Posted on: Feb 03, 2012
Since the 2008 Financial Crisis, looking for a job in Singapore has been very though. Gone are the days when Singapore employers will offer you a job after one interview and via phone call.
Now, one has to engage employment agencies no matter what job you are looking for. These agencies ask for a fee or deposit which typically ranges from $20 to $5000.
But, please get a legitimate agency only ---
those with required papers. It should also be hiring employees under valid work permits, and NOT under Social Visit Pass, or dubious OJT/trainee/student permits.
The public can verify the legitimacy of an employment agency through the directory on the MOM website at www.mom.gov.sg/eadirectory.
Recently, a Filipina was fined for operating an unlicensed agency.
Noriza Dancel De Luna is the first employment agent to be convicted as a principal offender under the Revised Employment Agencies Act that came into effect in April 2011. The 30-year-old was fined $50,000 on Tuesday Jan 31.
She was also convicted for hiring her Filippino husband, Caladiao William Tolentino, without a valid work pass. For this, she was fined another $2,500.
Her 35-year-old husband was fined $20,000 on Jan 19 for abetting De Luna in her illegal employment activities. He also faced another charge of working without a valid work pass.
According to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), De Luna was issued a licence to operate an employment agency (EA), RSD Consultancy & Services, in July 2010.
Three months later, she set up another EA but this time without a licence.
She enlisted the help of her husband, who was in Singapore on a social visit pass then, to run the illegal agency, NWCD Consultancy & Services.
William assisted De Luna by posting job advertisements, sourcing for prospective employers and employees, and collecting agency fees, among other duties, between December 2010 and December 2011.
De Luna's licence for RSD expired in July 2011 but it was not renewed as she was being investigated by MOM at that time.
Despite being investigated, De Luna continued with her unlicensed EA activities. She also set up a second unlicensed agency, Impact Manpower, in July 2011.
She conspired with a human resources manager, Tan Hai Hung, to assist her in operating Impact. In order to apply for a licence for the EA, Tan's wife also replaced her as Impact's director. The licence was granted on Nov 18, 2011.
Impact operated from July to November 2011, without a licence. During this period, a licensed EA helped De Luna to apply online for the work passes for foreign workers that she sourced.
De Luna's involvement in Impact was discovered following a query from a member of the public, MOM said.
She was arrested with William on Dec 13, 2011.
Tan was also charged on Dec 15 for abetting in conspiring with De Luna in unlicensed EA activities. His case will be mentioned at a later date.
Action will also be taken against the licensed EA which allegedly helped De Luna with her online work pass applications.
Under the revised EAA, a Filipino, Jeraldine Pagulayan Tuliao, 39, was fined $20,000 on 10 November 2011 for abetting an unlicensed employment agent, Chua Mei Chern, in her illegal EA activities.
MOM has charged Chua Mei Chern for operating as an unlicensed employment agent, and her case will be heard in court at a later date.
Mr Aw Kum Cheong, commissioner for employment agencies, MOM, said: "MOM will continue to step up enforcement and take strong punitive actions against those who act against the law, and undermine the integrity of the work pass framework."