Fact of the Day (17 Apr): Caltex-BMW Driver Issue is Partly Real & Partly Not Real

So, we’ve all become pretty immersed in the Caltex-BMW issue: the latest reveal is that the pump attendant was allegedly rude to the BMW driver, and that the BMW driver had decided to pump just $10 because he was going to drive to Jurong to trade in the car.

But we’re all curious about one thing: what is the legality of having the pump attendant to cough up the $125, presuming that he earns $1,500 a month?

Fast fact: it’s legal, and companies are implementing it.

I worked as a part-time cashier in a supermarket after my O-level over ten years ago, and once, at the end of the day while doing my settlement (i.e. counting money to ensure it tallies), I was short of $50. Back then, $50 was my life.

It was almost 10:30 p.m. and everyone was ready to go home, but the chief cashier said that unless we find the $50, it would have to be deducted from my pay. You see, as a cashier, this rule has been clearly defined on the day that I signed the employment letter: we as cashiers would have to pay the difference should it be more than $5.

If there is more, we would usually just give it back to the chief cashier.

Usually, there would be differences of $1 or a few cents at the end of the day, and that could be absorbed. But $50? That’s very uncommon.

We spent 30 minutes looking for it, and finally found it stuck between two trays.

After that, my chief cashier explained the policy: as much as they would like to absorb, that would lead to employees abusing the system. She then told me about how people have tried to abuse the system.

As a 16-year-old, I totally didn’t understand and just thanked God that the $50 was found.

A year later, while working as a part-time cashier in a bookstore, this happened again: the difference this time was $80. We spent one hour trying to find the money but eventually it turned out that someone’s NETS purchase with his or her ATM card had been declined: but I still gong gong put it as “paid” in my POS system.

This time, $80 was deducted from my pay.

From then on, I became an expert in counting money, meticulously ensuring that every cent is accounted for. But of course the problem nowadays is that I don’t have money to count.

The point of this is simple: it’s real, though not that common. I know of a cashier who had more than $200 deducted from her pay.

But here’s the other thing: despite that, there’s a limit to how much pay could be deducted.

According to MOM rules, the maximum that can be deducted is 50% of the total salary payable. In other words, if a person earns $1,000 a month, the amount that can be deducted cannot be more than $500.

Unethical companies can still bend the rules by requesting the employee to pay up instead, so it won’t be considered a deduction but a payment instead.

So far, the places I’ve worked as a cashier still use the deductible system, which at least still protects the employees.

The takeaway from this article is this: yes, it’s legal to deduct the pump attendant’s pay for his “mistake”. But no, in most organizations, everyone would try to help recover the “mistake”.

And also one more fact: it’s true that $10 can bring one from Tampines to Jurong in a BMW 5-Series (our boss used to drive the exact same model).

Now you’ve become smarter.

This Singapore love story set in the 90s shows you why you should never wait for tomorrow. Watch it without crying:

Enjoyed this article because it’s both informative and entertaining? If so, you should download the Goody Feed app so that you won’t miss out on any articles, as there are app-exclusive contents as well! Also, join our Telegram channel if you use Telegram often!

Latest & Popular Articles You Must Not Miss:



Our Most Popular Videos You Must Not Miss:
This Singapore love story set in the 90s shows you why you should never wait for tomorrow. Watch it without crying: