Red Crowns Senior Living fined, changes operating model , Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Red Crowns Senior Living fined, changes operating model

Social enterprise Red Crowns Senior Living (RCSL) has been fined and made to change its operating model to comply with the law on employment of foreign manpower.

In its previous model of assisted co-living, RCSL matched four seniors to an apartment, and they were cared for by two migrant domestic workers (MDWs), who were usually new hires under two of the clients in the unit.

Under the new model, RCSL now hires the maids as migrant workers under its own name.

The change came after the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) concluded its investigations into RCSL and found the assisted-living company to have circumvented the MDW levy requirements.

“It also put legal responsibilities on their elderly clients as the employers of migrant domestic workers, when the clients did not have control over the work and welfare of these domestic workers,” MOM said on its Facebook page on April 1. The ministry did not mention the amount of the composition fines for RCSL’s offences under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act.

MOM revealed its probe into the company in a June 2023 posting on its Facebook page. Its investigations into RCSL go as far back as November 2021.

At the time, MOM said it had “serious concerns about RCSL’s operating model” as it could compromise the interests of its elderly clients and well-being of the MDWs.

Under the law, the employer of a migrant maid is responsible for her food, safety, medical care, job scope, accommodation and rest arrangements.

MOM was informed that in RCSL’s case, while the domestic workers were employed by the elderly clients, these clients did not have full control over all areas of the maids’ employment and some were unaware of their legal liabilities as employers.

The ministry has worked closely with RCSL to correct its operating model and ensure continuity of care for its existing clients under the new model.

In an e-mail reply to The Straits Times, MOM said that under the revised operating model, the MDWs have been converted to work permit holders directly hired by RCSL to ensure continuity of care to the elderly clients, whose access to caregiving services was not affected.

The legal responsibilities for these work permit holders now fall on RCSL and not its elderly clients.

RCSL was also shortlisted as one of five companies for a new project to explore whether it is feasible to have live-in foreign workers help care for several seniors sharing an apartment.

The government project, called the Shared Stay-In Senior Care Services sandbox, is a collaboration between the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC), with the support of MOM.

Nevertheless, RCSL remained liable for the offences committed under its previous illegal operating model, MOM said. 

RCSL was set up in February 2021 by Mr Joshua Goh, 43, who had trouble finding quality residential care services for his father. Seeing the growing demand for assisted-living facilities apart from nursing care homes, which are more suitable for seniors who are ill and need more care than relatively healthy older people, he set up a senior co-living service.

A spokesman for RCSL told The Straits Times that it was more concerned with providing appropriate assisted-living facilities and had erred while doing so.

“With the help of MOH, MOM and AIC, we have managed to streamline our processes under the law. We have accepted the outcomes of the findings,” he added.

senior citizensMinistry of ManpowerMinistry of HealthAIC/Agency for Integrated Care