Singaporean employer fined $15k for failing to pay domestic worker’s salary for a year
A Singaporean employer has been fined S$15,000 (US$11,100) for not paying her foreign domestic worker for almost a year — the accumulated salaries came up to a total of about S$5,700 (US$4,200). The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said on Wednesday that Li Jun was fined in lieu of a six-week jail sentence for failing to pay her maid’s monthly salary of S$420 (US$310) between March 7 last year and Feb 21 this year.
The 30-year-old was convicted in the State Courts on Tuesday, reported The Straits Times. She pleaded guilty to three out of 13 charges, and the rest were taken into consideration during sentencing.
Although Li finally paid off her maid in full last Thursday, she’s now prohibited from hiring any other foreign domestic workers (FDWs), Channel NewsAsia reported.
“The FDWs rely on their monthly salary to support their families back home and we should not deprive them of their salaries,” said Jeanette Har, director of Well-Being Department at MOM’s foreign manpower management division.
According to FDWs’ work permit conditions, employees must be paid no later than seven days after the last day of the salary period, and each period should not exceed one month. Employers also have to keep a monthly salary record for the amount paid, including a written acknowledgement from their workers.
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MOM stated that employers are not allowed to hold workers’ salaries on their behalf or include this as a condition of their employment.
Even before getting employed, some foreign domestic workers in Singapore already face harsh treatment. Earlier this week, it was revealed that a group of them were forced to sleep on a kitchen floor and given only rice for food as they await employment.
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