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Dispute with employer

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Mr_M
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Dispute with employer

Postby Mr_M » Sun, 01 Apr 2012 11:30 am

Hi,

I'm just wondering if anyone can advise me on an unpleasant situation I currently find myself in.

To cut a long story short, I am a (white) European man and I arrived in Singapore two years ago to start work for my company. Although the majority of my colleagues are very nice, and some have become good friends, from the offset I experienced totally unprovoked hostility from several colleagues which I was told by others was because "they don't like ang mohs". They resented me being there, especially after I was given a minor promotion, and went out of their way to make things difficult for me, effectively sabotaging my work. The situation got so bad that I was diagnosed with depression.

I eventually complained to my boss about this, and eight months ago I was moved to a different section. Things couldn't be more different there - the hours are much better, for a start, all of my colleagues are nice, and I really enjoy the work. The deal was that I would try out on the new section for three months, and if I did well the move would be made permanent. After three months, I was told that I had done well and would be staying there.

Then recently I was told that I am being moved back to my old section, as they are short-staffed and need me there. When I told my boss that I was reluctant to go back, he simply dismissed my concerns and told me I could resign if I wanted to. I am reluctant to do this, as a) I cannot afford to and b) I am two-thirds of the way through my contract and will lose a considerable amount in bonuses if I quit now.

Can anyone advise me what my options are now? My working conditions are being changed without my consent, which I believe is contrary to the Employment Act. The agreement I had with my boss, which I believe amounted to a verbal contract, has also been proved worthless. I feel I have been backed into a corner, and I don't know what to do.

Is there a tribunal where I could take this matter? I don't want to take action against my employers, but I don't want to take this laying down either.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

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zzm9980
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Re: Dispute with employer

Postby zzm9980 » Sun, 01 Apr 2012 12:58 pm

Mr_M wrote:Hi,

I'm just wondering if anyone can advise me on an unpleasant situation I currently find myself in.

To cut a long story short, I am a (white) European man and I arrived in Singapore two years ago to start work for my company. Although the majority of my colleagues are very nice, and some have become good friends, from the offset I experienced totally unprovoked hostility from several colleagues which I was told by others was because "they don't like ang mohs". They resented me being there, especially after I was given a minor promotion, and went out of their way to make things difficult for me, effectively sabotaging my work. The situation got so bad that I was diagnosed with depression.

I eventually complained to my boss about this, and eight months ago I was moved to a different section. Things couldn't be more different there - the hours are much better, for a start, all of my colleagues are nice, and I really enjoy the work. The deal was that I would try out on the new section for three months, and if I did well the move would be made permanent. After three months, I was told that I had done well and would be staying there.

Then recently I was told that I am being moved back to my old section, as they are short-staffed and need me there. When I told my boss that I was reluctant to go back, he simply dismissed my concerns and told me I could resign if I wanted to. I am reluctant to do this, as a) I cannot afford to and b) I am two-thirds of the way through my contract and will lose a considerable amount in bonuses if I quit now.

Can anyone advise me what my options are now? My working conditions are being changed without my consent, which I believe is contrary to the Employment Act. The agreement I had with my boss, which I believe amounted to a verbal contract, has also been proved worthless. I feel I have been backed into a corner, and I don't know what to do.

Is there a tribunal where I could take this matter? I don't want to take action against my employers, but I don't want to take this laying down either.

Any advice would be much appreciated.


What does your (written) employment contract say? If it doesn't speak to this situation, you have no recourse. Suck it up for the bonus.

And don't worry, the situation you suffered isn't (only) because you're ang moh. From what I've seen, Singaporeans do it to each other either. Fly over to Bangkok or Hongkong and pick up some cheap Xanax. (j/k, as that would be illegal if you brought it back and we don't encourage illegal activities here)

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sundaymorningstaple
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Re: Dispute with employer

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 01 Apr 2012 3:34 pm

Mr_M wrote:Hi,

I'm just wondering if anyone can advise me on an unpleasant situation I currently find myself in.

To cut a long story short, I am a (white) European man and I arrived in Singapore two years ago to start work for my company. Although the majority of my colleagues are very nice, and some have become good friends, from the offset I experienced totally unprovoked hostility from several colleagues which I was told by others was because "they don't like ang mohs". They resented me being there, especially after I was given a minor promotion, and went out of their way to make things difficult for me, effectively sabotaging my work. The situation got so bad that I was diagnosed with depression.

I eventually complained to my boss about this, and eight months ago I was moved to a different section. Things couldn't be more different there - the hours are much better, for a start, all of my colleagues are nice, and I really enjoy the work. The deal was that I would try out on the new section for three months, and if I did well the move would be made permanent. After three months, I was told that I had done well and would be staying there.

Then recently I was told that I am being moved back to my old section, as they are short-staffed and need me there. When I told my boss that I was reluctant to go back, he simply dismissed my concerns and told me I could resign if I wanted to. I am reluctant to do this, as a) I cannot afford to and b) I am two-thirds of the way through my contract and will lose a considerable amount in bonuses if I quit now.

Frankly, you have two choices. Suck it up or resign.

Can anyone advise me what my options are now? My working conditions are being changed without my consent, which I believe is contrary to the Employment Act. The agreement I had with my boss, which I believe amounted to a verbal contract, has also been proved worthless. I feel I have been backed into a corner, and I don't know what to do.

Your working conditions and anything else can be virtually changed at any time here. If you earn over 2K/month, you are not covered by the employment act at all, so you are up the creek there as well.


Is there a tribunal where I could take this matter? I don't want to take action against my employers, but I don't want to take this laying down either.

Well you have a choice, take it to a tribunal and get laughed out of the room because you have nothing to take up with a tribunal, or bend over instead of laying down. Either way, they can legally move you any where they want to as long as they are still employing you. You have not been unfairly dismissed, or asked to do anything illegal. So in reality you have no beef.


Any advice would be much appreciated.


Sorry the advice isn't what you were hoping for, but them's the facts. It's tuff but you are not home, you are in Singapore. Get used to it.

sms

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nutnut
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Postby nutnut » Sun, 01 Apr 2012 3:59 pm

Yep, sorry to say, this is how I understand it, if you have only a few months left for your bonus, do the work and suck it up. Why don't you try and befriend one of these folk that don't like Ang Mohs? Invite them for a drink or something, keep them nice and close, it helps psychologically and may help reduce the crap you are getting?

You know what they say... "Keep you friends close, but, keep your enemies closer" Could just work.

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Postby macaroonie » Sun, 01 Apr 2012 5:59 pm

Mr M my thoughts are with you, sounds like you're in between a rock and a hard place. No job is worth dying for (or being so sick you develop depression). When you say they sabotage your work, what exactly do you mean and can you talk to your boss frankly about it?


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