Nearly nine in 10 foreign workers in Singapore are generally satisfied with their working conditions, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) revealed yesterday (9 June).

This was based on MOM's 2018 Foreign Worker Experience Survey, where respondents ranked Singapore as a destination of choice for work, and said they would recommend their family and friends to work in the country.

In total, about 2,500 work permit holders (WPHs) and 500 S Pass holders had participated in the survey.

Speaking on these findings in a speech yesterday, Zaqy Mohamad, Minister of State for Manpower, said: "I am also heartened that a majority of the respondents felt that MOM had done well in protecting foreign workers. Most of them also found it easy to approach MOM for help, if they faced employment issues or experienced any unfair behaviour at work."

Key reasons these foreign workers had positive attitudes towards working in Singapore include:

High satisfaction with pay, living conditions, safety and security

According to the survey, 86.3% of WPHs surveyed and 87.5% of S Pass holders surveyed were satisfied with working in Singapore, and in fact a majority would recommend the country as a place for work (84% and 91% respectively).

Further, the "pay, living conditions, high levels of safety and security" in Singapore were common reasons for these feelings of satisfaction. In specific, 87.1% of WPHs and 88.3% of S Pass holders indicated that their workplace working conditions were safe.

High awareness of channels of information and assistance

Of those surveyed, 63.% of WPHs and 79.1% of S Pass holders, or a majority, had obtained information on their employment rights from MOM.

At the same time, a majority of WPHs and S Pass Holders (87% and 89.6% respectively) felt MOM had done well in protecting foreign workers, and was approachable if any employment issues arose.

Continued efforts regarding In-Principle Approval letters

A majority of the non-Malaysian WPHs who were surveyed indicated that they had received their In-Principle Approval (IPA) letters before entering Singapore, which is a requirement by the ministry.

The MOM added that it will "investigate and enforce against any employer and employment agency who does not send the IPA letter to the worker prior to his departure to Singapore. Failure to send the IPA letter is an infringement under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Regulations, and carries a maximum financial penalty of S$10,000."

Going forward, Minister Zaqy added: "We are encouraged that most foreign workers continue to be satisfied with working in Singapore, and find Singapore an attractive work destination.

"We will continue to work closely with our stakeholders, including employers and non-governmental organisations, to ensure that foreign workers’ well-being and interests are safeguarded."

Photo / 123RF