Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has announced that Raycom Engineering & Aerospace Pte. Ltd. was convicted and sentenced to a total fine of $17,500 for failing to pay salaries to employees, in the State Courts on Thursday (23 March).
In total, the accused company, which manufactures metal precision components, faces 14 charges for failing to pay salaries to its employees.
MOM noted that the accused company was convicted of five proceeded charges with nine charges taken into consideration for the purpose of sentencing.
In addition, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) stated that it has debarred the company from employing foreign workers.
According to MOM, it initiated investigations in July 2016 into the accused company after receiving a complaint that the accused company defaulted on its workers’ salaries from March 2016 to May 2016.
MOM said that it has since assisted all five affected local workers to recover their salary arrears, amounting to about $30,000, and the corresponding CPF contributions for the three months.
MOM stressed that it is an offence for an employer not to pay the salary for work done within seven days after the last day of the employee’s salary period.
A first-time offender can be fined up to $15,000 or imprisoned up to six months or both. Repeat offenders could be fined up to $30,000 or imprisoned up to one year or both.
Mr Raymond Tan Choon Guan, Director of Employment Standards Enforcement, said, “We expect all employers to pay salaries on time. In the last three years, 158 employers have been prosecuted and convicted for salary-related offences. MOM will take strong actions against those employers who have no respect for our employment laws.”
Although employers have been dealt harshly when it concerns the salaries of employees, there are limitations of the Labour Court that leaves employees stranded, and frustrated. In January this year, Mr Islam, a Bangladeshi construction worker had to fork out $1000 in order to pursue the case after his employer failed to meet the payment deadline to pay Mr Islam $7,363 in unpaid wages.
MOM urges workers who have not been paid their salaries or feel that their wages have been wrongfully withheld to come forward to MOM or their unions early for assistance, stressing that this will improve the chances of salary recovery.
Over 50 companies have been brought to task since 2015 for failing to pay salaries to workers, as reflected in MOM’s seven pages of employers convicted under the Employment Act.
Workers or members of the public who know of persons or employers who contravene the EA should report to MOM directly or call WorkRight hotline at 1800-221 9922 or [email protected]. All information will be kept strictly confidential.