MOM Resolved Cases Involving Bangladeshi Workers
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has resolved the salary claims involving 48 Bangladeshi workers from San's Marine Engineering Service, Han's Marine Pte Ltd and K7 Engineering Pte Ltd. MOM's investigations have found the workers' complaint of no work and no pay over a long period to be unfounded. In addition, with MOM's intervention, the workers have been paid their full salaries.
Facts of the case
2. In late September 2008, MOM received complaints from the workers that they did not have work and were not paid their salaries over a long time. The Ministry's investigations found the complaint to be unfounded. The companies had work contracts with the shipyards. There were, however, intermittent periods during which some workers were not deployed to work. These workers were either undergoing training to prepare them for skill tests or sent for re-training because their work standards did not meet those of the shipyards. During the periods that they did not work, they were not paid their full salaries. There were also unauthorised salary deductions made by the employers. Upon MOM's intervention, the companies have since paid the workers their salaries, including those for periods of training and those which had been deducted.
3. In addition, MOM's investigations also revealed that many of these workers paid their Bangladesh agents a sum of money as security deposits for their job placements in Singapore. Accordingly, MOM has forwarded the names of these Bangladesh agents to the Bangladesh Embassy for their further investigation and action.
4. Employers must ensure that they have work for the foreign workers they employ and make prompt salary payments. Failure to pay salaries is an offence under the Employment Act. Employers who fail to pay their employees could be fined up to $1,000 per charge for first time offenders. For repeat offenders, the fine is up to $2,000 per charge, or a jail term not exceeding one year or both. MOM will prosecute errant employers as well as debar such employers from hiring new foreign workers if they are found guilty.