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Urgently need advice on contract duration, penalty etc. Tks

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Urgently need advice on contract duration, penalty etc. Tks

Postby unrevealed » Fri, 25 Mar 2011 10:41 pm

Hi everyone,
I urgently need your advice for my brother’s sake to clarify some points with regard to salary/penalty/duration conditions in his employment contract that he’s supposed to sign tomorrow morning.
The company offers him a monthly salary of S$3,000. Fine, but it’s a 3 year perm contract and the contract doesn’t include any clause about salary review which I found a bit tricky, not to mention 2 months of his salary will be deducted as a penalty if he doesn’t serve full term of the contract.
1, I’m thinking about suggesting him to negotiate a salary review clause but wondered how you normally go for it in Singapore. Is it feasible or there won’t be such a hope and he will need to find a way to satisfy himself sticking around with that $3000 during the 3 year period?
2, The company already helped to get his EP done. If he turns them down, will he have to undertake any obligations towards them? will this devalue his job applications in the future?
As this is his very first job in Singapore, all the trade-offs will be thoroughly taken into consideration so any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you very much in advance

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Postby BillyB » Sat, 26 Mar 2011 12:05 am

I'll give me 2 cents worth:

Firstly, 3 years with no salary review is a ridiculously long-time. Definitely not a good sign from a potential employer. Is there any bonus structure?
Next, not sure why employers would invoke a penalty clause unless they have paid initial costs like flights, expenses etc. Is it a sales based role?
Thirdly, completing an EP application isn't costly to the employer - its a necessity for them to employ a foreigner. I don't know what the implications are if you are making multiple EP applications and the knock on effect of that.

The company appears unethical, unrewarding and unappreciative of their staff (I know someone will pipe up here and say that business is business - but thats bullsh*t in my opinion. Your staff are your greatest resource. Always look after them. It's expensive to re-hire if you look at the bigger picture of time, recruitment costs, training etc.).
Also note that your brother is losing out in the long term when you factor in inflation and rising living costs with no salary increases.

My opinion; your brother is keen to find a job in Singapore (they are hard to come by at the moment so maybe there aren't many other options) so is considering roles to get a foot in the door or considering things out of desperation. If he has other things on the table or in the pipeline, I would recommend not to take this job offer. 3 years is a very long time and things can change dramatically in a short space of time. The employer has all the risks hedged, your brother on the other hand has nothing to protect him from all the downside risk if he wants to leave after say 1 year.

Hope this helps.

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Postby unrevealed » Sat, 26 Mar 2011 12:38 am

Many thanks for your input Billy
I believe it will not very difficult for him to get another job as he actually got two offers within his first week in Singapore and one more the second week but they are no longer there of course after throwing himself into the current one. Nonetheless, what has made him reluctant to let this one go is EP related issue. What to do next with the EP if he chooses the way out? Is there any cancellation rule? As mentioned earlier, if there is something to do with the impact of all this rejection, he might need to go with the negotiation solution though. Tough call!

Cheers

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Postby BillyB » Sat, 26 Mar 2011 12:54 am

Your brother must be a smart guy to get offers so quickly and to have no issues with his EP getting granted. If the EP is granted for this role all you need to do is ask the company to cancel it and find something else. However, the fact that it has been processed must imply that some form of documentation has been signed to start the ball rolling?
If that is the case then thats a different ballgame as the employer is well within their rights to invoke the contract conditions should he choose to leave or not to start as it is now binding if he has signed it.

If nothing has been signed, kindly turn down the offer and find something else. Which by the sounds of it shouldn't be too difficult based on the last two weeks.

Don't quote me on this, but I would imagine the MOM can understand a change of mind with regard to employment - we all make mistakes or have a change of thought. But if it becomes repeated a few times, I can't see them looking too favourably on things. With the whole election scenario coming up, probably not a wise idea to be giving them reasons to raise questions.

