Employment Agency fined $30,000 for making work pass applications

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) recently took actions against the sole proprietor of Sunlight Employment Agency who submitted 16 work pass applications on behalf of an unlicensed employment agent. She was paid $200 for every successful application made and $30 for every unsuccessful application. This is the first EA to be convicted for such an offence since the revised Employment Agencies Act (EAA) came into effect in April 2011.
The 56-year-old Singaporean EA was fined $30,000 in default to one month's imprisonment. Under the EAA, it is an offence for any EA personnel of a licensee to submit a work pass application to the Controller of Work Passes on behalf of any person who has not obtained an EA licence. Those convicted face a fine not exceeding $80,000 or a jail term not exceeding two years or to both. In addition, the errant EA will have its licence revoked. An EA which has its licence revoked will also be barred from operating an EA in future.
Access to the work pass application systems is only granted to licensed EAs and employers. We are aware that some licensed EAs and employers allow unlicensed EAs to thrive by submitting work pass applications in their own name to MOM. Therefore just as employers must check if the agents they are working with are registered under licensed EAs, licensed EAs must also exercise their due diligence by checking if the persons they are working with are legitimate. This is to be done by checking the company or person’s identity against MOM’s EA Directory.
Please refer to our press release for more details.

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