Company director charged with misstating salaries on work pass applications

30 Jun 14

SINGAPORE

IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has charged the director of a computer company with falsely stating salary information on the Employment Pass applications and renewals for 20 foreign workers.

What does the change mean? The action is part of an ongoing crackdown by MOM on misrepresentations by companies applying for work permits.

  • Implementation timeframe: Ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Employment Passes and S Passes.
  • Who is affected: Companies sponsoring foreign workers.
  • Impact on processing times: None.
  • Business impact: Employers should be aware of the greater scrutiny of applications for false or misleading information and conduct internal compliance checks to make sure that all information, particularly salaries, is accurately reported.

Background: MOM has been actively pursuing prosecutions of employers and foreign employees who give false statements on work pass applications. In February, we reported several convictions of foreign employees who inflated their salaries or presented fraudulent academic records to obtain Employment Passes. At that time, the government indicated that it would also prosecute employers who are aware of false declarations.

Employers must meet minimum monthly salaries for Employment Passes and will be charged if they provide false salary information to MOM. In the most recent case, MOM charged a 44-year-old director of MN Computer Systems, Singaravelu Murugan, with submitting false salary information for 20 software engineers. The passes were approved, but the workers were paid less than the amounts stated on the applications and Murugan was charged with 20 counts under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act. The employees were not aware of the higher salary declarations and were not charged.

BAL Analysis: Employers are on notice that MOM is taking these cases seriously and prosecuting them in court.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group in Singapore. For additional information, please contact singapore@balglobal.com.

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