Director of fashion house fined S$72,000 for misuse of work pass applications

Author: PM editorial | Date: 27 Jul 2016

False declaration of inflated salaries leads to big sanctions for several Singapore employers

A fashion director is the latest employer to be prosecuted by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) for false work pass applications.
 
Yen Ser Ming, executive director of Yen’s Studio, was given a S$72,000 fine in lieu of 18 months in prison and banned from hiring any more foreign employees.
 
The prosecution comes hot on the heels of the S$21,000 fine imposed on Tan Boon Sing of KT Engineering and Construction for falsification of 10 work passes and S$40,000 for Parmjit Kaur, former vice-president of human resources at Harry’s International, the bar and restaurant chain.
 
Yen pleaded guilty to all nine charges of making false salary declarations when applying for ‘S passes’, which require a minimum salary of S$2,200 a month. In the case of KT Engineering and Harry’s International, full ‘employment passes’ were being applied for, which require a minimum monthly salary of S$3,100.
 
A statement issued by the MOM said: “She [Yen] knew that all the foreign employees would be receiving actual salaries that were lower than the salaries declared to MOM. The foreign employees were paid the declared salaries of between $1,800 and $2,600 monthly through GIRO. However, they had to return monthly amounts of between $500 and $1,300 in cash to the company.”
 
A similar story emerged in the case of KT Engineering, where employees were told they would be sent home if they didn’t comply.
 
“Falsifying salary information to mislead the Ministry to grant S passes and Employment passes is a serious offence,” said Kandhavel Periyasamy of MOM’s Foreign Manpower Management Division. “We will take stern action against persons or companies, including barring them from applying for new work passes and renewing their existing work passes.”
 
Since 2014, a total of 58 employers have been convicted for false declaration of salary offences.
 
It was announced in Singapore’s annual budget in March that that the cost of an S pass will increase this year.