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Written Answer by Mr Lim Swee Say, Minister for Manpower to Parliamentary Question on labour court orders on employee salary non-payment

Notice paper no. 482 of 2016 for the sitting on 09 January 2017

Question no. 326 for written answer

MP: Mr Kok Heng Leun

To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) how many complaints about salary non-payment or short-payment were lodged by employees in each year from 2015-2016; (b) how many cases were referred to the Labour Court; (c) how many Labour Court Orders were issued in favour of claimants; (d) how many Orders remained unpaid by the 14th day after their issuance; and (e) how many employers were prosecuted for non-payment or short-payment of salary in these two years respectively.


  1. About 6,000 salary non-payment and short payment cases were lodged by employees each year in 2015 and 20161. For each year, the breakdown of the cases were similar and broadly as follows:

      Number of cases
    Annual number of cases 6,000
    • Cases resolved through mediation by MOM
    • Cases referred to the Labour Court
      • Cases mediated by the Labour Court
      • Cases withdrawn by the employee
      • Cases dismissed due to insufficient evidence
      • Labour Court orders issued in favour of employees
  2. Among the 1,400 Labour Court orders issued in favour of employees, the payment status is as follows:

      Number of cases
    Labour Court orders issued in favour of employees 1,400
    • Paid within 14 days as ordered by the Labour Court
    • Unpaid within 14 days
      • Paid after 14 days
      • Cases eventually defaulted
  3. The 350 defaulted orders involved 200 companies which were mostly in financial difficulties or had ceased operations. MOM took enforcement actions against all of them which included warnings, fines and restriction of work pass privileges. About 25 employers were charged in court for more egregious offences each year in 2015 and 2016. Such offences carry a maximum fine of $15,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 6 months per charge.


  1. Excludes ongoing cases in Labour Court.