In addition, LTVP letter of consent (LoC)/pre-approved LoC holders enjoy the same rights and protection as other employees under the Employment Act, including timely payment of salaries, paid annual leave, and paid sick leave.
On Tuesday (5 July 2022), Member of Parliament Carrie Tan raised the following Parliamentary questions on Long Term Visit Pass holders in Singapore:
- How many letters of consent (LoCs) for Long Term Visit Pass (LTVP) holders have been approved each month in the past 12 months;
- Whether LoC applications to work in certain industries are given priority and, if so, what these industries are;
- Whether the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has any measures to prevent the exploitation of LTVP holders by employers who hire them informally without contract; and
- The recourse do LTVP holders have if they fall prey to exploitative employers.
In response, Minister for Manpower Dr Tan See Leng noted that Long Term Visit Pass (LTVP) and LTVP+ holders who are foreign spouses or unmarried children (under 21 years old) of Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents are eligible for letters of consent (LoCs) or pre-approved LoCs (PLoCs) to work in Singapore.
He also clarified that all LoC applications are made by the employer, and LoC holders can only work for the employer specified in the LoC. PLoC holders can work in most jobs and the employer only needs to notify MOM at the start of employment," he added.
The Minister further shared that from June 2021 to May 2022, there were about 1,500 PLoC notifications and approved LoC applications on average each month, and all applications are "assessed on their own merits and are not prioritised based on industry."
LTVP LoC/PLoC/ holders enjoy the same rights and protection as other employees under the Employment Act, including timely payment of salaries, paid annual leave, and paid sick leave. Employers are also required to issue them with key employment terms (KETs) which would clearly set out items such as:
- the employees' job title, main duties, and responsibilities;
- start date;
- duration of employment if on a fixed-term contract;
- working arrangements such as working hours;
- salary details;
- leave entitlements;
- medical benefits, and
- probation period and notice period.
Employees hired without formal contracts or KETs are still protected under the Employment Act, Dr Tan pointed out.
"To raise awareness and to ensure that employees do not hesitate to report mistreatment by employers, MOM and partner organisations have stepped up efforts via digital and social media platforms to educate the public to understand their rights and the available avenues for recourse, including when to file a report with MOM."
The Minister also reminded that any employee — local or foreign — who feels that they have been mistreated or exploited should approach MOM for assistance.
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