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Following the charges of 60-year-old Singaporean Noor Hayah Gulam in April this year, Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has reported that Noor was convicted and fined S$50,000 in default 10 weeks’ imprisonment, for running an employment agency (EA) without a valid EA licence.
According to the release, she had pleaded guilty to one charge under Section 6 (1) of the Employment Agencies Act (EAA). As Noor did not pay the fine, she will serve the default 10 weeks’ imprisonment.
Prior to this, investigations had revealed that Noor performed EA work despite not having a valid EA licence from November 2014 to March 2016. In fact, she deceived the employers whom she was acting for into believing that she was a genuine EA by using another licensed EA’s name.
The release stated that she had posted job advertisements on the web portal for job seekers and employers in the name of another licensed EA’s name, collected bio-data and resumes, conducted recruitment interviews, sourced for potential employers and matched the workers with employers. Furthermore, Noor collected agency fees amounting to about $25,665 from the employers for the services rendered.
However, the employers made their own work pass applications for their respective foreign domestic workers (FDWs). A public complaint led MOM to track her down and uncover the illegal activities, leading to her arrest. MOM will separately be taking enforcement actions against the licensed EA involved in this case.
Commenting on the successful conclusion of the case, Jeanette Har, director, well-being department at MOM’s Foreign Manpower Management Division, said, “It is illegal for individuals to conduct employment agency work without a licence. MOM will take firm action against such errant individuals. Employers of FDWs should use only licensed EAs, who are regulated by MOM and bound by rules which protect the interests of employers and workers, by checking against the EA Directory on MOM’s website.
Additionally, the release reminded that individuals who perform EA activities without a valid EA licence can be fined up to $80,000, or imprisoned for up to two years, or to both, per charge. Similarly, it is also an offence for any person or company to engage the services of an unlicensed EA. Offenders can be fined up to $5,000 per charge.