Masseuse Claimed She Paid Over $50K to Take a Long Leave


In hectic Singapore, having more vacation days is an elusive concept. We know it exists, but we just can’t get it. 

Only a lucky bunch manages to snag a few more days off work, and we can’t help but be green with envy. 

That is, except for this masseuse. 

Masseuse Claimed She Paid Over $50K to Take a Long Leave

At a quaint massage parlour in Tampines, taking days off doesn’t just warrant a salary deduction. The parlour on the ground floor of Block 822 Tampines Street 81 also calls for compensation, and this woman learnt it the hard way. 

A 26-year-old woman surnamed Li paid her boss a staggering $52,000 for taking a few extra holidays. 

Yes, you didn’t read that wrong. 52,000. 


She’d have to fork out $648 for every extra day off she took. Pyrrhic. 

For context, her employer only allowed her to take two days of leave per month. 

On a $13 per-hour pay structure, Li’s compensation for the extra rest was equivalent to 12 hours of her work. 

In an unfortunate turn of events, she faced the wrath of the unfair system after she broke up with her partner. She had to visit a doctor and recover mentally at home, which meant that the hole in her wallet got bigger by the day. 

To be exact, she took 80 days off from the parlour. 


By now, it should be apparent that the playing field was massively unfair. Left with no choice, she resigned on 17 January this year after working for nearly two years since July 2021. 

Reflecting on her tenure, she remarked that the money she earnt was less than what she spent buying those rest days. 

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Rest Days Aren’t Elusive, The Money Is

Now, recovering the money is out of Li’s reach. 


Although she understands a contract has been signed, she reasoned that she wasn’t clear on the “paying for leaves” system. According to her, the amount she had to pay for the leaves wasn’t explained by her boss before working there. 

She has asked for the money back multiple times but was always rejected.

Speaking to Shin Min Daily News, the 70-year-old owner of the parlour, Ping Cai, said Li voluntarily offered to transfer money to the counter staff. 

Also, the store will accommodate employees if they have urgent needs for days off. 

He stated that no other employee has been taking leaves apart from Li. 


Well, we all know why the others don’t take days off.

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Featured Image: Shin Min Daily News + Singapore Spa Guide