Singapore Expats Forum

Issue with MOM

Discuss your views about Singapore business & economy, current policies & issues, starting a business in Singapore.
buzzthebuzzy
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue, 27 Jul 2010

Issue with MOM

Postby buzzthebuzzy » Tue, 27 Jul 2010 10:40 pm

I have been in Singapore for almost 1 year and My wife is Singaporean.
I recently started running a services company ( registered with ACRA ),providing painting etc to clients.


Few days ago, 2 MOM officers turned up at my wife's office ( her own ) and wanted to know about me and if I had any company documents lying around.Apparently, I have registered my office address under my Wife's company address.

There was nothing of mine lying around, they took some pictures of the office. My wife called me and I asked the MOM officer whats the problem. They just mentioned that they cant tell me anything over the phone and wanted me to come in person to MOM next week, They mentioned that someone had given a feedback about my company. ( now my workers are freelance locals ) and I dont have much jobs, business is slow.


They have given a paper that was headed SUMMONS TO A WITNESS, Employment Agencies Act ( Chapter 92 ) ,Section 18 (1 ) and I am supposed to take my wife as well there.

I am a PR here and not very sure about MOM 's procedure's. Can someone please enlighten me what is this all about and what kind of enquiry is done under this section ?

Thanks !

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 34262
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 27 Jul 2010 11:07 pm

Sounds like your were hiring employees and not paying any CPF on them. If this is the case and one of the employees went to MOM to complain, your hindquarters are up a brown smelly creek. Painters are not freelance. Who gave you that kind of silly information? Even employment agencies who temp out staff for two or three days at a time have to pay CPF for those employees if they earn over $50 in a month. They might not have to contribute CPF but the employer might. Also, you may have to contribute to the Skills Development Levy as well. You may well lose your PR if they think it's serious enough. Hiring employees without reporting it to CPF, No proper registered office. I wouldn't want to be in your shoes......

buzzthebuzzy
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue, 27 Jul 2010

Postby buzzthebuzzy » Tue, 27 Jul 2010 11:30 pm

Actually I dont understand. When we register in ACRA, we can give any address right. I then gave my wife's company address.

Also its only when I receive an assignment that I look for workers in Gumtree etc. Once they finish their work, I pay them cash. So the next time it may or may not be the same person for another painting assignment.

Another thing is that my wife has declared me as a staff in her company and is contributing CPF for me.

The freelance workers who take up my jobs have been Singaporeans, who do a 4-5 job, get paid and leave. On two occassions, it had been 2 guys holding Long Term Visit Pass.

Even if I were to approach CPF Building, whose CPF do I pay ?

User avatar
ksl
Governor
Governor
Posts: 6005
Joined: Mon, 19 Jul 2004
Location: Singapore
Contact:

Postby ksl » Wed, 28 Jul 2010 12:51 am

buzzthebuzzy wrote:Actually I dont understand. When we register in ACRA, we can give any address right. I then gave my wife's company address.

Also its only when I receive an assignment that I look for workers in Gumtree etc. Once they finish their work, I pay them cash. So the next time it may or may not be the same person for another painting assignment.

Another thing is that my wife has declared me as a staff in her company and is contributing CPF for me.

The freelance workers who take up my jobs have been Singaporeans, who do a 4-5 job, get paid and leave. On two occasions, it had been 2 guys holding Long Term Visit Pass.

Even if I were to approach CPF Building, whose CPF do I pay ?


People on LTVP are not allowed to work, so you are probably up the creek by giving them for freelance work. You will get a fine! Ignorance is no excuse, you should have checked before hiring people. The other issue maybe that your wife employs you has staff, pays cpf. Yet you are not working there!

You are running your own side show! Could also be tax implications too. The fine will be a reminder to do things right or not at all! Though I symapthise with you because there are real big fish out there, that they do not touch!

You haven't employed anyone, so you do not pay CPF for them, its the illegal LTVP workers that is the problem I would say!

