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Problem getting paid... are there laws?

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AngMoKio
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Problem getting paid... are there laws?

Postby AngMoKio » Mon, 01 Jun 2009 6:31 pm

Hello. My wife and I recently moved to Singapore 4 months ago when she was offered a job with a large electronics manufacturer here. The position was through a headhunter firm and she came over as an employee of that firm, not the large electronics manufacturer.

The good news is that she was recently offered a full time position at her office, and the large firm would have to buy out her contract (as expected.)

The only bump to this otherwise benign transition came today. Despite no advance warning and no notification in her contract, her old contracting firm has refused to issue her a paycheck for this past month citing the need to figure out the tax withholdings. They are going to hold her paycheck for at least 30 days with no advance notice.

Unfortunately, as her new job (the same position) just started her new employer won't be paying her for a full month.... so we are going to have to really scramble to make rent and it will be chicken rice every meal this month. Our landlord is also going to have to be payed late as we had -no notice- this would be the case and it will take a few days to get money together.

So my question... is this all on the up and up?????

Any thoughts?

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jpatokal
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Re: Problem getting paid... are there laws?

Postby jpatokal » Tue, 02 Jun 2009 9:48 am

AngMoKio wrote:The only bump to this otherwise benign transition came today. Despite no advance warning and no notification in her contract, her old contracting firm has refused to issue her a paycheck for this past month citing the need to figure out the tax withholdings. They are going to hold her paycheck for at least 30 days with no advance notice.

I presume what's happening is that your wife is changing EPs, and the company is withholding the last month's salary to make sure her tax obligations are met. Alas, based on my cursory reading of the IRAS page on the topic, this seems legit, or even compulsory:

http://www.iras.gov.sg/irasHome/page04_ektid544.aspx

No easy way out that I can see, at the end of the day you should have done your homework and not squeezed your finances so tight that paying one month's rent is a problem. But check with IRAS and the old company if there's any way you can expedite the tax clearance, since the company has to return the money to you ASAP once that's done, and it should in no case take over 30 days.
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sundaymorningstaple
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 02 Jun 2009 10:48 am

By law the employer is required to withhold the last months salary and file a Tax Clearance (IR21) and pay any taxes due from your last salary. After the tax clearance is paid, both your wife and the employer will get a letter from IRAS stating it is now okay to pay the employee any monies still due them.

Now, the 30 days is a problem but only if the employer is a lazy or stubborn git who is made because they are losing their markup on you as a contract staff. If they send in the IR21 via Fax it is considered as a manual submission and it CAN take up to 30 days to get clearance from IRAS. However, if the IR21 is filed ONLINE through the IRAS website it will be done WITHIN 14 DAYS. Therefore it shouldn't prove to be any problem. The employer normally required a minimum of 1 months notice either side for a employee who is leaving so even then there should be no real problem.

As long as the parting is amicable then, if they are an agency, filing online would not be a problem so it should be cleared in 14 days MAXIMUM.

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blue_thunder
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Postby blue_thunder » Tue, 02 Jun 2009 11:47 am

In my case it went on for more than 2 months & then I had to file a complaint with IRAS & MOM to get it cleared.
Your wife can apply for an advance payment from the new company.
Most of the companies here will give you a month's salary in advance & you can pay them back in installments.



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AngMoKio
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Postby AngMoKio » Tue, 02 Jun 2009 2:32 pm

Thanks for all the help.

Normally our finances wouldn't be so tight but we just moved here 3 months ago and after all of the condo and utility deposits, agent fees, plane tickets, etc... we are quite a bit lighter then usual in our emergency fund.

We had just gotten caught up enough to pay off all -that- debt and sent the maximum we could back to the credit card to avoid the wire charges not realizing we would be out a paycheck until it quite simply didn't show up.

It sounds like the previous employer is going to give us a partial payment of salary owed (with only 3 months of paychecks, we don't owe much tax.)

I guess it will be chicken rice for us for a month :)


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