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Fewer workplace fatalities in first half of 2017

Construction workers from Bangladesh and India attend a briefing before starting work at a construction site in Singapore March 24, 2016. (File photo: REUTERS/Edgar Su)  SINGAPORE: Fewer workers died in workplace accidents in the first half of the year compared to the same period last year, the Manpower Ministry and the WSH Institute said in a press release on Wednesday (Aug 2).  There were 19 workplace fatalities from January to June, down from 24 in the second half of 2016 and 42 in the first half of 2016. The manufacturing sectorRead More


Fewer layoffs, unemployment situation improves in Q2: Manpower Ministry

People crossing a street in Singapore’s central business district. (File photo: Ngau Kai Yan)  SINGAPORE: Fewer workers were laid off and the unemployment situation for Singaporeans and residents showed signs of improvement in the second quarter, according to preliminary estimates released by the Manpower Ministry (MOM) on Friday (Jul 28). A total of 3,500 workers were retrenched in the April to June period, down from 4,000 in the previous quarter and 4,800 in the same period a year ago. The decrease was broad-based across industries, the ministry said. The unemploymentRead More


After deadly collapse, more cracks found at viaduct sections

Rows of metal supports have been erected to support parts of an incomplete Upper Changi Road East viaduct after cracks were found during an investigation looking into the deadly collapse of a section last week. The cracks were discovered at 11 locations on load-bearing corbels at the work site, said the Land Transport Authority (LTA) yesterday. As a precautionary measure, the viaduct sections where the cracks were discovered have been further propped up, it added. On Friday last week, two corbels – meant to bear the load of horizontal beamsRead More


PIE work site collapse: Bypass road to open on Sunday afternoon instead, says LTA

SINGAPORE – The temporary bypass road to connect motorists from Upper Changi Road East to Pan-Island Expressway (Changi) will open by Sunday (July 16) afternoon, instead of on Saturday, the Land Transport Authority said in a statement. “Due to the wet weather conditions, more time was needed to prepare the ground, before we are able to proceed with the paving of the temporary road surface,” said LTA. “As safety is paramount, LTA will carry out a review of the temporary road and conduct a trial drive-through before opening the roadRead More


PIE work site accident: Investigation will focus on design, construction process, says MOM

SINGAPORE: The design and construction process of an uncompleted viaduct near the Pan-Island Expressway (PIE) will be the focus of an investigation into why it collapsed in the early hours of Friday (Jul 14). One worker was killed and 10 others injured after the structure on which they were standing collapsed. “MOM officers from the Occupational Safety and Health Inspectorate have been onsite since this morning to conduct a thorough investigation which will focus on the design and construction process of the flyover,” Minister of State for Manpower Sam Tan said inRead More


MOM busts illegal employment syndicate, arrests 13

Officers arresting one of thirteen suspects linked to a syndicate that brought foreign workers into Singapore illegally. (Photo: MOM) SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has dismantled a syndicate involved in bringing in foreign workers for illegal employment in Singapore in an island-wide operation on Thursday (Jul 13), it said. In a press release, MOM said it inspected residential units, office premises and workers’ quarters in locations such as Jalan Besar, Little India and Toa Payoh as part of the operation, which lasted more than 18 hours. Thirteen people, including three suspected syndicateRead More


MOH may make it mandatory for private sector to join national health database

The Ministry of Health (MOH) has been trying for years to get the private sector on board the National Electronic Health Records (NEHR), with little success. Now, it might take off the velvet gloves and make it compulsory. Ministry officials have been discussing plans to make participation in the NEHR a licensing requirement under a new Healthcare Services Act, so clinics and hospitals will have to provide patient information to the system. The NEHR, launched in 2013, is now used by all public healthcare institutes and very few private ones.Read More


Stepped up enforcement actions by MOM after vehicular work injuries hit 287 in five months

SINGAPORE – The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will be stepping up enforcement measures to improve vehicular safety at workplaces. In a press release issued on Tuesday (June 20), a ministry spokesman said over 250 inspections are planned over the next eight weeks. Vehicular incidents were the highest contributor to workplace fatalities in the first five months of this year. There were 287 vehicular work injuries during that period, of which six were fatal. From January to May, MOM conducted over 400 inspections of warehouses, storage yards, factories and construction sites,Read More


Singaporean charged over hiring foreigners without valid work passes to work at night markets

SINGAPORE – A 40-year-old Singaporean, Sao Wei Loon, was charged on Thursday (June 1) over hiring 19 foreigners without valid work passes to work at night markets. Investigations revealed that Sao hired 19 Indonesian nationals without valid work passes to work illegally as stall assistants at three pasar malam or night markets last year, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said. The illegal employment period ranged from three days to more than three weeks, and the offence was committed between June 1 and Sept 16, 2016. If convicted, he faces a fineRead More


Singapore slaps fines on Credit Suisse and UOB in money laundering probe of Malaysian development fund

Singapore’s central bank has fined Credit Suisse and United Overseas Bank (UOB) for breaches relating to the scandal-hit Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), it said in a statement on Tuesday The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said it has imposed a 700,000 Singapore dollars ($505,000) fine on Credit Suisse and a 900,000 Singapore dollars ($649,000) penalty on UOB. The two banks were found to have breached several anti-money laundering requirements. The Monetary Authority of Singapore’s headquarters in Singapore “These include weaknesses in conducting due diligence on customersRead More


Foreign domestic workers to be better insured against accidents under new rules starting Oct 1

SINGAPORE – Employers will have to provide better insurance coverage for their foreign domestic workers, under new rules that kick in on Oct 1. They will need to buy personal accident insurance policies with coverage of at least $60,000, up from the current $40,000. Minister of State for Manpower Sam Tan announced this on Sunday (May 7) along with other enhancements to personal accident insurance requirements for maids, during a May Day celebration organised for them by the labour movement. As a result of the increase in coverage of $20,000,Read More


9 in 10 companies paid retrenchment benefits in 2015: MOM report

SINGAPORE: Nine in 10 establishments continued to pay retrenchment benefits to eligible employees although the eligibility service period for retrenchment benefits was shortened, according to the “Retrenchment Benefits 2015” report released by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on Thursday (Dec 29). In line with shorter employment tenures, the eligibility service period for retrenchment benefits was shortened from three years to two years and this took effect on Apr 1, 2015. Even so, the report said that around 90 per cent of companies continued to pay retrenchment benefits to eligible employees. A total ofRead More


Property agents in Singapore becoming Uber drivers

SINGAPORE (BLOOMBERG) – When Mr Billy Loh started in 2008 as a property agent, his profession was seen as a route to wealth in Singapore. Now, he has to know his way around the city to pay the bills. Mr Loh, 50, is driving for Uber Technologies when government curbs to cool the market have mired property prices in the longest losing streak in 17 years and transaction volumes have plunged by as much as two-thirds since 2012. After going half a year without doing any deals, he switched to driving andRead More


MOM Officer Phone Scam

Received a call from “MOM” officers? Beware it might be a scam! Police have received several reports of victims who received phone calls from scammers claiming to be officers from Ministry of Manpower (MOM). The scammers would call the victims using a phone number similar to the MOM Contact Centre’s hotline (6438 5122) and inform them about an error in their personal particulars. They were then told to transfer money to an account to settle issues related to their stay in Singapore or work pass application. MOM has clarified thatRead More