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Yen’s Studio Executive Director fined $72,000 for falsely declaring salaries in work pass applications and renewal applications

  1. The Executive Director of local fashion house, Yen’s Studio Pte Ltd, Yen Ser Ming (“Yen”), has pleaded guilty to nine charges1 involving the making of false declarations relating to the foreign employees’ salaries in work pass applications submitted to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), as well as abetting the submission of the same false declarations to MOM in their subsequent renewal applications.
  2. The 61-year-old Singaporean woman was convicted in Court on 14 July 2016, and was sentenced to a fine of $72,000 in default 18 months’ imprisonment. MOM has also barred the company from hiring foreign employees.

    Case Background
  3. Investigations revealed that between December 2010 and June 2013, Yen, in her capacity as the company’s Executive Director, falsely declared to MOM the salaries of nine foreign employees to meet the minimum salary requirement required to apply and renew S Passes. In addition, between October 2013 and October 2015, Yen instigated the company’s Operations Manager to falsely declare the salaries to renew S Passes2 of the same nine foreign employees, as well as to apply S Passes for two additional foreign employees.
  4. However, she knew that all the foreign employees would be receiving actual salaries that were lower than the salaries declared to MOM. The foreign employees were paid the declared salaries of between $1,800 and $2,600 monthly through GIRO. However, they had to return monthly amounts of between $500 and $1,300 in cash to the company.
  5. Based on the false information provided to the Controller of Work Passes, the 27 S Pass applications and renewals (11 new applications and 16 renewal applications) were approved and the S Passes were issued to the foreign employees.

    MOM Takes a Serious View of False Salary Declaration Offences
  6. Commenting on the case, Mr Kandhavel Periyasamy, Director of Employment Inspectorate of MOM’s Foreign Manpower Management Division, said, “Falsifying salary information to mislead the Ministry to grant S Passes and Employment Passes is a serious offence. We will take stern action against persons or companies, including barring them from applying for new work passes and renewing their existing work passes.”
  7. Since 2014, a total of 58 employers have been convicted for false declaration of salary offences.

    Employers Must Make Truthful Declarations
  8. All employers must make accurate, complete, and truthful declarations to the Controller in their work pass applications.
  9. The making of false declarations to the Controller is a serious offence. Upon conviction, employers can be fined up to $20,000 per charge and/or jailed for up to two years under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act (EFMA). They will also be barred from employing new foreign workers and renewing their permits of their existing foreign workers.
  10. 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 mom_fmmd@mom.gov.sg. All information will be kept strictly confidential.

FOOTNOTE

  1. Accused was charged with 13 counts of false declaration under section 22(1)(d) read with section 20(1)(a) of the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act. She was charged with another 14 counts of abetting the false declaration offence under section 22(1)(d) read with section 23(1) read with section 20(1)(a) under the same Act. A total of nine charges were proceeded with, and the remaining 18 were taken into consideration for the purpose of sentencing.
  2. There were multiple renewals made for five of the nine foreign employees.