News: Employer in court over $430K in unpaid wages

Compensation & Benefits

Employer in court over $430K in unpaid wages

Will justice be served for the workers of Royal Cuisine, Healthy Meals, and Yanxi?
Employer in court over $430K in unpaid wages

SINGAPORE – A food & beverage entrepreneur who is facing allegations of unpaid wages for the work of over a hundred employees will be back in court tomorrow.

Sim Ling Zhen, who runs multiple F&B businesses as a director, reportedly reneged on her commitment to pay the wages of 103 staff members. The amount owed totals more than S$432,000, with some unpaid wages going as far back as 2022.

The errant employer faces 24 violations of Singapore’s Employment Act, The Straits Times reported.

Employees affected by the missed payments worked for three of Sim’s businesses, namely Royal Cuisine Group, Healthy Meals Catering and Yanxi.

Some employees were able to recoup owed wages with the help of the Ministry of Manpower and the Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management.

A total of 46 workers also sought additional financial assistance under the Short-Term Relief Fund and Migrant Workers’ Assistance Fund.

“As the companies could not meet the outstanding salary claims filed by the individuals, TADM had assisted them to pursue their claims at the Employment Claims Tribunals and advised them to enforce any ECT Orders through the State Courts,” officials told ST.

Prohibitions against bankrupt officers

All three companies were said to have closed down in late 2022 because they could no longer make wage payments, the MoM and TADM said.

An investigation by the Straits Times, however, showed the businesses in question were still operational and that Sim remained active as a director despite being tagged as an “undischarged bankrupt” by the Insolvency Office.

Singapore’s Companies Act prohibits a person deemed to be an “undischarged bankrupt” from managing firms, whether directly or indirectly, or taking on directorships.

Advice for employers and workers

The MoM reminds employers to pay workers at least once a month and within seven days after the end of the salary period.

“Non-payment of salary is an offence,” the ministry said, reminding workers of the same.

“If you are not paid on time, approach your employer to understand if there are reasons for the late payment, and whether the regular payment schedule can be resumed,” the MoM said.

“If you do not receive your salary, you can file an employment-related claim at the Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management (TADM), or approach your union for assistance.”

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Topics: Compensation & Benefits

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