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Security Guard Agency Convicted and Fined $27,000 for Multiple Employment Act (EA) Violations

Unique Security Services Pte Ltd, a security guard agency, was convicted and fined $27,000 on 22 February 2007 for multiple offences under the Employment Act. 30 charges were made against the security guard agency, with another 123 charges taken into consideration during sentencing.

Facts of the Case

2.   A site inspection in December 2005 and subsequent investigations by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) revealed that Unique Security Services Pte Ltd had committed multiple offences under the Employment Act between June 2005 and March 2006. The offences include deploying its security officers to work more than 12 hours a day on several occasions, and failing to make provisions for weekly rest days, paid public holidays and annual leave.

3.   In 2006, MOM had prosecuted two other security guard agencies for making its security guards work more than 12 hours a day. Both security agencies were subsequently convicted and fined a total of $60,400.

Provisions under the Employment Act

4.   The Employment Act states clearly that employers are required to provide for employment benefits such as annual leave, sick leave and rest day. It is also an offence to require an employee to work beyond 12 hours a day, except when there are pressing or urgent situations, e.g. when urgent work is required to be done to machinery. Where an employer's work schedule requires an employee to work beyond 12 hours per day, the employer must seek an exemption from the Ministry.

5.   Employers are reminded to follow the provisions on working hours and statutory benefits as provided in the Employment Act. An employer who violates an Employment Act provision can be fined up to $1,000 for each offence. For a second and subsequent offence, the employer can be fined up to $2,000 or imprisoned for a term not exceeding one year or both.

6.   Some basic information on the Employment Act as well as useful contacts are attached in the Annex.



ANNEX

  1. The maximum hours of work per day should not exceed 12 hours.
  2. The maximum hours of overtime work performed in a month should not exceed 72 hours unless an exemption notice has been issued by MOM.
  3. Overtime payment at a rate of 1.5 times basic salary applies for work exceeding 44 hours a week.
  4. Workers are entitled to at least 1 rest day per week.
  5. Workers are entitled to at least 14 days sick leave each year.
  6. Workers are entitled to at least 7 days annual leave for the first year of service and an additional day for every additional year in employment.
  7. Salaries are to be paid not later than 7 days after the end of the working period.
  8. No deductions other than those allowed under the Employment Act can be made by the employer.

Useful Contact Points in Security Industry

Union of Security Employees (USE)
Contact Person: Patrick Tay, General Secretary
Tel: 6327 3759
 
SAS (Industry Association)
Contact Person: S Krishnamoorthy
Tel: 6336 7707
 
Security Industry Regulatory Department (SIRD)
Contact Person: ASP Kamlesh Ramchand
Email: kamlesh_ramchand@spf.gov.sg
Tel: 6478 2185
 
Premier Security (Security Agency)
Contact Person: Annie Leow
Tel: 6291 9866
 
ACSA (Industry Association)
Contact Person: Tay Eng Hock
Hp: 9047 8965