Foreign workers in Singapore report overall high levels of satisfaction about their employment conditions and well-being in the country.
This was the key finding of a study conducted by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and Migrant Workers’ Centre, among Work Permit and S Pass holders.
About nine in 10 migrant workers were satisfied with working in Singapore, and a similar number would recommend the country as a place to work.
The most common reasons were “good pay, good working and living conditions, and sense of security.” As a result, more than 70% planned to continue working with their current employers post the expiry of their contracts.
Overall, a majority (about 94%) stated that their working conditions were consistent with the promises made by those who helped them get the job. A similar number also said they were aware of the components of their salary.
However, the results point to scope for improvement in the employment process, where 4% of the respondents did not receive any In-Principle Approval (IPA) letters. Almost 75% of workers (excluding Malaysians) received their letters in English, while 21% received them in their native languages.
The worker’s copy of the IPA letter is issued by the MOM’s Work Pass Division, and employers are required to send this to workers prior to their departure for Singapore.
Compared to the previous study conducted in 2011, migrant workers reported to be less likely aware of employment laws, such as that they are not allowed to work for another employer other than the one specified in their work permits, or that they can claim compensation for permanent disabilities due to work accidents.
They were also less likely to receive a physical record of salary payments.
In cases of employment-related problems, these workers were most likely to approach their supervisors, followed by MOM. About nine in 10 expressed confidence that MOM was fair and would be able to help them.