Coronavirus: MOM revokes work passes of 4 holders for breaching 14-day leave of absence rule

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·2-min read
People seen wearing face masks along Orchard Road on 9 February 2020. (PHOTO: Dhany Osman / Yahoo News Singapore)
People seen wearing face masks along Orchard Road on 9 February 2020. (PHOTO: Dhany Osman / Yahoo News Singapore)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has revoked the work passes of four work pass holders and permanently banned them from working in Singapore for breaking the leave of absence (LOA) requirements put in place to control the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) situation.

Between Tuesday (4 February) and Saturday, the four work pass holders were caught working at their workplaces during the period of their 14-day LOA, MOM said in a statement on Sunday.

MOM has suspended the work pass privileges of six employers for two years for also breaching the LOA requirements.

In addition, MOM has found two Permanent Residents (PRs) working at their workplaces during the period of their LOA. MOM will hold employers responsible for ensuring that those who need to be on LOA stay away from the workplace.

MOM has been conducting regular random checks on work pass holders who have been placed on LOA through inspections, telephone or video calls.

Employers are reminded that all work pass holders with recent travel history to mainland China are required to serve the LOA upon their arrival in Singapore.

“Employers and employees have a joint duty to ensure that the employee behaves responsibly during the leave of absence. MOM will not hesitate to revoke the work passes and withdraw work pass privileges against errant employers or employees.”

From 2359 hours, 8 February 2020, employers must obtain MOM’s approval for all work pass holders with travel history to mainland China within the last 14 days, before they can enter or return to Singapore.

During a visit to Tuas View Dormitory on Thursday, Lawrence Wong, co-chair of the multi-ministry taskforce on the novel coronavirus and National Development Minister, said employers whose employees are serving the LOA will get $100 a day for each affected worker – both Singapore residents and work pass holders alike –, on top of a waiver for foreign worker levy where applicable.

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