Horrible Bosses – Singapore Edition
We’ve all been there… many conversations with friends over dinner (and supper) have revolved around… horrible bosses. The ones who make you work overtime at the expense of missing family occasions/obligations, the ones who always message/call/whatsapp/Facebook (yes! even Facebook you) at the most unfortunate timings to get work done, the ones who make you do all the work but claim the glory etc. But these don’t come close to the horrible bosses that we’ve come across in recent times and rounded up in this article. Here goes:
The villain: Sheng Yu Construction Builders Pte Ltd
The crime: Collecting kickbacks and assaulting MOM officer
The Managing Director was charged with 38 charges of receiving kickbacks from 24 foreign workers amounting to $85,380 as well as grabbing an MOM officer’s left arm while he tried to collect documentary evidence for investigations. It was reported that he was jailed.
The villain: Harry’s International
The crime: Trying to exploit a loophole and getting workers to return up to 50% of their salary
It was reported that the former COO of Harry’s International, Parmjit Kaur, pleaded guilty to charges of falsifying some 20 foreign employees’ salary declaration to MOM. She tried to circumvent the foreign worker quota by pretending to hire Employment Pass holders at $3,100 a month having them return $1,600 in cash to the company every month.
(Former COO of Harry’s Parmjit Kaur)
The villain: Prime Gold International
The crime: Engaging in discriminatory employment practices
It was revealed that 13 Singaporeans were retrenched in phases under false pretense of “unsatisfactory work performance” and “lack of relevant qualifications” while their positions were later filled with foreigners.
The villain: King’s Security and Safety Management Pte Ltd
The crime: forcing employees to work overtime
The company was found to have deployed security officers to work beyond 12 hours a day and beyond 72 hours of overtime a month without MOM’s authorisation. The company and its Managing Director, Tiruchelvam S/O Sinnadurai, each faces 84 charges under the Employment Act.
In several of the cases, greedy bosses tried to find loopholes in the existing Employment Pass scheme to exploit in order to reduce manpower costs by replacing Singaporeans with foreigners. This clearly contravenes the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (Tafep) guidelines and weakens the Singapore core.
The government has done its part in tightening Employment Pass applications by raising qualifying salaries from $3,000 to $3,600 and watch-listing companies deemed as “triple-weak” (ie not meeting he minimum criteria in terms of possessing and building a Singaporean core in their workforce, and in terms of their relevance to Singapore’s economy and society.) The union has also stepped in to support this as a positive move to help level the playing field for local PMEs.
But ultimately, one of the most important factors whether Singapore can build a strong local workforce is the mindset of employers. Horrible bosses will always be horrible bosses if they do not make the effort to recognise and the commitment to develop the potential of Singaporean PMEs. Hopefully, more enlightened employers will start understanding how inclusive and progressive workplaces are beneficial for staff… and eventually the organisation.