Circuit Breaker: MOM warns employers against unfair practices

There have been reports of unpaid salaries and threats of termination

Circuit Breaker: MOM warns employers against unfair practices

Employers who treat employee unfairly may lose access to government support, including wage support and rebates, during COVID-19 or have their work pass privileges denied, said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

Several companies have failed to pay salaries during the Circuit Breaker period, according to reports received by MOM. They reminded employers that it is wrong to implement any cost-cutting measures without employees’ consent.

The ministry also warned against “unacceptable” threats of employee termination.

“While we understand that employers may themselves face difficulties, it is not reasonable to implement extended no-pay leave or other wage-saving measures without engaging or seeking the consent of their employees,” said MOM.

“MOM will investigate valid complaints and may suspend Jobs Support Scheme or foreign worker levy payouts for these companies until investigations complete.”

READ MORE: Circuit Breaker: Govt ramps up measures amid COVID-19 spike

The warning comes on the back of an extended Circuit Breaker. To further help employers cope with the suspension of business operations, the government has also extended the 75% wage subsidy for all sectors till May.

MOM will also investigate complaints where employers tap on the subsidy but fail to use it to support staff salaries.

Additionally, employers will receive a foreign worker levy rebate of $750 for each S Pass or work permit holder as part of the Solidarity Budget.

With such additional measures in place, MOM urged employers to retain employees and continue paying their salaries during the lockdown period.

“With the significant support provided by the Government, employers are reminded to treat all their employees regardless of nationality, fairly and responsibly,” MOM said.

“We urge employers to keep their employees’ interests in mind even as they make adjustments during this challenging period.”

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