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Postby unrevealed » Sat, 26 Mar 2011 1:38 am

Thanks for your compliment. Those offers might speak for him being smart but honestly we were both positively surprised with the result obtained in the infancy of his job search. Magic does exist maybe : )
I found myself ashamed of having such a shallow understanding about all these must know employment stuff but the fact is he hasn’t engaged in anything in written yet. If your remark about how MOM works is true, inevitably my brother won’t need to bother with the EP. But anyway, his judgement, not mine, now I believe he has some means to make his own decision.
Thanks again Billy (you might asleep though :D)

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Postby Mad Scientist » Sat, 26 Mar 2011 1:49 am

If the first company has indeed received EP approval from MOM and your brother has not started work, he has to inform the current employer to cancel the EP . Only employer can cancel EP .
There is no legal implication in terms of monetary compensation unless he has received this job thru employment agencies or a pre agreed cost has been signed between two parties or something along this nature
Until such time the EP has been canceled, the new employer cannot reapply for him. You need to do this as the new employer will not be granted EP until the old one has been canceled. It is easier said than done as the current employer might be using delaying tactic. Go to MOM and seek advise on this issue.
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Postby BillyB » Sat, 26 Mar 2011 1:54 am

To clarify, as your replies are a little fuzzy. You only get an EP - whether this is P or Q or S-pass (in your brothers case Q or S based on salary) - through your employer, once you have secured a position. You still need to make sure you have the relevant visa in place to remain in SG throughout the job hunt. Something to bear in mind if he doesn't accept the job offer.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 26 Mar 2011 6:50 am

Just to throw one additional thing into the fire. If your brother is being offered an S pass and is being paid only 1800/mo, the employer is probably over paying your brother in his mind, but knows he has to pay the minimum in order to get the S pass. (nothing against your brother - that's the thought processes of local employers). If that is the case, then the employer is trying to use the employee by locking him into three years with 2 months completion clause. This is also typical for most Contract work - there is almost always a contract completion clause from 2 to as much as 6 months.

Therefore, the question now is.........

While your brother has had other offers, what isn't known is if those employers could have gotten an EP. Or, if you turn this one down, with the next employer be able to fulfill their side of the EP application requirement.

Additional food for thought from an employer......

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Postby unrevealed » Sat, 26 Mar 2011 8:35 am

Mad Scientist wrote:If the first company has indeed received EP approval from MOM and your brother has not started work, he has to inform the current employer to cancel the EP . Only employer can cancel EP .
There is no legal implication in terms of monetary compensation unless he has received this job thru employment agencies or a pre agreed cost has been signed between two parties or something along this nature
Until such time the EP has been canceled, the new employer cannot reapply for him. You need to do this as the new employer will not be granted EP until the old one has been canceled. It is easier said than done as the current employer might be using delaying tactic. Go to MOM and seek advise on this issue.


This is tricky but obviously there must be such a way to protect employers. But still, a little wonder why would they use those tactic once their employees no longer desire to work for them? If it is to make their employees stay, pointless as employees will remain negative and soon find their way out!. If not, even worse playing such a game for nothing. Correct me if I'm wrong.

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Postby unrevealed » Sat, 26 Mar 2011 8:36 am

BillyB wrote:To clarify, as your replies are a little fuzzy. You only get an EP - whether this is P or Q or S-pass (in your brothers case Q or S based on salary) - through your employer, once you have secured a position. You still need to make sure you have the relevant visa in place to remain in SG throughout the job hunt. Something to bear in mind if he doesn't accept the job offer.


As you said, we only get an EP once we have secured a position, I suppose there must be a need of providing an evidence for that. In fact, my brother started working as soon as the company had offered the job by email as the only commitment from the employer if we can consider it as one. And the official contract had not been in his hands until yesterday. So, was the email counted as a supporting 'document' as such for his EP application? If no, I would wonder how did the company come through the EP for him.

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Postby unrevealed » Sat, 26 Mar 2011 8:44 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Just to throw one additional thing into the fire. If your brother is being offered an S pass and is being paid only 1800/mo, the employer is probably over paying your brother in his mind, but knows he has to pay the minimum in order to get the S pass. (nothing against your brother - that's the thought processes of local employers). If that is the case, then the employer is trying to use the employee by locking him into three years with 2 months completion clause. This is also typical for most Contract work - there is almost always a contract completion clause from 2 to as much as 6 months.

Therefore, the question now is.........

