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Have to pay 1 month salary to quit job with notice period

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cocorossello
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Have to pay 1 month salary to quit job with notice period

Postby cocorossello » Wed, 09 Feb 2011 2:00 pm

Hi,

I signed almost 3 months ago a contract with a contractor (IT). I am earning 4000S$/month and the duration of the contract is 1 year.

In my contract it says that if I quit I have to give 1 month notice period (which is, of course, reasonable) AND I have to pay 1 month salary, which I believe it is illegal.

For personal reasons I want to quit my job and go back home (I have an EP), but I don't want to work 1 month for free.... So, my question is: does anybody know if it is "common" practice in Singapore? Can they enforce me to work for free?

I know I signed it in the contract, but I don't think this is legal. I didn't get any training with them.

Even in the case that I'm fired, I would have to pay 1 month salary which is clearly

Thanks in advance.

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Postby ksl » Wed, 09 Feb 2011 2:27 pm

MOM is your most reliable source, try and give them a ring, no need to give details, just ask about the legality of your contract.

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Re: Have to pay 1 month salary to quit job with notice perio

Postby ecureilx » Wed, 09 Feb 2011 3:30 pm

cocorossello wrote:Hi,

I signed almost 3 months ago a contract with a contractor (IT). I am earning 4000S$/month and the duration of the contract is 1 year.

In my contract it says that if I quit I have to give 1 month notice period (which is, of course, reasonable) AND I have to pay 1 month salary, which I believe it is illegal.



Illegal ?? Maybe illegal, in your eyes, but who else says so ?? You read it and signed it, then you found out that you can get a better pay, so now you see the contract as illegal ??? Right ????


For personal reasons I want to quit my job and go back home (I have an EP), but I don't want to work 1 month for free.... So, my question is: does anybody know if it is "common" practice in Singapore? Can they enforce me to work for free?



Going home is the common excuse everybody says, to jump ship .. no - I mean it ..

And it is not a common practice (ah - there you go, so you are testing the waters to build you case .. ) but every contract can have sub clauses - like an employer I work assigned to - within first 6 months, if I don't use the annual leave, they added 7 days to my annual leave, to be fully utilised within the next month - abnormal ? yes, but legal - Hell yes - and I read it and signed it .. and was explained to me ..

Nobody can enforce nobody to work for free, but there are other things a business minded consultant can do to recover back the monies due .. .. (well, they are too in the business of money making I believe, unless they are a charity .. )

I know I signed it in the contract, but I don't think this is legal. I didn't get any training with them.


If you are qualified, why do you expect training ? Beats me .. Well, I wonder which employer can train me before giving me a job ?? :(


Even in the case that I'm fired, I would have to pay 1 month salary which is clearly

Thanks in advance.


Well, let me put it this way: You most likely (I said "MOST LIKELY") got employed through a consultant, who has to make money in your salary over 1 year. So if you jump ship, he or she has to make the money,m hence they inserted this clause to discourage you from jumping ship ..

And most possibly the consultant had to pay somebody to place you (don't ask me how I know this ...) so he had to ensure you stuck around till he recovers the money

Now the legal angle: You can fight through MOM to get yourself released - but, MOM can turn around and also look at the consultant's view of his having incurred costs and the terms are to protect the business end of the consultancy.

You may come out as a winner, but you will loose end of the day as a possible candidate, for other jobs, unless you really mean you are going back home as you claim, or .. you have a job lined up and they will not do cross reference with your previous consultant..

PS: I may have come out a bit blunt, but .. while I don't like the consultants who fleece the candidates, I have also heard from consultants were candidates have left en-mass when they got slightly better offers - and all the while they had been paid market rate salaries ..

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Postby Mad Scientist » Wed, 09 Feb 2011 4:13 pm

The Employment Act is only a guideline for those employer/employee that has no legal contract be it in tort, contract implied or otherwise

YOUR employment contract supersede the one above. It is not illegal. There are many cases especially in banking sector and high end position in manufacturing and R & D whereby the monetary amount to be paid back if resign within stipulated time amount to One or Two years pay
Unless it has been seen unjust in demand, then you can seek MOM for justification but from your post , I think, you have no ground for a recourse
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Postby ksl » Wed, 09 Feb 2011 6:53 pm

Just to add a little more flavour, you wouldn't be working free at all.

Remember the company probably have to pay fees to an agency, to employ you...and like the others have suggested, it prevents job hopping at the expense of the company. In all fairness you have little or no gripe, unless you have a genuine reason for breaking the contract, like compassionate grounds for return, so I would think even contacting MOM, it would be an arbitrary request if they helped you out. But job hopping would definitely not be in your favour.

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Postby ecureilx » Wed, 09 Feb 2011 7:50 pm

ksl wrote:In all fairness you have little or no gripe, unless you have a genuine reason for breaking the contract, like compassionate grounds for return, so I would think even contacting MOM, it would be an arbitrary request if they helped you out.


Well, somebody told me that Rome was not built on the compassion and affection and the care of the supervising Romans: it was built on Harsh labour and violence to those who refused to work for the Emporer ...

