Former Director of Harry's Charged With 20 Counts for Falsely Declaring the Salaries in Work Pass Applications
- On 12 November 2015, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) charged the former Director and officer-in-charge of human resources of Harry’s International Pte Ltd, Parmjit Kaur1, in the State Courts, with 20 counts of making false declaration of salary in the work pass applications of the foreign employees to the Controller of Work Passes (“Controller”). The declarations were made between 8 April and 2 September 2013 in connection with 20 work pass applications.
About the Case
- Investigations revealed that the accused instructed her subordinates to declare that the fixed monthly salaries of the foreign employees would be $3,100 so as to meet the salary requirement in order to obtain Employment Passes for the foreign employees (the “EPs”). The accused allegedly knew that the 20 foreign employees would be paid less than what was declared in their work pass applications.
- The accused was charged today with 20 counts for the offence of making false declarations to MOM in her capacity as a director and the officer-in-charge of human resources of the company, which is an offence under section 22(1)(d) read with section 20(1)(a) of the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act (Chapter 91A) (“EFMA”). Offenders will be liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding $20,000 and/or to imprisonment not exceeding two years.
- The case against the accused has been adjourned to 10 December 2015, 9.30 am in Court 23.
MOM Takes a Serious View on False Declaration Offences
- MOM had previously taken services-related businesses to task over false salary declarations. In April 2014, MOM charged eight employers who were franchisees of local convenience store 7-Eleven for making false declarations. The Court has meted out fines between $8,000 and $56,000 as penalty2 for the offences. Similarly, in November last year, MOM also prosecuted the director of an Indian Restaurant, Blue Diamond Restaurant Pte Ltd for making false declarations. The restaurant director was altogether fined $32,0003 by the Court.
Employers must make truthful declarations
- MOM conducts stringent checks to detect and enforce against false applications. MOM is currently investigating other similar false declaration cases involving 241 foreigners hired by 95 employers. MOM has stepped up on enforcement efforts following the raising of maximum penalties for false declaration under the EFMA in November 2012. In addition to Court-imposed penalties, businesses may be barred permanently from hiring foreign manpower.
- All employers must make accurate, complete and truthful declarations to the Controller for the work pass applications.
- Making a false declaration to the Controller through the submission of fraudulent salary information to circumvent work pass eligibility criteria is a deliberate attempt to deceive MOM. Offenders will be taken to task under the law.
- Members of the public who know of persons or employers who contravene the EFMA should report the matter to MOM at Tel: (65) 6438 5122 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. All information will be kept strictly confidential.
1 Accused is a 48-year-old Singapore citizen.
2 The in default sentence for the $8,000 fine is four weeks’ imprisonment. Likewise, the in default sentence for a fine of $56,000 is 42 weeks’ imprisonment.
3 The in default sentence for the $32,000 fine is eight weeks’ imprisonment.