MOM advised employers to factor the time needed for the checks into their recruitment plans.
For those housing their workers in purpose-built dormitories, construction temporary quarters, temporary occupation licence quarters or their own dormitories, approval will be granted within a week, the ministry said.
For those who are housing their workers in private residential properties, hotels or hostels, the approval process could take about six weeks or more due to additional checks.
“Employers who bring their workers into Singapore without the required proof of accommodation may face suspension of their work pass privileges,” MOM said.
While government and industry efforts have resulted in about 17,000 dormitory beds being added to Singapore’s supply since December 2022, MOM said that it is not possible to keep increasing the supply at this rate.
As such, the ministry encouraged employers to contribute to the bed supply by building their own accommodation – such as construction temporary quarters, temporary occupation licence quarters and factory-converted dormitories – to house their workers.
“This will also expedite approval for these workers as the verification process will be quicker,” MOM said.
“We also urge employers to put in place productivity measures to reduce their reliance on foreign workers.”
According to MOM’s website, there were 415,000 work permit holders in the construction, marine shipyard and process sectors as of December 2022. These workers made up about 29 per cent of Singapore’s foreign workforce.