Compassion ?? yes, the Compassion MOM would offer is to 'request' the employer to 'consider' reducing the fees to break the contract, and from what I know, MOM is the last place on earth to encourage people to break contracts ..

Well, if the TS was a manual labourer, there are a few ways I could recommend - but considering his salary, he is a White Collar worker, and is not eligible for such legal recourse ...

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Postby Nath21 » Thu, 10 Feb 2011 12:10 pm

So you have two choices complete the terms of the agreement or do a runner on the last day of the payroll the month you give notice but you will have to have tax clearance to leave Singapore (once notice is given). So your actually better of just leaving after pay day and not giving notice to you have left the country. Im not advocating to but there your choices. If you do the later you probably wont be welcome in Singapore again.

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Postby ecureilx » Thu, 10 Feb 2011 12:22 pm

Nath21 wrote:So you have two choices complete the terms of the agreement or do a runner on the last day of the payroll the month you give notice but you will have to have tax clearance to leave Singapore (once notice is given). So your actually better of just leaving after pay day and not giving notice to you have left the country. Im not advocating to but there your choices. If you do the later you probably wont be welcome in Singapore again.


Am not old, but when I see the attitude of the youngsters nowadays, they don't give a hoot about jumping ship or doing a runner ..

as for Tax clearence, for those under EP - WP, the employer will have to tell MOM that the person did a runner, and then recover back the taxes through back pay ...

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Postby cocorossello » Thu, 10 Feb 2011 6:15 pm

Thx for your replies.

ecureilx, are you aware that in some other places that kind of clauses are illegal and, even if you sign it a 1000 times it is still illegal and they can't enforce it. This is a "common" practice in other places, and if you just tell them that is illegal they will not enforce it (because they know it is, they just do it to scare people).

From what I read, here in Singapore, they also enforce some illegal clauses in some contracts that are still illegal even signed.... So you can defend it in courts.

Training, also, is usually what you get at the beginning if you have to work on a very specific (sometimes proprietary) solution, so that has nothing to do with your qualifications.

I'll check with mom and a lawyer. I understand that the consultant has to make money, but 1 month salary is actually way too much money. It's not my problem if the consultant has to bribe someone to get me a job.... The consultant has to make money out the difference between my salary and what they pay for me.

From my point of view this is so abusive. You can't enforce to keep employees by making they pay you if they leave, you have to provide slightly better conditions than the average and people won't quit the job....

And yes, I do have some familiar problems, that's why I would like to go back now. I don't plan to go back here, but I don't want to just leave...

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Postby ecureilx » Thu, 10 Feb 2011 6:38 pm

cocorossello wrote:ecureilx, are you aware that in some other places that kind of clauses are illegal and, even if you sign it a 1000 times it is still illegal and they can't enforce it. This is a "common" practice in other places, and if you just tell them that is illegal they will not enforce it (because they know it is, they just do it to scare people).


Fairly disputable, unless somebody has been painting to you a picture of a Singapore where professional consultants are out to cheat and illegally run slave shops .. :D :D Heard that comment before from some who arrived here, and found they could earn more and then turn on their consultant .. As for 'common' practice in other places, maybe somebody else like SMS could enlighten me - I am lost on that ..

From what I read, here in Singapore, they also enforce some illegal clauses in some contracts that are still illegal even signed.... So you can defend it in courts.


No - my 2 cents worth ? S$ 4,000 is not a bad salary, and if you think that your consultant is ripping you off, let me refer you to a couple of guys I met, working in Bloomberg, who take home 1,600 $ even though they are Java Programmers with 4 years experience each .. and there are a few I met from another organisation, where for the 24 months contract, they have to loose 30% of their pay, on top of the 2 months pay they paid upfront to secure the job .. now, that is cheating ..

Training, also, is usually what you get at the beginning if you have to work on a very specific (sometimes proprietary) solution, so that has nothing to do with your qualifications.


If you are talking of training in proprietery solutions, and If you ever worked for MNCs, if you are provided training that gets added to the minimum time period you must serve and can go upto 6 months - or more ..

I'll check with mom and a lawyer. I understand that the consultant has to make money, but 1 month salary is actually way too much money.


I see - so your argument is that the consultant is getting too rich by asking a one month penalty in lieu of his sweat and effort to place you ?? Cool .. :D :D

It's not my problem if the consultant has to bribe someone to get me a job....


I didn't mean bribe - but if you are in business, you need to grease the wheels, and if you dunno what that means, and think it is/was a bribe - no comments ...

The consultant has to make money out the difference between my salary and what they pay for me.


Thanks for that word of wisdom :D When I start my agency, I will do that, and then have a dozen or more people screaming that it is still unfair ..

From my point of view this is so abusive. You can't enforce to keep employees by making they pay you if they leave, you have to provide slightly better conditions than the average and people won't quit the job....


No comments - other than to say "if you need a job you will like, then better get back home .. and it is easier to bite the bullet and love the job you have .. " then again, I maybe a bit to wisened up .. .

