SINGAPORE: The executive director of local fashion house Yen's Studio has been fined S$72,000 for falsely declaring salaries when applying for work passes and visa renewals for its foreign employees, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said in a media release on Thursday (Jul 21).
MOM said Yen Ser Ming, 61, was convicted in court on Jul 14, and was fined in default of 18 months' imprisonment. The company has also been barred from hiring foreign employees.
Yen had falsely declared the salaries of nine foreign employees to meet the minimum salary required to apply and renew S Passes between December 2010 and June 2013, MOM said. She also instigated the company's operations manager to falsely declare the salaries to renew S Passes of the same nine foreign employees, as well as to apply for S Passes for two additional foreign employees, according to MOM between October 2013 and October 2015.
This is despite the fact that Yen knew all the foreign employees would receive lower salaries that those declared to MOM. The foreign employees were paid the declared salaries of between S$1,800 and S$2,600 monthly through GIRO, but had to return monthly amounts of between S$500 and S$1,300 in cash to the company, MOM said.
The 27 S Pass applications and renewals - comprising 11 new applications and 16 renewal applications - were approved and issued to the foreign employees based on the false information provided, MOM said.
A total of 58 employers have been convicted for falsely declaring salaries since 2014, according to MOM.
Commenting on the case, Mr Kandhavel Periyasamy, Director of Employment Inspectorate of MOM’s Foreign Manpower Management Division, said: “Falsifying salary information to mislead the Ministry into granting S Passes and Employment Passes is a serious offence. We will take stern action against persons or companies, including barring them from applying for new work passes and renewing their existing work passes.”
Under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act, employers can be fined up to S$20,000, jailed for up to two years, or both if convicted of making false declarations in work pass applications. They will also be barred from employing new foreign workers and renewing the visas of their existing foreign workers, MOM said.