Employment agency fined S$78,000 after uploading insensitive housekeeper ads on Carousell

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SINGAPORE: Employment agency SRC Recruitment was fined S$78,000 on Tuesday (April 30) after uploading insensitive advertisements of foreign domestic workers on online marketplace Carousell.

Posts on Carousell between September 1 and September 17, 2018 compared 49 domestic workers to commodities, the Ministry of Manpower said.

The company was fined S$48,000 on Tuesday after pleading guilty on March 26 this year to 16 counts of breaching placement agency licensing terms by advertising workers “in a manner insensitive and portraying them in an undignified light”.

The SRC was also fined an additional S$30,000 on 29 counts of other employment offences, including failure to comply with security agreements and incomplete release forms for work pass transactions.

Another 99 charges were considered for sentencing in state court on Tuesday.

READ: MOM suspends employment agency behind housekeeper ads on Carousell

READ: Housekeeper ads on Carousell: SRC recruitment, employee faces 243 charges

An agent who worked at the company became the first to be prosecuted and convicted in November 2018 for posting the messages on the online shopping site.

MOM had sent three alerts to temp firms in July 2014, November 2016 and February 2018 regarding the responsible advertising license condition.

Despite the reminders, the CBC failed to “show sensitivity” when marketing its services and violated the license condition, the department said.

“MOM does not tolerate any offensive or insensitive advertising methods that portray foreign domestic workers in a negative light,” Employment Agencies Commissioner Kevin Teoh said.

“We remind all placement agencies of the need to uphold professional standards in the performance of their duties. MOM will not hesitate to take strong enforcement action, including license revocation, against errant EAs. “

A notice of license revocation has been served on the SRC.

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