Two private security firms charged after making officers work up to 20 hours a day

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SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has taken action against several private security firms, including two that made their security guards work up to 20 hours a day.

For deploying their officers beyond authorized working hour limits, MOM charged Erawan Security Services and Volantra Security under the Employment Act.

Security guards at both companies were found to have worked back-to-back shifts – between 17 and 20 hours a day – on multiple occasions between February and March 2021.

“By law, private security agencies must not deploy their security guards to work more than 12 hours a day, unless the exceptions set out in the Employment Act (EA) apply,” said MOM Thursday, October 14.

ACTION AGAINST ERRONEOUS EMPLOYERS

In vetting operations from April to August, MOM inspected nearly 200 private security firms to check their compliance with employment law, including working hours and overtime limits. .

About 36% of agencies committed violations.

Although most of them are minors, MOM said it was taking action against 15 private security firms for deploying their security guards beyond authorized working hours.

Errant employers who flout the provisions of the Employment Act providing for rest days, limits on hours of work and other conditions of service can be prosecuted and fined up to $5,000. for each violation.

If convicted of the second and subsequent offences, the employer may be fined up to S$10,000 or imprisoned for up to 12 months, or both.

Those with information about employment law violations should report the matter at www.mom.gov.sg/report-ea-violation. All information will be kept strictly confidential, MOM said.

“The Department of Manpower is committed to protecting the welfare of all workers,” said Christine Loh, director of the Department of Employment Standards Enforcement.

“As we continue to educate employees about their rights, we will also conduct regular site inspections and take tough action against errant employers who flout the law.

“Security agencies should refer to the Tripartite Council on Ensuring Security Sector Sustainability in Light of COVID-19 to plan ahead and leverage technology solutions to optimize the workforce.”

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