Employment of Foreign Manpower Act
(Original Enactment: Act 21 of 1990)
REVISED EDITION 2009
(31st July 2009)
An Act relating to the employment of foreign manpower.
[1st January 1991]
2. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires —
“Appeal Board” means the Appeal Board established by the Minister under section 25H;
“authorised officer”, in relation to any provision in this Act, means any public officer authorised in that behalf by the Minister for the purposes of that provision;
“body corporate” includes a limited liability partnership registered under the Limited Liability Partnerships Act (Cap. 163A);
“construction works” means the construction, extension, installation, carrying out, repair, maintenance, renewal, removal, alteration, dismantling or demolition of —
any building, erection, edifice, structure, wall, fence or chimney, whether constructed wholly or partly above or below ground level;
any road, motorway, harbour works, railway, cableway, canal or aerodrome;
any drainage, irrigation or river control work;
any electrical, water, gas or telecommunication works; or
any bridge, viaduct, dam, reservoir, earthworks, pipeline, sewer, aqueduct, culvert, drive, shaft, tunnel or reclamation,
and includes any works which form an integral part of, or are preparatory to the works described in paragraphs (a) to (e), including site clearance, earth-moving, excavation, laying of foundation, site restoration and landscaping, and such other works or activities as the Minister may, by notification in the Gazette, specify to be construction works;
“Controller” means the Controller of Work Passes appointed under section 3;
“debarred”, in relation to a person, means a person who is debarred under section 7(4)(d) from applying for, or being issued with, a work pass;
“employ” means to engage or use the service of any person for the purpose —
of any work; or
of providing any training for that person,
whether under a contract of service or otherwise, and with or without salary;
“employer” means any person employing a foreign employee, and includes —
for the purposes of an application for a work pass, any person who has the intention or purports to have the intention to employ a foreign employee; or
in a case where a foreign employee has or had a valid work pass, any person specified in the work pass as the employer of the foreign employee;
“employment inspector” means the Controller and any person appointed as an employment inspector under section 3;
“foreign employee” means —
any foreigner, other than a self-employed foreigner, who seeks or is offered employment in Singapore; or
such other person or class of persons as the Minister may, by notification in the Gazette, specify;
“foreigner” means any person who is not a citizen or permanent resident of Singapore;
“in-principle approval” means the in-principle approval of an application for a work pass issued by the Controller under section 7(2A);
“levy” means the levy imposed under section 11;
“occupier”, in relation to any premises, includes —
the person having the charge, management or control of either the whole or part of the premises either on his own account or as an agent; and
any person who is carrying out construction or other works at the premises on behalf of some other person;
“premises” includes —
any building or structure, whether permanent or temporary;
any land, whether or not built on;
any place, whether or not enclosed, including any place situated underground or underwater;
any vehicle, vessel or aircraft; and
any part of any premises;
“prescribed infringement” means —
any contravention of section 9(1), 25(1), (2), (3) or (4) or 25A(2);
any contravention of any provision in the regulations made under this Act that is prescribed as a prescribed infringement; or
the abetment, within the meaning of section 25F, of any contravention referred to in paragraph (a) or (b);
“regulatory condition” means a condition of an in-principle approval or a work pass that —
is prescribed by the Minister as a regulatory condition; or
is imposed by the Controller under section 7 as a regulatory condition;
“self-employed foreigner” means any foreigner who, not being employed under a contract of service, seeks to engage in or engages in —
any trade, vocation or profession, whether for the purpose of gain or otherwise; or
any other activity in Singapore for the purpose of gain;
“train”, in relation to a foreign employee, means to teach, instruct or educate the foreign employee in relation to the work in which the foreign employee is employed or to be employed;
“valid work pass” means a work pass that is valid in accordance with section 12;
“work pass” means a work pass belonging to any prescribed category of work passes which is issued by the Controller under section 7.
[37/95; 26/2001; 30/2007]
—(1) In this Act, “personal identifier” means any of the identifiers specified in the Schedule (including any in digital form).
(2) The Minister may, by order published in the Gazette, amend the Schedule, except that any other personal identifier so prescribed in the order must —
be an image of, or a measurement or recording of, an external part of the human body; and
—(1) The Minister may appoint a Controller of Work Passes who shall have such functions and powers as are conferred on him by this Act and such number of Deputy Controllers of Work Passes and Assistant Controllers of Work Passes as the Minister may think necessary to assist the Controller in the proper discharge of his functions.
(1A) The Deputy Controllers of Work Passes and the Assistant Controllers of Work Passes shall have and may exercise and perform all the powers, duties and functions of the Controller conferred by this Act (except the power of delegation conferred by subsection (3)), subject to such limitations as the Controller may think fit to impose.
(2) The Minister may appoint such number of employment inspectors as he may think fit for carrying out the purposes of this Act.
(3) The Controller may delegate the exercise of all or any of the functions or powers conferred on him by this Act (except the power of delegation conferred by this subsection) to one or more authorised officers, subject to such conditions or limitations as set out in this Act or as the Controller may specify in writing; and any reference in this Act to the Controller shall include a reference to such an authorised officer.
(4) For the purposes of this Act, an authorised officer may be given such title as the Minister may, by notification in the Gazette, specify.
3A. The Controller and every Deputy Controller of Work Passes, Assistant Controller of Work Passes and employment inspector appointed under section 3 shall be deemed to be public servants within the meaning of the Penal Code (Cap. 224).