In 2018, 500 companies were put on MOM’s Fair Consideration Framework watch list for failing to adopt fair human resource practices. When you see that on the news, does that make you feel uneasy? You start recalling all the paperwork you did for your new foreign employee and then cold sweat starts to form because you’re not sure whether or not you messed up on behalf of your company.

Don’t worry, we’ve got you. Throughout the watch list, we found 3 fatal mistakes these companies committed. So, if you don’t want to get fined up to SG$20,000 and/or jailed for up to two years, start taking notes!

1. Incorrect declaration of salaries on work pass

Cheque enclosed

Cheques and balance, Singapore’s government goes strictly by the book!

Trying to cut cost for your company? Don’t even entertain the thought of cutting cost through your employees’ salaries.

Many on the watch list pay their employees with the declared salary on their work permit applications only to demand these employees to return a portion of it back to them over the month in cash. Clearly, things didn’t work out well for them.

NOTE: Though the minimum salary for an Employment Pass holder is $3600, not everyone gets the same pay.

Employees with more years of experience are required to command higher salaries to commensurate with their work experience and skill sets in order to get their work permits approved.

2. Failing to provide benefits in the Employment Act

Doctor's equipment and notes

Benefits like healthy and transport are some of the ways companies may try to skim when hiring.

Just because they are foreign employees, doesn’t mean they aren’t protected by the law.

Many companies fail to comply with MOM’s regulations as stipulated under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act. These include provision of paid public holidays, annual and sick leave and strict working hours.

Company Y failed to provide paid public holidays for their workers and had them work longer than 12 working hours. They were fined $27000 and barred from hiring foreign employees until they made improvements to their HR practices.

3. Failing to advertise hiring for locals first before hiring foreigners

Megaphone of advertisements/announcements

Let your intentions be clear and known; it makes you look honest and trustworthy.

Many companies are still unaware of the need to post job advertisements for at least 2 weeks before being able to apply for work permits for a foreign employee. In 2017, 250 companies were marked as “triple weak” for treating Singaporean job seekers unfairly by immediately hiring foreign employees.

Whether they deliberately tried to cheat the system, or were genuinely blur sotongs; they got slapped with a hefty fine and a smear to their reputation.

Before you break down in tears, hear us out.

The easiest way to prevent all the mishaps is to outsource your immigration matters to a reliable immigration consulting firm. Here at Transform Borders, not only will we make sure you comply with the law, we will also keep you updated on the newest tweaks to any immigration policies.

Reach out to us for a complimentary 10 minute consultation if you want to increase your chances of approval for PR today!

Co-written by Wong Jiayi & Sulochana Uthirapathi