While your brother has had other offers, what isn't known is if those employers could have gotten an EP. Or, if you turn this one down, with the next employer be able to fulfill their side of the EP application requirement.

Additional food for thought from an employer......



Such a clever way to win over fresh graduates or 'naive' job seekers isn't it. My brother should have considered all this beforehand but well, there's no point looking back. Let's see if he will be able to come through any further negotiation with his company. Thing is he is passionate about doing the job, (not the company though).
Plus consider the penalty is typical, it's acceptable then.

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Postby Mad Scientist » Sat, 26 Mar 2011 9:23 am

unrevealed wrote:This is tricky but obviously there must be such a way to protect employers. But still, a little wonder why would they use those tactic once their employees no longer desire to work for them? If it is to make their employees stay, pointless as employees will remain negative and soon find their way out!. If not, even worse playing such a game for nothing. Correct me if I'm wrong.


I can name a few like mucking around with the employer while they can look for a better employee if your brother did not agree to join them, wasting their time and effort or even they happen to know he is joining another competitor.
There are two sides of the coin. You should place yourself in the employer position too.
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Postby unrevealed » Sat, 26 Mar 2011 9:44 am

Mad Scientist wrote:
unrevealed wrote:This is tricky but obviously there must be such a way to protect employers. But still, a little wonder why would they use those tactic once their employees no longer desire to work for them? If it is to make their employees stay, pointless as employees will remain negative and soon find their way out!. If not, even worse playing such a game for nothing. Correct me if I'm wrong.


I can name a few like mucking around with the employer while they can look for a better employee if your brother did not agree to join them, wasting their time and effort or even they happen to know he is joining another competitor.
There are two sides of the coin. You should place yourself in the employer position too.


Oh I did try to think from the employer's point of view, reckoned they should have their ways to protect themselves, just missed the point of finding a replacement as you clarified.
Thanks for sharing.

Cheers

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 26 Mar 2011 10:19 am

unrevealed,

It's sad to say, but most of the shady crap employers pull is a direct result of the things employees pull. Especially foreign ones of Asian extraction. These employees are given a door to get into Singapore and as soon as they get in the door they start looking for greener pastures, using the first employer as a stepping stone or better yet, a Paid Visa. Quitting as soon as they find something else. This causes the employer to have to find another employee, retrain a new employee until they too can become productive, and of course, pull the same crap. So, if you think the lengths that employers go to are draconian, put yourself into the same position of hiring somebody, investing in them to get them up to speed and just about the time that they actually start to be productive and not a liability, they up and quit.

My daughter worked for a staffing company for almost 2 years building a couple of semi-subs. The drilling company wanted to hire her but she couldn't go because the contract she was made to sign retroactively contained a 6 month non-compete clause to prevent her from being signed on by their client (rightly so if you think about it). Of course, once the contract was completed and the rig finished sea trials there was little the service company could do. So, my daughter's been working for the client for the past almost one year now. ;-) But! She fulfilled her obligation to the previous employer so shes been told she can return any time.

Foreigner who have shat on a employer here deserve to get a black mark and a bad reputation. And, think about it, the new employer already knows what kind of employee they are getting (one who will screw the employer at the blink of an eye) so when things get tough guess who's gonna get the axe! What goes around comes around.

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Postby Mad Scientist » Sat, 26 Mar 2011 1:13 pm

unrevealed wrote:Oh I did try to think from the employer's point of view, reckoned they should have their ways to protect themselves, just missed the point of finding a replacement as you clarified.
Thanks for sharing.

Cheers


I am suspecting this predicament has befallen on you not your brother. It seems that you are able to explicitly explained "your brother" predicament rather well. I am guessing , I maybe wrong here. there is nothing to be a shame off if this is so.

Anyway, the employer has already applied and received approval from MOM on his/your EP. How do you intend to negotiate when approval has been accepted. Don't you think it is better to get a foot at the door first on this current climate? Just for a few more bucks offered by another employer makes you/him jump ship ?
Show what you are made of and be a valued employee then go from there. Remember your EP is only S pass where the rate of job seekers are higher and chances to land a job are far more challenging.
Think about it as it might ruin your future.
The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.Yahoo !!!


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