SINGAPORE: Food and beverage company GD Group has been fined S$94,500 for making false salary declarations in applying for Employment Passes (EPs), the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said on Monday (Jan 14).
The company has also been barred from hiring foreign employees.
Between February 2013 and July 2015, the company falsely declared salary amounts of between S$4,000 and S$4,800 for 20 foreign employees to meet the salary requirement for EPs, while actually paying them between S$1,500 and S$2,200, investigations revealed.
This was done to circumvent foreign worker quota rules by hiring foreigners on EPs but paying them less than the declared salaries in the work pass applications, said MOM.
EP candidates need to earn at least S$3,600 a month while S Pass candidates need to earn at least S$2,300 a month, according to MOM's website.
There is no explicit quota on how many EP holders a company can employ, but the employment of S Pass holders and Work Permit holders is restricted to 15 per cent and 40 per cent of a company's total workforce respectively for the services sector.
Hiring S Pass and Work Permit holders is also subject to levies which are tiered such that companies that hire closer to the maximum quota will pay higher levies.
“The errant employer in this case has gained an unfair advantage in hiring foreigners at the expense of other firms," said MOM.
"MOM has a duty to protect the interest of law-abiding employers. We will continue to take errant employers to task by ensuring a level-playing field for businesses."
GD Group was convicted on Dec 27 of seven charges under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act, with 13 other charges being considered for sentencing.
It added that making false declarations to the work pass controller is a serious offence, and convicted offenders can be fined up to S$20,000 per charge and/or jailed for up to two years.