New licensing conditions for dormitories
From next year, operators of dormitories in factories or other workplaces will have to meet additional licensing conditions announced by the Manpower Ministry (MOM) yesterday.
The rules, which kick in on New Year, will require operators to provide workers with Wi-Fi, personal lockers, a way to provide feedback on their accommodation and at least one sick bay or contingency plans for infectious disease cases, reported The Straits Times Online.
Minister of State for Manpower Teo Ser Luck said yesterday that the new conditions for factory-converted dorms (FCDs) will help to ensure workers are better taken care of while they are here. These were decided on after feedback from industry players.
"They are conducive and basic enough that they will help the workers in their day-to-day living," he told some 600 company representatives at an FCD seminar at the Textile Centre.
The 1,000 or so FCDs, which house about 80,000 workers in total, must already provide basic amenities such as one electrical point per worker, bed frames and clean sanitary facilities.
Since last August, MOM has inspected about 900 FCDs and has taken enforcement action, such as warnings or prosecution, against 160 that were found to be overcrowded, or had poor hygiene standards or other substandard living conditions.
The 50 or so large purpose-built dorms with at least 1,000 beds have to adhere to stricter rules under the Foreign Employee Dormitory Act, which took effect on Jan 1 this year.