In a Year, There Were Reportedly $15 Million Owed Salaries in S’pore

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I think people go to work for a very obvious reason. To earn money.

I’m sure it would obviously anger you if you had been waking up every morning and hauling yourself to work, just to work your ass off and not get paid for it.

Unfortunately, cases like that do occur once in a while.

Oh, wait, no, not once in a while. $15 million a year, to be exact.

$15 Million In Owed Salaries 

A total of around $15 million in salaries owed to employees in Singapore was recovered between April 2018 and March 2019, according to the Tripartite Alliance Limited (TAL).

So it isn’t just Honestbee that’s not paying salaries…

89% of a total of 5,773 employees fully recovered their salaries after their claims at the Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management (TADM) were resolved.

For your info, that’s the first step to take if your boss decided to “chut pattern” and not pay you. You can learn more about your salary with a video that we’ve done here:

The figures were revealed in TAL’s inaugural annual report on Wednesday, 25 September 2019.

This amount is relatively much higher compared to the figures on their previous report. About $5 million was owed to employees between April and September 2017, and 90% of them managed to fully recover their salaries after lodging claims.

Which means the number of owed salaries tripled in the span of a year.

That’s…crazy…

Image: Giphy

Mediation And Advisory Services

TAL oversees TADM, which was set up in 2017, and offers mediation and advisory services for employees and self-employed persons.

For example, last December, six local workers and three foreign workers approached TADM when their salaries were withheld for three months when the firm that they were working at was acquired by another company.


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TADM helped them out and told the firm’s overseas-based director to attend a mediation session in Singapore, where it was revealed that they lacked funds to pay their workers’ salaries, which is why the salaries were not paid for three months.

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) got involved in the case and issued a warning against the company.

More Complaints On Workplace Discrimination & Harassment 

Apart from the number of owed salaries, there were also more complaints about workplace discrimination and harassment in Singapore. A total of 357 cases were reported to the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (Tafep) last year.

Around 25% of these complaints were related to fair employment consideration for Singaporeans, 15% due to age discrimination and 11% being gender-related.

Come on. It’s 2019 and gender is still an issue in workplaces? 

Image: Giphy

How much can you earn from delivering food with foodpanda in Singapore? We tried it out for you, and the amount is apparently not what we’ve expected:

Luckily Goody Feed’s boss is an alien from Mars so we don’t have such problem.

Tafep aims to promote fair employment practices, and it helps employers build workplaces where employees are respected, valued and able to achieve their fullest potential.

It introduced several new tripartite standards in 2018, such as those on age-friendly workplace practices.


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The Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Council, which aims to bring about a healthy workforce and safe workplace, also raised its standards for workplace safety and health over the past year.

TADM, Tafep and the WSH council are all under TAL.

So now you know who to look for if you face any issues at work.

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