Have fun, and thanks for taking time to reply .

Cheers

PS: above are my own view on your situation and not a reflection of any others view or trying to defend your consultant .. for that matter, I am not even in the recruiting industry

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Postby Strong Eagle » Thu, 10 Feb 2011 9:59 pm

cocorossello wrote:Thx for your replies.

ecureilx, are you aware that in some other places that kind of clauses are illegal and, even if you sign it a 1000 times it is still illegal and they can't enforce it. This is a "common" practice in other places, and if you just tell them that is illegal they will not enforce it (because they know it is, they just do it to scare people).

From what I read, here in Singapore, they also enforce some illegal clauses in some contracts that are still illegal even signed.... So you can defend it in courts.

Training, also, is usually what you get at the beginning if you have to work on a very specific (sometimes proprietary) solution, so that has nothing to do with your qualifications.

I'll check with mom and a lawyer. I understand that the consultant has to make money, but 1 month salary is actually way too much money. It's not my problem if the consultant has to bribe someone to get me a job.... The consultant has to make money out the difference between my salary and what they pay for me.

From my point of view this is so abusive. You can't enforce to keep employees by making they pay you if they leave, you have to provide slightly better conditions than the average and people won't quit the job....

And yes, I do have some familiar problems, that's why I would like to go back now. I don't plan to go back here, but I don't want to just leave...


Remind me never to hire you. You entered into a contract. You agreed to its terms. Now, you do not want to abide by the contract. Your word is worth nothing.

I've managed many ugly contracts. They are ugly because that is what it took to win the deal. But, I've never see the whining and back pedaling that you are so aptly performing.

I have always been a supporter of my employees and contractors, even when they have left for more opportunities, for each man and woman gets to make the decisions that moves their lives forward. The difference is that they have left with integrity.

But, you want to cheat. You want out of the deal you made. You want to make excuses as to why you should be excused. Be a man. Own up. And if it is family problems, ask for assistance. But cut this crap of seeming superiority... right now you are a weasel simply trying to avoid contractual obligations that you agreed to.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 10 Feb 2011 10:21 pm

As a former recruiter, I can tell you, I cannot respond to this post, at least not in civil tones. This guy is lower that whale s**t, Somebody ought to hang him out to dry.

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Re: Have to pay 1 month salary to quit job with notice perio

Postby Mad Scientist » Fri, 11 Feb 2011 4:13 am

cocorossello wrote:Hi,
In my contract it says that if I quit I have to give 1 month notice period (which is, of course, reasonable) AND I have to pay 1 month salary, which I believe it is illegal.
I know I signed it in the contract, but I don't think this is legal. I didn't get any training with them.

Thanks in advance.


You need to read this from MOM page

Compensation from employees for terminating a contract

Contracts that require employees to pay a monetary compensation (in addition to notice pay) to the employer for terminating the contract before the completion of a specified period are not covered by the Employment Act. An employee can resign at any time by serving the required notice in accordance with the provisions in the employment contract.

The terms pertaining to monetary compensation (in addition to the notice pay) for terminating the contract prematurely is a contractual term and not governed by the Employment Act. Where there are disputes, the civil court will have jurisdiction in deciding the outcome.


This means it is LEGAL in all context as the employer can sue you in the court. It is only illegal if it is seem less favourable to the employee. In your case it is NOT. Read

http://www.mom.gov.sg/employment-practi ... ation.aspx

BTW do not bother to see the lawyer as I have spoken to my sister.She is a litigation lawyer. She told me you will lose your case. No ground for a recourse. Nadda, NO , Zilch, Zero, Kosong, Elek, Bo Liao.
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Postby revhappy » Fri, 11 Feb 2011 9:57 am

cocorossello wrote: This is a "common" practice in other places, and if you just tell them that is illegal they will not enforce it (because they know it is, they just do it to scare people).


No point talking about other places. Here a contract is a contract and you need to abide by it or face the consequenses. Be happy that atleast there is an exit clause with 1 months salary. Some contracts dont even have that. Looking at the way you have blindly signed the contract, you would have been in deeper shit.

Talking about other places. Be happy you are not in UAE or Saudi, there the employers keep your passport with them and then you are in deep Sh*t.

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Re: Have to pay 1 month salary to quit job with notice perio

Postby ecureilx » Fri, 11 Feb 2011 10:13 am

Mad Scientist wrote:BTW do not bother to see the lawyer as I have spoken to my sister.She is a litigation lawyer. She told me you will lose your case. No ground for a recourse. Nadda, NO , Zilch, Zero, Kosong, Elek, Bo Liao.


I beg to differ Chief: A few lawyers will be happy to take up the loosing case, as long as they get paid :D :D

As for RevHappy: I once was asked to sign a contract, with specilist product training provided (1 week Technical training) and that looked quite similar to a Telco Contract - 2 years contract, and departure in the midst, say 1 year later, I have to pay back 6 months of the remainder of the contract - God knows if anybody signed it, but the job was filled within a week ..

I don't dare to touch such employers even with a barge pole but surprisingly a lot are willing to take up on it ..


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