Two security firms charged with making staff work over 12 hours a day
In a move to guard against unacceptable work practices, two private security agencies have been hauled up for having their staff work between 17 and 20 hours a day.
Erawan Security Services and Volantra Security were each charged under the Employment Act with making their officers work over 12 hours a day on multiple days between February and March. Erawan faces two charges and Volantra, three.
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) inspected about 200 private security agencies from April to August, checking for compliance with working hours and overtime limits. It found that about a third of the agencies had breaches.
While most of these were minor, the ministry said it would be taking action against 15 of them for exceeding the working hour limits.
In a press release yesterday, MOM said its investigations found that the security officers from Erawan and Volantra were made to work back-to-back shifts. It said stakeholders have been working to improve the wages and well-being of some 50,000 security officers since the formation of the Security Tripartite Cluster in 2013.
The cluster consists of representatives from the unions, employers, services buyers and the Government. In 2017, it made recommendations to remove overtime exemption for the sector from January this year. The Government accepted this, and the security sector is no longer exempt from the limit of 72 overtime hours a month.
Those with information on breaches are advised to report the matter to MOM via its website. All information will be kept strictly confidential.
Errant employers found flouting the Employment Act may be fined up to $5,000 for each offence. Repeat offenders may be jailed for up to a year and fined up to $10,000.