Foreign Workers Dormitories | Governmental policy about foreign workers’ accommodation in Singapore
‘Singapore’s population had reached 5.08 million in June 2010’ (Singapore Department of Statistics 2010). There are ‘over 110,000 expatriates and 7,000 multinational companies operating here’ (Singapore Ministry of Manpower 2012). Singapore is a home to multicultural workforces of Indian, Malay, Indonesian, Chinese and other races.
Foreign workers refer to semi-skilled or unskilled workers who mainly work in the construction, manufacturing, and domestic services sectors. According to the Employment of Foreign Manpower (Work Passes) Regulations, one of responsibilities of Singapore employers is to ensure that their workers have acceptable accommodations which meet the ‘various statutory requirements’ (Singapore Ministry of Manpower 2011). This includes:
• Proper land use by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), Housing Development Board (HDB) or Jurong Town Corporation (JTC);
• Building structural safety standards by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA);
• Fire and safety standards by the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF);
• Environmental health requirements by the National Environment Agency (NEA); and
• Drainage and sanitary/sewerage system requirements by the Public Utilities Board (PUB).
Foreign Workers Dormitories | The statistics of Singapore foreign worker
Foreign Workers in Singapore, 1990-2010
|Year||Total labor force||No. of foreign workers||Percent of total labor force|
Sourced: Adapted from Singapore Department of Statistics 2001 (for 1990) and Singapore Department of Statistics 2011 (for 2000 and 2010).
Foreign Workers Dormitories | The demand of foreign worker and foreign worker dormitories in Singapore
The number of foreign workers required in Singapore will still be high in the next few years. For example, many committed construction projects need sufficient foreign workers in Singapore.
Singapore provides several foreign worker housing options for the consideration of different industries. The dormitory set up within factory premises, purpose built dormitories and quarters provided within construction sites, etc.
Many foreign workers are living in overcrowded conditions because of insufficient proper dormitories in Singapore. There were 40 commercial foreign worker dormitories had been supplied to the market. With the gradually increasing of foreign workers in Singapore, more foreign workers’ dormitories are under construction to meet the immediate demand.
Singapore Department of Statistics 2001, Census Of Population 2000, [online]. Available at URL: http://www.singstat.gov.sg/pubn/census.html [Accessed 17 June 2011].
Singapore Department of Statistics 2010, Singapore Department Of Statistics Press Release: Census Of Population 2010 Advance Census Release, [online]. Available at URL: http://www.singstat.gov.sg/news/news/press31082010.pdf [Accessed 17 June 2011].
Singapore Ministry of Manpower 2011, Work Permit – Before you apply: Housing Requirements, [online]. Available at URL: http://www.mom.gov.sg/foreign-manpower/passes-visas/work-permit-fw/before-you-apply/Pages/housing-requirements.aspx [Accessed 17 June 2011].
Singapore Ministry of Manpower 2012, Working in Singapore, [online]. Available at URL: http://www.mom.gov.sg/foreign-manpower/working-in-singapore/Pages/default.aspx [Accessed 17 June 2011].