On 15 August 2017, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) charged a 30-year-old Singaporean woman, Li Jun (“Li”) in the State Courts with 13 charges for failing to pay monthly salaries and rest day pay totalling about $5,700 to her foreign domestic worker (‘FDW’).
If convicted, the accused can be fined up to $10,000, or face imprisonment of up to 12 months, or to both, per charge.
Investigations revealed that her FDW, a Myanmar national, was not paid any salary between 7 March 2016 and 21 February 2017. Li was thereby charged for breaching the Work Permit Conditions under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act. MOM has also barred the employer from hiring an FDW.
The case against Li will be heard again in Court 23 on 12 September 2017 at 11 am.
Employers must pay salaries promptly
In accordance to the Work Permit conditions, an FDW must be paid no later than seven days after the last day of the salary period. Each salary period cannot exceed one month. Employers must also maintain a monthly salary record paid to their FDWs, and to obtain written acknowledgement from their FDWs.
Employers can check with the FDW if she prefers to have a personal bank account for her salary to be paid through direct transfer. If the FDW requests for her salary to be paid via her own bank account, the employer must do so and ensure that the FDW keeps her own bank book and ATM card.
In addition, employers should not keep the FDW’s salaries on her behalf, and/or make this arrangement as a condition for her employment. Employers should decline any request from their FDWs to help them save their salaries.
FDWs should seek help early
If an FDW has not received her salary, she should immediately raise the matter to the employer. If the problem persists and the employer does not settle the salary arrears as promised, the FDW should report the matter to MOM or seek assistance from her employment agency. This is to prevent the arrears from accumulating and to enable MOM to investigate into the matter.
Should the public know of any FDW who has not been paid her salaries, they should report the matter to MOM at email@example.com or call 6438 5122. All information will be kept strictly confidential.
Source information taken from https://www.mom.gov.sg/newsroom/press-releases/2017/0817-employer-charged-for-not-paying-salaries-to-her-foreign-domestic-worker