: https://www.mom.gov.sg/-/media/mom/documents/publications/foreign-workers/no-licence-walk-away.pdf?la=en&hash=F6BED1B6B964406C6837E09BB565E603
- About your work – one pass, one job: https://www.mom.gov.sg/-/media/mom/documents/publications/foreign-workers/one-work-pass-one-job.pdf?la=en&hash=BC614505D627AC150763C02731ABA629
- Employer’s responsibilities: https://www.mom.gov.sg/-/media/mom/documents/publications/foreign-workers/my-employment-my-employer-pays.pdf?la=en&hash=E293908A4ED274A978FB28BDA7D548AE
- Getting your salary: https://www.mom.gov.sg/-/media/mom/documents/publications/foreign-workers/salary-on-time-every-time.pdf?la=en&hash=DBF89D54FBD2BA44E03D628110CD3B0F
- Kickbacks/ deductions: https://www.mom.gov.sg/-/media/mom/documents/publications/foreign-workers/say-no-to-kickbacks.pdf?la=en&hash=90B4104477C6E1AE35AA82822347EC59
- Help from MOM: https://www.mom.gov.sg/-/media/mom/documents/publications/foreign-workers/mom-can-help.pdf?la=en&hash=D26738BD29D311C328F844FEDF671D8B