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     FrontPage Edition: Sun 28 March 2004

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New Online Foreign Workers' Address System (OFWAS) from 1 May 2004

To better manage foreign workers in Singapore for health and security concerns, MOM will require all employers of Work Permit (WP) holders (excluding foreign domestic workers) to update the current residential addresses of their foreign workers.

The information provided by the employers will enable MOM to reach out quickly and directly to all foreign workers in Singapore should the need arise. This need was amply demonstrated during the recent SARS crisis. 

Effective from 1 May 2004, employers of new WP holders must provide the residential address of a foreign worker within five working days of their commencement of employment. The WP card will only be issued after the employer has provided the address of his new foreign worker.

Employers are also required to update any subsequent changes in the workerís address. Employers of existing WP holders will have until 15 May 2004 to provide the updated residential addresses of their WP holders to the Ministry.

With immediate effect, employers can access the On-Line Foreign Workersí Address System (OFWAS) via MOM website at http://www.mom.gov.sg to register the addresses of their foreign workers. MOM is conducting a one-time exercise from now till May 2004 to assist employers to provide the residential addresses of their existing WP holders.

Other than using OFWAS, employers may also submit their workerís addresses via email or send them to MOM using the prescribed format available on the website. More details on these two alternatives are available at MOMís website.

The Ministry seeks the co-operation of the employers to provide accurate and current residential addresses of their foreign workers. Those who fail to do so will be breaching a WP condition and the Ministry can withdraw the existing WPs or reject subsequent WP applications submitted by such employers.

Those who wilfully register false addresses will be liable to a fine not exceeding $5,000, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months, if convicted under the Employment of Foreign Workers Act.

Employers can visit MOM website at http://www.mom.gov.sg or contact MOMís one call centre at 6438 5122.  For technical problems regarding the use of OFWAS, employers can also call the OFWAS help-desk at 6419 2725 or email to MOM_FWAS@mom.gov.sg.

Source: Ministry of Manpower Press Release 22 Mar 2004

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