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MOM suspends licence of employment agency behind ads on online marketplace

An employment agency (EA), SRC Recruitment LLP, which was behind the advertisements marketing foreign domestic workers (FDWs) on online marketplace, Carousell has been served with a notice of licence suspension by the Minister of Manpower (MOM) and can no longer emplace any new FDWs.

In a press release on Wednesday (19 September), MOM revealed that it is investigating into the EA with the view to take prosecution actions for infringements under the Employment Agencies Act (EAA).

Mr Kevin Teoh, Commissioner for Employment Agencies, said, “The MOM is committed to protecting the well-being of FDWs in Singapore.  We strongly condemn the advertising of FDW services in an undignified manner. Advertising FDWs on an internet platform meant for trading goods is completely inappropriate and unacceptable."

"Such an act is an offence under the EAA. The Ministry takes a very serious view on this matter, and we will not hesitate to take prosecution actions on errant EAs," it added.

According to the authority, when MOM was first alerted to the postings on Carousell on 14 September 2018, a Facebook post was put out immediately to warn EAs against such practices. MOM also told Carousell to take down the offending posts.

MOM stressed that it expects all EAs to exercise a duty of care towards their clients, including FDWs and that the Ministry sternly warns EAs against similar actions that would denigrate the dignity of FDWs working in Singapore.

MOM added that it is also in touch with the Indonesian Embassy and have informed them that we are investigating the case.

The ministry had earlier announced on its Facebook page that it is aware aware of cases where foreign domestic workers (FDWs) are being marketed inappropriately.

MOM stressed that advertising FDWs like commodities is unacceptable and an offence under Section 11(1)(c) of the Employment Agencies Act, which states that an employment agency (EA) should not act in a manner likely to be detrimental to the interests of its clients.

If found guilty, an EA will face demerit points and have its licence suspended or revoked.

The ministry also stressed that it is a serious offence to conduct EA activities without a valid licence. Offenders can be fined up to $80,000 and/or jailed for up to two years. Anyone who uses the services provided by an unlicensed EA can also be fined up to $5,000.