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Written Answer by Mrs Josephine Teo, Minister for Manpower, to Parliamentary Question on Number of Claims Filed at ECT and Payment Outcomes for ECT Orders

 

NOTICE PAPER NO. 1587 OF 2019 FOR THE SITTING ON 6 MARCH 2019

QUESTION NO. 1177 FOR WRITTEN ANSWER

MP: Ms Anthea Ong

To ask the Minister for Manpower in 2017 and 2018 respectively (a) how many salary claims were filed by (i) local employees and (ii) foreign workers at the Employment Claims Tribunal; (b) how many court orders were issued to errant employers to settle salary claims by (i) local employees and (ii) foreign workers respectively; and (c) how many orders remained unpaid one month after the orders were issued.

Answer

1. 85% of the claims filed under the Employment Claims Act (ECA) were resolved at the Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management (TADM). The remaining 15% of the claimants were referred to the Employment Claims Tribunals (ECT), and of which 5% were withdrawn while 10% filed for adjudication. Two-thirds of the adjudicated claims resulted in money orders issued to employers to settle the salary claims; this proportion is similar for both local and foreign employees.

Table 1: Salary claims filed at ECT

 

2017
(Apr to Dec)

2018 
Number of salary claims filed by employees at ECT   782  794
Number of salary claims filed by local employees  348  477
Number of salary claims filed by foreign employees  434  317

2. Of the ECT orders issued, about half of the claimants received full payment from their employers. Another 16% reported partial payment, while 36% reported no payment. Cases that resulted in partial or no payment usually involved employers in financial difficulty, or large accumulated salary arrears before the employee reported to TADM. In 12 cases (1% of ECT orders), the employer wilfully refused to pay despite having the means to do so. MOM is investigating and prosecuting these employers. 129 low income claimants who did not fully recover their salaries received additional financial assistance through the Short Term Relief Fund or Migrant Workers’ Assistance Fund. 

3. We encourage workers to approach TADM immediately when they have salary arrears. This improves the chances of full recovery, and prevents more workers from encountering the same problem.