|Bus Companies Convicted And Fined For Failing To Pay Salaries|
|Wednesday, 04 April 2007 13:21|
It was sentenced to a total fine of $26,400. The director of A'Land Express, Mdm Ong Chau Keok, was also convicted of the same offences, as she was responsible for the non-payment of the salaries. She was fined $2,000, or 4 weeks' imprisonment in default.
Mdm Ong was also the sole-proprietor of another transport company, Paya Lebar Transit Service. In addition to the offences committed by her as the director of A'Land Express, she was also convicted in Court on 6 Mar 07 for failing to pay the salaries of 4 former bus drivers of Paya Lebar Transit Service, totaling $10,484. The Court sentenced her to a further fine of $2,000, or in default 4 weeks' imprisonment.
Brief Facts of the Two Cases
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) had received complaints from a group of drivers working for A'Land Express that they had not been paid their monthly salaries ranging from 1 to 18 months. Another four bus drivers employed by Paya Lebar Transit Service also made complaints to MOM that they had not been paid their monthly salaries ranging from 3 to 5 months. Some of the complaints were for salary arrears due to the drivers after their employment contracts had been terminated.
The drivers' salary claims were adjudicated at the Labour Court, and Orders were made for the companies to pay the arrears. However, the Orders were not complied with. MOM subsequently charged A'Land Express and Mdm Ong for infringements under the Employment Act.
Employers Urged to Pay Salaries on Time and to Comply with Labour Court Orders
It is an offence under the Employment Act for an employer not to pay salary earned by an employee for work done within 7 days after the salary period, or within 3 days from the termination of the contract of service. If found guilty, the employer can be fined up to $1,000 or imprisoned for up to 6 months or both, for each offence. An officer of a company, such as a director, manager or secretary, is also liable to be prosecuted, if he has consented to the offence, of if the offence is attributable to his act or default.
Employers, including directors of companies and other officers, are reminded that salary payments should be made on time. Where the Labour Court has issued an Order in favour of an employee, the employer should ensure that the Order is complied with. Non-payment of Labour Court Orders is a factor which the Ministry takes into account when assessing whether to commence criminal proceedings for offences under the Employment Act.