MOM’s response to TWC2 article “Jaynal lost his case at ECT; was the tribunal’s decision sound?”
TWC2 wrote about the case of a foreign worker Abedin Md Jaynal. It alleged that he was held “hostage to levies” and could not secure new employment because of MOM, and portrayed him as a victim who lacked evidence in hand to prove his salary claims. We would like to refute the following claims.
Claim: MOM did not approve Jaynal’s transfer to a new employer because his former employer owed foreign worker levies
Fact: This is false. Jaynal’s transfer was rejected because he had worked illegally for other employers without a valid work pass and had thus committed offences under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act.
We are surprised at how TWC2 came to the conclusion that the rejection of the transfer was because of owed levies. Channels to clarify policies with MOM are available to them. We urge TWC2 to engage in truthful advocacy that involves verifying details of the case, instead of relying heavily on a one-sided account.
Claim: Jaynal was owed seven months of salaries by his employer and he lacked evidence to prove his case as he was made to pre-sign blank salary vouchers
Fact: TWC2’s conclusion that Jaynal was owed salary and made to pre-sign blank salary vouchers was largely based on Jaynal’s account. At the Employment Claims Tribunals (ECT), Jaynal had the opportunity to present his case, and the employer also had a chance to present their case. The result was that the ECT did not uphold Jaynal’s claim. As recent decisions by the courts have shown, the judges do not treat signed vouchers as conclusive of the matter, but also look at the totality of the evidence presented to them.
Foreign workers can do their part
Singapore’s system works when everyone plays their part to uphold the rule of law and report to the authorities when they see any non-compliance.
Foreign workers too can play a part by reporting any non-compliance of employment laws.
If they are asked to sign blank salary vouchers, they should report the matter to the authorities immediately. Action will be taken against the employer to prevent the future-dated salary vouchers from being used against the foreign worker. If there is non-payment of salary, foreign workers should report the matter to the authorities early, before the sum snowballs.
Reports to MOM can be made to 6438 5122 or www.mom.gov.sg/eservices/services/report-an-infringement. All information will be kept strictly confidential.