BY LOW YOUJIN
- The Foreign Employee Dormitories Act will be expanded from April 1, 2023
- It will cover all 1,600 dormitories in Singapore that have seven beds or more
- All dormitories that have between seven and 999 beds will be subject to new requirements, MOM said
- These are in relation to reporting requirements, traffic management and contingency plans for public health outbreaks, among others
SINGAPORE — More than 1,500 migrant worker dormitories with under 1,000 beds each will soon have to abide by the same regulatory framework as their larger counterparts, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said on Tuesday (Sept 6). This will allow the authorities to contain public health outbreaks within them more easily.
There will, however, be no change for the larger dormitories with 1,000 or more beds, the ministry added as it announced the expansion of the Foreign Employee Dormitories Act (Feda), which will take effect on April 1 next year.
The change means that compared to the 53 dormitories now, all 1,600 of Singapore’s foreign worker dormitories with seven beds or more will come under the purview of the Act, which essentially governs dormitory standards.
Dr Koh Poh Koon, Senior Minister of State for Manpower, said during a press conference on the announcement that this will almost double the coverage of beds under the Act from 256,000 to close to 440,000.
Currently, all migrant worker dormitories are subject to various requirements under various pieces of legislation, covering areas such as fire safety, living conditions, sanitary and public health requirements, MOM said.
However, only dormitories with 1,000 beds or more are licensed under Feda and subject to more requirements for public health and safety, and the provisions of recreation and commercial facilities for their residents.
Class Four dormitories have the highest resident welfare, as well as safety and health requirement, among four dormitory licenses.