they could change jobs. Employers were not obliged to agree

for September

and this gave them great leverage over the worker. NOCs are


now abolished.

6 October 2020

In Singapore, we still embrace bondage

 Kader’s girlfriend,
wife and baby
6 October 2020

Although we do not use the term ‘kafala system’ in Singapore,
we too have such a system. In Singapore, migrant workers
cannot change employers (we also use the term ‘transfer’) until

 Raju told to go
home, “then my

the current employer has given permission for him or her to do

case how?”


5 October 2020

allowed a little job mobility, but it bene ts only the rarest worker.

 Monzurul

Currently, there are only two ways a migrant worker in Singapore

wealth — of

can change employer wthout needing to get the current

English words

employer’s permission:

3 October 2020

In the last few years, our Ministry of Manpower (MOM) bas

Firstly, when, 40 days before the expiry of the worker’s
Work Permit (but see (b) below), the employer indicates
that he is not renewing it. Then the worker gets 20 days
(yes, only 20 days!) to look for a new job, otherwise, he
will be repatriated. Note that

 Palm oil products
from Malaysian
company banned
from US because
of labour abuses
1 October 2020

(a) If the employer chooses to renew the Work
Permit, the worker does not get the 20-day window
of opportunity to look for a different job. The worker
is stuck with the existing employer, whether he likes


it or not (talk about bondage!) though he can resign
and accept repatriation;
(b) Even this 20-day window is only for workers in
the construction, marine and process sectors.
Workers in other sectors, such as manufacturing,
sanitation, services, do not even enjoy this.

Abuse & bullying
Accident reporting
Con nement
Contract problems

Secondly, when the employer has commited some
infringement, e.g. failing to pay salaries, then MOM, at its

Criminal charges

discretion, may give workers a few weeks to look for a


new job without facing repatriation. Such permission from
MOM is entirely discretionary, is not enshrined in any


written law, and therefore cannot be relied upon as a right.

Economics of

What changed in Qatar?



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