Repatriation of foreign workers for dependency ratio ceiling violations by employers

I asked the Minister for Manpower given a recent instance of a foreign worker being repatriated for a Dependency Ratio Ceiling violation whereby the ruling was subsequently reversed on appeal but the foreign worker was not able to return as a work permit holder, what provisions are in place to ensure processing of appeals prior to repatriation or to allow for the reversibility of rulings post-repatriation.

Parliamentary Question on 19 January 2015

Mr Gerald Giam Yean Song asked the Minister for Manpower given a recent instance of a foreign worker being repatriated for a Dependency Ratio Ceiling violation whereby the ruling was subsequently reversed on appeal but the foreign worker was not able to return as a work permit holder, what provisions are in place to ensure processing of appeals prior to repatriation or to allow for the reversibility of rulings post-repatriation.

Mr Tan Chuan-Jin: Business employers are required to keep within their Dependency Ratio Ceiling (DRC) when hiring foreign workers. The DRC is calculated based on the company’s local workforce, as reflected via its CPF contributions to its employees. When a company reduces its local workforce or fails to make its CPF contributions on time, its Dependency Ratio will exceed the DRC.

MOM will then request the company to rectify the situation by either increasing its local workforce or cancelling some work passes so as to keep within the DRC. In such instances, employers are given a choice as to which work pass holders to retain and which to let go. Employers are given ample opportunity to take remedial action before MOM cancels any work passes. We will also take in appeals from employers if the situation is rectified before the workers are sent home. Employers may still re-hire the workers if they have sufficient room within their DRC.

To avoid unnecessary disruption to business operations, employers should ensure that they maintain sufficient local workers to keep within its DRC.

Author: Gerald Giam

Gerald Giam is the Member of Parliament for Aljunied GRC. He is a member of the Workers' Party of Singapore. The opinions expressed on this page are his alone.