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UK Company providing consultancy services to SG company

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cxxx
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UK Company providing consultancy services to SG company

Postby cxxx » Wed, 18 Apr 2012 11:53 pm

Firstly, apologies for the long post!

I have been offered a role with a Singaporean company and am trying to investigate the options available to me other than EP/Spass.

There doesn't seem to be much info online and I am hoping that someone may have an idea.

I am a director of a British consultancy firm and my query is whether the Singaporean company can hire my via my British company(and pay me into my British account) as a contractor/consultant without me requiring to register my company in Singapore or apply for an EP/Spass.

I do live in Singapore and have for nearly 18 months and am on a LTSV (sponsored by my British partner who works for an American bank out here) the role I have been offered is a full time role but the scope is something that management consultancies do specialise in.

My concerns re the EP/Spass route (which is what the Singaporean company have suggested) may be completely unfounded - I was initially on a LTSV when I arrived in Singapore, I worked for 6 months last year on an EP, then back to the LTSV, assuming that a further EP/SPass is issued that would be my 4th pass in 15 months, if I then leave the company I am worried that I wont get another LTSV, is this a valid concern or am I making life unnecessarily complicated?

Any suggestions greatly appreciated!

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Postby Strong Eagle » Thu, 19 Apr 2012 2:30 pm

The short answer is that your British company must have a legal entity in Singapore in order to employ you here. You need this legal entity to file for an EP. Because you are in an income producing job, your British company needs to form a private limited. You will pay personal income taxes in Singapore, regardless of where you receive the money or the currency paid, since you are earning the money working in Singapore.

I don't think you'll have an issue getting the EP, so long as proper supporting documentation is provided... nature, value, and duration of contract and such. It may also be easier to get the EP if your British company creates a foreign subsidiary as opposed to you creating your own independent company here... but, I'm no expert in this arena.

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Postby beppi » Thu, 19 Apr 2012 7:15 pm

Add to the above: It is illegal to work under LTVP.
This does not change with being paid elsewhere. You need an EP!

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Postby cxxx » Thu, 19 Apr 2012 10:32 pm

Thanks for the advice, I had thought the answer was either EP or register my business in Singapore but was holding out for the slim chance that earnings received in the UK meant I was not considered to be working in Singapore therefore could do so on a consultancy basis without giving up my LTSV

On a side issue, although this is partially where my concerns with working for this company on an EP type basis stem from, if employees are aware of illegal practices, such as the company director's maid/FDW working in the office during the day, what, if any, are the legal ramifications for the employees if/when the authorities find out about such practices?

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Postby Strong Eagle » Fri, 20 Apr 2012 11:53 am

cxxx wrote:Thanks for the advice, I had thought the answer was either EP or register my business in Singapore but was holding out for the slim chance that earnings received in the UK meant I was not considered to be working in Singapore therefore could do so on a consultancy basis without giving up my LTSV

On a side issue, although this is partially where my concerns with working for this company on an EP type basis stem from, if employees are aware of illegal practices, such as the company director's maid/FDW working in the office during the day, what, if any, are the legal ramifications for the employees if/when the authorities find out about such practices?


If you had direct, first hand knowledge there might be issues. But unless you actually check passports, NRIC's and work permits how would you know what the status of the person in the office is? Could be a legit SG maid.

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Postby cxxx » Fri, 20 Apr 2012 2:07 pm

If I take the job I will be responsible for all HR functions so would be aware that the business does not hold any paperwork for this girl, she doesn't work on a 9-5 basis or anything but comes in when (I presume) there is not much for her to do at home, cleans the office and helps out with filing etc, she is without doubt 110% a FDW, so i guess my query is whether claiming ignorance is sufficent, if I know she is a FDW but claim not to have any understanding of the law (not having an FDW myself) which would prevent her working in her employers office would that be satisfactory if the authorities ever found out?

I appreciate that I am probably over analysing the situation but this issue is just one of many which I am expecting to have to deal with and not knowing the Singapore legislation and implications well enough is a real worry for me, lots of research over the weekend is in order!

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Postby ecureilx » Fri, 20 Apr 2012 4:02 pm

cxxx wrote:If I take the job I will be responsible for all HR functions so would be aware that the business does not hold any paperwork for this girl, she doesn't work on a 9-5 basis or anything but comes in when (I presume) there is not much for her to do at home, cleans the office and helps out with filing etc, she is without doubt 110% a FDW, so i guess my query is whether claiming ignorance is sufficent, if I know she is a FDW but claim not to have any understanding of the law (not having an FDW myself) which would prevent her working in her employers office would that be satisfactory if the authorities ever found out?

I appreciate that I am probably over analysing the situation but this issue is just one of many which I am expecting to have to deal with and not knowing the Singapore legislation and implications well enough is a real worry for me, lots of research over the weekend is in order!


Penalty for employing illegal worker:

For FDW: The highlighted area concerns using FDW for other purposes.

