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Banned from working in Singapore

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restlessguy
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Banned from working in Singapore

Postby restlessguy » Tue, 22 Apr 2008 12:24 pm

I was working in an IT company, then I resigned last 24 March. After a few days I received a termination letter from that company stating breach of contract. From what some insider told me that they heard that I'm moving to a competitor thus they terminated me and stated that they will ban me from working for other company. To cut the story short my resignation becomes a termination.
After that I found a company that is willing to hire me but everytime they submit my application to MOM its always rejected. Then another company applied a pass for me, but then again it was rejected. When I ask the MOM officer, they told me that I have almost zero chance of working again in Singapore. I think that my ex-employer has messed up my profile.
I'm really down now, since my wife whos working here and my kid is here in Singapore, then MOM banned me for some reason they wont even disclose.
Anyone who can advise me on what to do? I really appreciate the help.

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sundaymorningstaple
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 22 Apr 2008 2:27 pm

What was the stated "breach of contract"?

Were you required to sign a non-compete clause or was a non-compete clause included with your contract? If it was, and you breached it, then you will have a problem.

If your position had access to new technology/patentable processes you may have a problem that goes further than Singapore alone.

Advice? Find a job in Johor? Even that may not work depending on the breach. If yours "was" a non-compete clause breach, depending on the wording it could be time driven or distance driven or a combination of both.

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Postby restlessguy » Tue, 22 Apr 2008 8:34 pm

No dont have any non-compete clause and I dont access to confidential source code since I'm only handling out-of-the-box softwares.
If other people would have those clauses in their contract does this mean they will work for them forever?
I dont even have the intention of doing anything that can be a loss to them. I feel that I was just wrongly judge.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 22 Apr 2008 9:19 pm

This is the way I see it. As an HR manager myself, I do know that some employers are a damn vindictive lot. Especially local ones. I'm not talking about HR department here but about MD's and GM's. Often they get a good person and then the competition steals them away and especially if it is an EP holder, often the MD will instruct HR to write damning letters to MOM to try to shaft the guy (sounds like your case). Or the shoe's on the other foot and the EP holder is trying to get the employer in trouble because (s)he was fired. Unfortunately MOM, 90% of the time, is used to this type of crap and just overlooks the episode as it's not their problem. The reason being is that if it was really as bad as mooted, then the employer/employee should go to a civil court for redress (only low paid workers are protected under the Employment Act, Cap 50).

However, occasionally, MOM will investigate WITHOUT telling the employer or the ex-employee. If they find a wayward employer you usually read about them in the paper. If they find truth in the allegations by the employer they can black-list the employee. Whether or not this is what happened in your case I couldn't say. But I have seen both happen in the past. Usually where there is smoke there is fire or it's totally bogus.
Last edited by sundaymorningstaple on Tue, 22 Apr 2008 9:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 22 Apr 2008 9:26 pm

Most non-compete clauses are designed to protect against IP theft primarily. Often times, here in Asia, they also try to invoke these clauses to protect client lists as well. Unfortunately they are not enforceable as any phone directory also includes the client list (albeit you don't know which ones are clients). With regard to IP Technology/Process theft normally there will be a 1 or 2 year non-compete clause or it could be a radius based one say not allowing you to work in any laboratory within a 500 mile radius which could incompass several neighbouring countries. If taken to court the court may find that the parameters are just too big or too long and shorten it or declare it non-enforceable. The old saying that you cannot prevent a man from earning a living no longer holds true (I used to believe that one myself).

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Postby restlessguy » Tue, 22 Apr 2008 9:35 pm

Well you got it right, I just want to move out of that company, I dont have any plans of revealing any wrong or illegal doing on their part, its not my style, I just want to move on and get another job. Salary is not the main reason I resigned but more on the working environment there.
Is there any chance that MOM will clear my name or is this banning will have a time lapse.
Is there a way that I can have a fair judgement on this? I dont have the money to hire lawyers.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 23 Apr 2008 12:37 am

Short of taking him to a civil court there's not much you can do I don't think. As to the inner workings of MOM, it's like Immigration (only those who work there have any knowledge of the parameters set there). I'd be afraid to hazard any kind of guess.

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Postby restlessguy » Wed, 23 Apr 2008 8:02 am

Well if thats the case, does this blacklisting have a validity or is it permanent?

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 23 Apr 2008 11:04 am

I really don't know as in the few cases where I've heard of somebody blacklisted per se, they have returned to their country of origin or gone elsewhere so I really have no way of knowing if they successfully overturned or had their "ban" otherwise lifted. As I said above, we are not privy to the inner working of MOM or ICA to know how these scenarios play out in the end.

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Postby Bubbletoo » Wed, 23 Apr 2008 12:39 pm

Id be very interested to know the outcome of this.

When I resigned from my previous job HR made a veiled threat saying MOM rejects EP requests for people who change jobs. (This is my first job in Singapore). At the time I passed it off as a way of making me reconsider my resignation, as I had resigned citing many issues and unprofessional actions by the company.

I am yet to apply for another pass for another job but now I am getting worried that they have made some sort "statement' to the MOM.

I will try and find out more info for myself and let the forum know.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 23 Apr 2008 1:32 pm

Bubbletoo,

This is patently not true. I know many who have left our company and some did not even give proper notice and they still got applications approved by new prospective employers. Normally, MOM doesn't bother about poison-pen letters from either employers or employees. MOM is NOT stupid and knows how HR departments treat some foreign staff. Of course this depends largely on the level of EP one has as well. If it's an "S" pass you are on the bottom rung, P1 and your at the top of the heap as it were so it rarely is abused.

Edited: Left out "NOT"
Last edited by sundaymorningstaple on Wed, 23 Apr 2008 11:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Bubbletoo » Wed, 23 Apr 2008 8:22 pm

Cheers Sundaymorningstaple

Ive got a Q pass so near enough to the top. I guess I got Q because even if I have a Masters degree Im still on the lower salary rungs. Ive found HR to be very stubborn here and thats being diplomatic...

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Postby restlessguy » Thu, 24 Apr 2008 9:23 am

Well good for you Bubbletoo, I just hope that in my case MOM will look fairly at my application.

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Postby Bubbletoo » Sat, 26 Apr 2008 11:11 am

Unfortunately EP has been cancelled as left my previous job. So not that good. I will have to apply for new EP when something suitable comes up...hence the worry...

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Postby Levikane » Mon, 26 May 2008 5:44 pm

Have you had a look at the personalised employment pass?

Not sure about your circumstances, but if you were on a Q pass for at least 5 yrs you might be eligible for a PEP, which is not employer specific.

http://www.mom.gov.sg/publish/momportal/en/communities/work_pass/PEP/about_the_pass.html


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