By William Lim
The Philippines is temporarily stopping the deployment of her citizens to Singapore as domestic workers from Sept 2013 due to disagreement to the placement fees foot by the domestic workers themselves.
Over the years, local employers has been spoilt for choices for foreign workers without incurring extra cost to hire them (Be it domestic workers or otherwise) as all the placement fees have been borne by the employees in order to seek work in Singapore.
Singaporeans had been complaining that PMETs (Professionals, Managers, Engineers and Technicians) are being displaced by the foreigners, so why local employers still continue to choose employing foreigners?
Most companies in Singapore do not have the human resources overseeing the hiring process and therefore they turn to HR services provided by employment agencies. Thus searching of good hiring requires money for the recruitment agent, either by the hiring company or the job seekers.
Generally, Singaporeans do not pay for placement fees but the companies will foot the bill for the recruitment process. While for foreign workers, they pay the placement fees instead having the companies to pay for it.
Thus if employer wish to recruit a new staff, they would be more interested to hire the foreign job seekers as they do not need to pay for the placement fee for the workers. And on top of that, the companies would be able to change/reject the job seekers if the workers do not perform up to mark without any added cost.
Manpower Ministry should look into this issue of the placement fee and explore the legalisation to have all employers to bear the placement fees made to the recruitment agent. This measure might just help to relieve the financial burden of the foreign workers, and also to create a better playing field for the Singaporeans seeking jobs in local firms.