Illegal employment/deployment

Under the existing Work Permit conditions, Foreign Domestic Workers can only be employed for the performance of domestic chores for their employers, at the residential addresses stated on the Work Permits. FDWs may only be deployed to work at another address if they are there to perform duties pertaining to the employer's children or elderly parents.

Employers can be charged for illegally employing or deploying a FDW.

Penalties for Offenders

The penalty for illegal employment without a valid Work Permit is a fine equivalent to between two and four years of the FDW levy, and/or imprisonment for up to one year. For subsequent convictions, the errant employer will face mandatory imprisonment.

Employers who illegally deploy their FDWs can be fined up to $5,000. In addition, the errant employer will be permanently barred from employing FDWs. The $5,000 security deposit posted with the MOM might also be forfeited.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 20 Apr 2012 4:37 pm

I think you missed the point. OP already knows all of that. What is wants to know, and I couldn't find anything, is whether or not he can be held as an accessory because he knows this information and doesn't blow the whistle.

I do know that if he were a party to the employment of the illegal worker, then he CAN be held liable, as a recent case will attest to. But if he is not assisting in the defrauding of the MOM then he can not be held liable. If this were the case then the wife, children, grandparents, all could be held liable. But as the HR manager unless he is doing the filing for the FWD on the employer's behalf, then his is second hand knowledge and not a facilitator.

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Postby ecureilx » Fri, 20 Apr 2012 5:03 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:I think you missed the point. OP already knows all of that. What is wants to know, and I couldn't find anything, is whether or not he can be held as an accessory because he knows this information and doesn't blow the whistle.

I do know that if he were a party to the employment of the illegal worker, then he CAN be held liable, as a recent case will attest to. But if he is not assisting in the defrauding of the MOM then he can not be held liable. If this were the case then the wife, children, grandparents, all could be held liable. But as the HR manager unless he is doing the filing for the FWD on the employer's behalf, then his is second hand knowledge and not a facilitator.


Got it .. to quantify, I know two cases, where, post check by MOM, the managers were charged, and fined, though they claimed they didn't know nothing .. well, both were cases where FDW were employed in other jobs .. And the said company did have a HR manager, and the whole works .. No go for the manager ..

They were entertainment outlets, btw.

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Postby cxxx » Fri, 20 Apr 2012 7:15 pm

Ecureilx, in the situations you referred to, do you know if the Managers were party to employing the FDW to work in some capacity within their business?

Were the FDW/s in this situation working (whether under some contract or not) and getting paid for working in the entertainment establishments without the knowledge of the person who employs them as a FDW and who has no relationship with the Entertainment establishment? If thats the case then I can sort of understand why the manager could be held accountable as he has not carried out due diligence prior to employing personnel.

In my case the FDW isn't getting paid for coming in and cleaning her bosses office or helping out and there's no set hours or contract etc, from SMS's comments as long as i am not personally handling the renewal paperwork for the FDW then it would be difficult for any blame to be assigned to me.

My next question/moral dilemma is whether to discuss this with my prospective/new boss.....

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Postby ecureilx » Sun, 22 Apr 2012 2:47 pm

cxxx wrote:Ecureilx, in the situations you referred to, do you know if the Managers were party to employing the FDW to work in some capacity within their business?

Were the FDW/s in this situation working (whether under some contract or not) and getting paid for working in the entertainment establishments without the knowledge of the person who employs them as a FDW and who has no relationship with the Entertainment establishment? If thats the case then I can sort of understand why the manager could be held accountable as he has not carried out due diligence prior to employing personnel.

In my case the FDW isn't getting paid for coming in and cleaning her bosses office or helping out and there's no set hours or contract etc, from SMS's comments as long as i am not personally handling the renewal paperwork for the FDW then it would be difficult for any blame to be assigned to me.

My next question/moral dilemma is whether to discuss this with my prospective/new boss.....


well, seriously, I don't wanna dig up more info, since the manager spent a night in the cooling room :)

In the case I know the HR manager is the one who places, and the manager can do his own check, but he is the last one to decide .. that's their company operations method ..

In any case, an FDW cannot have any reason to work in the establishment as it is not a domestic / household place of work.

Next, whether the FDW was paid or not, the law is clear. It is illegal for a maid to do anything other than doing household chores. In the past, employers have been prosecuted for asking the maid to wash dishes in their food center or simply handling stuff minor ... years ago, during an MOM raid in Lau Pa Sat, a maid, who was just sitting there with the boss was also picked up, though the boss said she is doing nothing, but MOM thought otherwise ..

And in the common bar raids, maids used get picked for questioning up for simply serving a drink despite all denial that they are not paid etc. etc.

well, you can act like nothing happened, which is legally wrong, but .. morally while being wrong, a dozen rights activists may come in charging about you depriving a better life, the law be damned. Are you in the line of fire in this case ? I overlooked that part ..

The good news is, MOM will normally observe before acting. So offices, generally overlooked. I am not asking you to break the law .. but .. offices are the lowest priorities in MOM enforcement .. generally

Again, tread carefully. I will not want to be party to any crime ..


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