Written Answer to PQ on WPHs not paid accordingly to EA requirements when they work on their rest days
NOTICE PAPER NO. 1895 OF 2023 FOR THE SITTING ON OR AFTER 9 MAY 2023
QUESTION NO. 4575 FOR WRITTEN ANSWER
MP: Ms He Ting Ru
To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) whether the Ministry tracks the number of work permit holders who are asked to work on rest days and are paid a (i) double and (ii) single rate of pay respectively; (b) in each of the last three years, how many complaints has the Ministry received about workers being paid a single rate of pay contrary to the requirements of the Employment Act 1968; and (c) how many of such complaints have resulted in enforcement or punitive action.
1. Under Part 4 of the Employment Act, employers must provide one rest day per week and compensate workers who work on their rest days. Rate of pay for work on rest day is one day’s basic salary if the request is made by the worker and two days’ basic salary if the request is made by the employer. The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) does not track the number and type of such arrangements.
2. Between 2020 and 2022, the Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management (TADM) handled about 535 claims from work permit holders each year regarding non-payment or short payment of salaries for work done on rest days. 95% were resolved through mediation while the rest were referred to the Employment Claims Tribunals.
3. MOM also investigated complaints on rest day pay, including referrals from TADM, for an average of 68 work permit holders each year. As a majority of these employers failed to pay due to administrative oversight, wrong calculations or financial difficulties, MOM took an educational approach towards these employers to increase awareness of their employment obligations and to help them rectify their employment practices. Sterner enforcement actions were taken against employers of about 7% of the affected workers, where severe breaches of the Employment Act were detected.