Directors of Security Guard Agencies Prosecuted and Fined for Violating The Employment Act
Two security agencies were prosecuted by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) for violating the Employment Act (EA). Reliance Security Services Pte Ltd and its Director, Mr Narayanan S/O Nambiar, were each convicted of 37 charges under the EA, on 31 March 2008, for making its security officer work more than 12 hours a day. The company and Mr Narayanan were each fined $11,100. In the second case, the Director of Pamason Guard Management Pte Ltd, Mr P M Many, was convicted on 1 April 2008, of 25 charges under the EA and fined $20,300 for failing to pay salary to its employees.
Facts of the Cases
Case 1 - Reliance Security Agency Pte Ltd
2. On 8 February 2007, a site inspection at a company in Changi South by the MOM revealed that Reliance Security Services Pte Ltd, the security service provider hired by the company had violated the EA by deploying its security officer to work more than 12 hours a day on numerous occasions between October 2006 and February 2007. A total of 37 charges each were brought against the security agency and the Director, with an additional 75 charges each taken into consideration.
Case 2 – Pamason Guard Management Pte Ltd
3. Pamason Guard Management Pte Ltd failed to pay the salaries (ranging from one – five months) due to 11 of its security officers, amounting to some $23,000. The salary claims were adjudicated in the Labour Court on 9 November 2006 but the company failed to pay up in spite of the court ruling in favour of its employees. A total of 25 charges were brought against the Director, with another five charges taken into consideration.
Raising the professionalism of the security industry
4. Apart from enforcement, MOM has been working closely with its partners, primarily through the Security Industry Forum (SIF) on a number of initiatives to improve the professionalism of the security industry. The SIF is led by the Security Industry Regulatory Department of the Singapore Police Force (SPF) with representatives from the MOM, the Singapore Workforce Development Agency, Union of Security Employees and the industry associations. This forum aims to improve the employment conditions and career prospects for security personnel. For example, WDA has developed a Workforce Skills Qualification (WSQ) Framework for the security industry which will enhance career progression for security officers. General Secretary, Union of Security Employees, Mr Patrick Tay said: "We are pleased to have this co-ordinated effort among various agencies to improve and professionalise the industry as well as look after the well-being of our workers. We've seen progress. With this continuing effort, the private security industry in Singapore could achieve higher level of professionalism and offer Singaporeans an attractive career choice."
Employers urged to comply with provisions under the Employment Act and to comply with Labour Court Orders
5. Employers are required to comply with the provisions under the EA on salary payment, working hours and other employment conditions stipulated in the Act. Those found to have violated the Act may be prosecuted in court and fined up to $1,000 for each offence. For a second or subsequent offence, the employer can be fined up to $2,000 for each offence or imprisoned for a term not exceeding one year or both.
6. Employees or members of the public can provide feedback on non-compliance of the EA to MOM at tel: 6438 5122 or email: email@example.com. Some basic information on the EA as well as useful contacts are given in the Annexes attached.
PROVISIONS OF THE EMPLOYMENT ACT IN BRIEF
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 Contacts in the Security Industry
Union of Security Employees (USE)
Contact Person: Patrick Tay, General Secretary
Tel: 6327 3759
Security Industry Regulatory Department (SIRD)
Contact Person: ASP Kamlesh Ramchand
Tel: 6478 2185
ACSA (Industry Association)
Contact Person: James Martin Aruldoss
Tel: 6747 4144
SAS (Industry Association)
Contact Person: T. Mogan
Tel: 6339 3811