Starting from January 1 next year, all employers in Singapore would no longer be allowed to keep money belonging to their foreign domestic workers, while electronic salary payments was also recommended, according to a press statement by the Ministry of Manpower on Sunday.

The policy is aimed at prohibiting employers from keeping money, including salaries and any other money belonging to workers, or withholding workers’ bank debit cards or sharing joint bank accounts, the Lianhe Zaobao (Singapore) reported.

The practice of safe-keeping money has led to many disputes, said Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Manpower Low Yen Ling. He added that the new requirement would protect both employers and foreign domestic workers from the risks of money-related disputes.

According to government statistics, the ministry handled more than 600 money-related disputes each year between 2015 and 2017. By not allowing employers to safe-keep, the number is expected to drop.

To further reduce disputes as a result of poor salary records, employers in Singapore were encouraged to pay the salaries of their workers electronically. They should help their new workers to apply for a bank account as soon as the Work Permit issuance application is being processed.