MOM's Response to TWC2 article "Rahman and Employer Agree to Settle Salary Claim .... Then Nothing Happens"
Rahman Mostafizur worked as a construction worker between March 2017 to May 2018. After fourteen months in employment, he filed a claim against his employer for short payment of In-Principle Approval (IPA) salary at TADM.
A misleading TWC2 article alleged that MOM and TADM did nothing to help Rahman with his salary claim and that he was limited by the $20,000 cap under the Employment Claims Act.
These allegations by TWC2 are untrue and not helpful to the foreign workers they wish to assist. We would like to refute the following claims:
Claim 1: MOM and TADM did nothing to help Rahman who was left in limbo for 3 months
Fact: When Rahman filed a salary claim, he was assigned a TADM case officer and given direct contact details. Rahman had many opportunities to raise his concerns with the officer any time, especially since he had to visit TADM every two weeks while on a Special Pass. The TADM officer made it a point to check with Rahman if he had any issues on every occasion. The reality is not the situation that TWC2 had painted, as Rahman was able to get help from TADM if needed.
Claim 2: The $20,000 claims cap under the Employment Claims Act made Rahman accept a lower payment.
Fact: It was not truthful for TWC2 to allege that $20,000 claims cap under the Act was an issue, as MOM had told TWC2 otherwise when they were enquiring about the case. In fact, MOM informed TWC2 that Rahman’s employer had been ordered to pay over $24,000 for his salary settlement. Rahman’s employer would have been liable for prosecution under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act if he failed to pay.
The fact is that MOM was prepared to help Rahman recover the full owed amount, but Rahman decided to settle the matter privately with the employer as he wanted to receive his monies quickly and return home.
Claim 3: Rahman was given a short period of time to change employer.
Fact: This is false. Rahman requested for a change of employer in July 2018 and was given till late
September 2018 to do so. He had 2 months to look for a new employer, which was not as short a time as claimed by TWC2.
In September 2018, Rahman withdrew his claim at TADM after he settled the matter with his employer.
We would like to remind TWC2 that the best way to help workers like Rahman is to encourage them to report early, and not allow their arrears to snowball. In this case, Rahman should not have waited 14 months before coming forward to TADM to lodge his salary claims. Workers who come forward early stand a higher chance of recovering their owed salaries.