Recruiters already operating in Singapore or considering a move there have been given a warning of the potential dangers of failing to comply with the regulations.
Chua Mei Chern, who ran SSS Employment Services, was sentenced to 25 weeks in jail for operating an unlicensed employment agency between April and November 2011.
Chau is the first person to receive a custodial sentence since the Employment Agencies Act was amended in 2011.
In total, Chau faces seven years in jail for a range of employment related offences, according to the Singapore News.
Steve Stubbings, of specialist actuarial and insurance recruiter The Emerald Group, which opened an office in Singapore in April
, says the case highlights the risks to recruiters of operating without a licence.
Stubbings tells Recruiter
: “I am sure there are a lot of Brits out in Singapore who are winging it and they could end up in prison.”
Emerald recently opened for business in Singapore, but only after following the correct processes. Stubbings says: “It is so bureaucratic, and it’s really difficult; we are talking four months to get a licence.”
This includes having to attend a course, and ensuring that all recruiters are individually registered.
The Singapore Ministry of Manpower also publishes a list of registered recruiters, making it easy to identify those who aren’t registered, says Stubbings. “If your name isn’t on there, then you risk prosecution,” he adds.