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 34262
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 28 Jul 2010 6:54 am

Actually, he did hire people, some were illegal foreign workers (ltvp holders) and the others were Singaporeans. Yes, those on 2 or 3 days jobs are not freelance workers. The only freelance workers here are people like insurance agents and other commission based people (people who work when "they" feel like it. Not being assigned jobs by the boss. I'd say he's really screwed. To the OP, go to the CPF board site and have a good read. You also should download and read the Employers CPF Guide as well as the IRAS guides for business owners from their respective sites.

buzzthebuzzy
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue, 27 Jul 2010

Postby buzzthebuzzy » Wed, 28 Jul 2010 10:09 am

alright I wwill do that. Do you think my business will be in trouble. They have asked me to bring documents along pertaining to the operations.

What kind of documents will that be ? I do have agreements signed by my adhoc Singaporeans. Also ,a diary to show the dates when I had received assignments. Is it enough ?

Also, Is my wife in trouble ? She hired me as a worker, pays me a monthly salary and CPF . I do assist her in her Accounts , but yet I am running my own business.

In the meantime I will go read up on CPF website.

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 34262
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 28 Jul 2010 11:10 am

buzzthebuzzy wrote:alright I wwill do that. Do you think my business will be in trouble. They have asked me to bring documents along pertaining to the operations.

What kind of documents will that be ? I do have agreements signed by my adhoc Singaporeans. Also ,a diary to show the dates when I had received assignments. Is it enough ?

Your best bet is to bring any and all documents pertaining to your company/employees that you might have.

Also, Is my wife in trouble ? She hired me as a worker, pays me a monthly salary and CPF . I do assist her in her Accounts , but yet I am running my own business.

As you are a PR, there is no legislation to prevent you from working as an employee and also running your own business. (I've been doing that for years).

In the meantime I will go read up on CPF website.


For just about the entire skinny on sole proprietorships/self-employed taxpayers the following PDF files should sort you out (I don't know your race so am including links for files in several languages).

English Starter Guide for the Self-Employed

If you need it in another language (Chinese, Tamil or Malay) the links page from IRAS is at:

http://iras.gov.sg/irasHome/page.aspx?id=1656


Employer's Guide to CPF

The Employment Act: Who it covers

buzzthebuzzy
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue, 27 Jul 2010

Postby buzzthebuzzy » Thu, 29 Jul 2010 10:21 pm

I finally called CPF board and had it all cleared.I mean what I need to do. Fine thats settled that I need to contribute CPF for the locals. All the while ,I thought it applied to 44 hours.

OK leaving that aside, I went through all my worker's IC copies and the agreements that I had them to sign ,and the invoices that I sent to my customers.

Now I remember where the fault laid. Last week, I had a call from a customer,a Phillipino who wanted to have the painting in his house done the very next day. Well, this was immediate and there was no one available. Usually I have all the IC Copies of my locals, but this time, I called one of my worker,someone I had never used before to ask if he was available. This so called worker ABC, I called him to ask if he was able to do the painting for me. He spoke good English and I told him that since the assignment is the next day, I would meet up with him after the assignment or the next day to get his IC Copy.

Well,the next day this dear painter turned up and my client's house and he was a foreigner. The client got his room painted in a day and right after the session, this guy called me and said he is finished. When I told him to meet me to give me his IC copy he then confessed that he wasnt a Singaporean.he was a Bangladeshi....!!!


Now I had invoiced the client over email and called him many times to pay up but no respond from him. Just 1 week later MOM comes knocking on the door.

I think the client must have made a complain that I am sending someone illegal.

Its my stupidity. Usually I follow my workers to my client's place but I did not on that day, and know I have to bear the brunt of it.


I have yet to think what to tell the MOM officers in case they question me about it.

I am bringing my work diary and all my workers IC and agreements to show that the rest are all legal. Please advise what can I say to excuse myself..in case if they do mention about it....


