Employment agent fined SG$20k for 'insensitive advertising' of domestic workers

SRC Recruitment's (SRC) employment agent has been fined SG$20,000 for advertising maids on Carousell. According to court documents seen by CNA, she was given the "green light" by SRC's management to source for potential employers through Carousell. SRC’s licence has since been suspended while the agency has been de-registered as an EA personnel. Marketing has reached out to MOM for comment.

Ministry of Manpower (MOM) prosecutor Vala M said in court that the accused had posted the "available foreign domestic workers for selection by prospective employers on Carousell with details that would cast the foreign domestic workers in a manner akin to a commodity that can be bought and sold".

Found guilty of 10 charges under the Employment Agency Licence Conditions, the article added that these were for "insensitive advertising that cast foreign domestic workers in an undignified light" and "failing to ensure that the full name and licence number" of her agency was stated when advertising. As such, eighty-nine other similar charges were taken into consideration.

Earlier last month, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) prosecuted SRC and its employment agent, for insensitive advertising of foreign domestic workers (FDWs).  The advertisements were placed between 1 September and 17 September 2018, on Carousell, casting the FDWs in an undignified light, according to the press statement. The incident first came to light on 14 September, when MOM said in a Facebook post that it is aware of cases where FDWs are being “marketed inappropriately” on Carousell. It added that it is investigating those cases and have arranged for the listings to be removed.

Shortly after on 19 September, MOM issued a statement indicating that SRC was behind the advertisements marketing FWDs on Carousell and has been served with a notice of licence suspension and can no longer emplace any new FDWs.

In an earlier statement, commissioner for Employment Agencies, Kevin Teoh, said MOM is committed to protecting the well-being of FDWs in Singapore.

“We strongly condemn the advertising of FDW services in an undignified manner. Advertising FDWs on an internet platform meant for trading goods is completely inappropriate and unacceptable. Such an act is an offence under the EAA. The Ministry takes a very serious view on this matter, and we will not hesitate to take prosecution actions on errant EAs,” Teoh added.