I had 2 people call me yesterday and today and both were wanting to work for me. But when I ask " are you a PR? " they said yes ..but when I asked them to give me their IC Number for verification , they refused.One was even telling me that I just need him to work so why am I asking so many questions ??























:mad:

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 34262
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 29 Jul 2010 11:25 pm

I believe I would crawl in on my hand and knees and beg for forgiveness. You have not one but two BAD errors that are unforgivable in the Gahmen's view. Hiring illegal foreign workers AND not contributing CPF/SDF for your local employees. Both carry rather hefty penalties.

I cannot understand HOW you could not bother to read the information I gave you BEFORE you started putting people out on jobs. Live and learn. Good example of the Foreign Talent that the locals are whinging on about I guess. Maybe they got a legit complaint? :o

Be polite and contrite and maybe they will just give you a token fine for stupidity. :-|

User avatar
Mad Scientist
Director
Director
Posts: 3447
Joined: Thu, 03 Dec 2009
Location: TIMBUKTU

Postby Mad Scientist » Fri, 30 Jul 2010 6:40 am

OP

You are walking on a very thin ice. Thread carefully. As you have admitted that it is your stupidity and being naive you fell into this pit.

The last customer that you did the job is pulling a fast one on you. Forget about getting any payment as you are not in position to ask anything at this moment.

CPF and MOM works in tandem and they view these offences seriously. You will not get ejected out of SG that I am sure. It takes more than that

Your company will be in their blacklist book that I am pretty sure. Plead for clemency as you are "ignorant of the fact". Mitigate . If needed get a lawyer .
Fine will be a sure thing , jail time remote. The question is on the quantum based on number of illegal workers and number workers not paid CPF.

Going forward , do make sure you pay your taxes, and other requirements while running your business. One more wrong step, it may affect both your wife and yourself.
I have been in business over 20 yrs, the door swings both ways when dealing with Gahmen just make sure you follow the rules
The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.Yahoo !!!

fatmouse76
Regular
Regular
Posts: 137
Joined: Sat, 15 May 2010

Postby fatmouse76 » Tue, 10 Aug 2010 10:28 pm

Hey Buzy, hope all is fine now for you. :) Anyway, just to share, one of my old neighbour ,was running a service for supplying Singaporean part time maids to houses for cleaning.

He also had the same issue, this was back in 2008. He went to MOM and was told that someone had complained that against him for running an Employment Agency without a license. So MOM did an investigation and called his clients and workers .
From what he told me was that he charged his clients $15 per hour but paid his workers $10.Of course, he gave them cpf and all.

What happened after that I am not sure as I left Singapore then.

Question is :???: if the poor guy was making a profit of $5 per hour, from his workers, would you call it as "agency fees " .In my opinion is when I got my Full time live in maid, I had to pay about $900+ to the agent as a Agency fees...


Aint Singapore full of rules and regulation ?


:wink:

morenangpinay
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 890
Joined: Mon, 02 Mar 2009

Postby morenangpinay » Fri, 13 Aug 2010 11:39 am

i just want to inform you bout this in case you need to hire foreign people in the future who can legally work part time on short notice.You can hire workers from an NGO called H.O.M.E.
http://forum.singaporeexpats.com/ftopic63399.html


but goodluck on your case!hope it turns out okay.

User avatar
nakatago
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 8333
Joined: Tue, 01 Sep 2009
Location: Sister Margaret’s School for Wayward Children
Contact:

Postby nakatago » Fri, 13 Aug 2010 11:46 am

fatmouse76 wrote:Aint Singapore full of rules and regulation ?
:


two words: nanny state.

morenangpinay
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 890
Joined: Mon, 02 Mar 2009

Postby morenangpinay » Fri, 13 Aug 2010 11:51 am

nakatago wrote:
fatmouse76 wrote:Aint Singapore full of rules and regulation ?
:


two words: nanny state.


super nanny state lol


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Business in Singapore”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests