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Q1 EP Holder Changing Job

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keyz81
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Q1 EP Holder Changing Job

Postby keyz81 » Wed, 12 Dec 2012 6:15 pm

I've been working here in Singapore for a few months, and I'm looking to change jobs/industry. The new company wants to employ me on a freelance basis initially for the first few weeks just to ease me in (there's a lot I don't know, plus we want to make sure it's a good fit). I want to start as soon as possible, however I've heard that it's illegal here, for some absurd reason I'm sure.

The new gig will be commission-only at first, which I'm ok with given the other factors. However, after a few weeks or a month or two, they would be looking to move me over as a full time, salaried employee plus commission (thus opening the possibility to a new Q1).

My plan is to work with the new company, who is totally cool by the way, on a commission-only basis, get paid under the table somehow in the mean time (or have it delayed until I begin work), then after a few weeks, apply for a new EP with the new company, then, while I have my current Q1 EP (current job) tied to them, AND new IPA (new job), quit my current job, and exchange the new IPA for a new EP.

I'm sure these kinds of situations happen all the time, as far as you all know is this pretty much the way it happens?

Thank you!
Last edited by keyz81 on Thu, 13 Dec 2012 9:42 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 12 Dec 2012 11:22 pm

Only if you want a fast ticket out of Singapore. No, it doesn't happen all the time. In fact, you could find yourself in deep poo if caught. Don't be stupid. Or, maybe that admonishment is too late, seeing you are even considering it.

Hopefully you will get caught and your butt thrown out of the country permanently. We have enough trouble here without some jerk coming in and trying to subvert the law.

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Re: Q1 EP Holder Changing Job, Freelance At First

Postby JR8 » Wed, 12 Dec 2012 11:42 pm

keyz81 wrote:I'm sure these kinds of situations happen all the time, as far as you all know is this pretty much the way it happens?


No it's not, and I'd go so far as to say you're naive if you think a SGn forum is going to advocate/support you in breaking the law.

I can't say I've seen anyone else here proposing breaking the law and polling opinion.

This isn't for real is it?

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Re: Q1 EP Holder Changing Job, Freelance At First

Postby vishalgupta2 » Thu, 13 Dec 2012 7:26 am

Can you add a few additional pieces of missing info like ASL (Age/Sex/Race) and educational background?

keyz81 wrote:Hey everyone, I've been working here in Singapore for a few months, and I'm looking to change jobs/industry. The new company wants to employ me on a freelance basis initially for the first few weeks just to ease me in (there's a lot I don't know, plus we want to make sure it's a good fit). I want to start as soon as possible, however I've heard that it's illegal here, for some absurd reason I'm sure.

The new gig will be commission-only at first, which I'm ok with given the other factors. However, after a few weeks or a month or two, they would be looking to move me over as a full time, salaried employee plus commission (thus opening the possibility to a new Q1).

My plan is to work with the new company, who is totally cool by the way, on a commission-only basis, get paid under the table somehow in the mean time (or have it delayed until I begin work), then after a few weeks, apply for a new EP with the new company, then, while I have my current Q1 EP (current job) tied to them, AND new IPA (new job), quit my current job, and exchange the new IPA for a new EP.

I'm sure these kinds of situations happen all the time, as far as you all know is this pretty much the way it happens?

Thank you!

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Re: Q1 EP Holder Changing Job, Freelance At First

Postby the lynx » Thu, 13 Dec 2012 8:54 am

keyz81 wrote:Hey everyone, I've been working here in Singapore for a few months, and I'm looking to change jobs/industry. The new company wants to employ me on a freelance basis initially for the first few weeks just to ease me in (there's a lot I don't know, plus we want to make sure it's a good fit). I want to start as soon as possible, however I've heard that it's illegal here, for some absurd reason I'm sure.

1. The laugh will be on you in the end then, because the company is looking for an easy way with naive jobseekers like you. No need to worry about benefits, insurance, Work Compensation Act, levy, etc - wonderful for them eh? Easy to pretend that they don't owe you any commission when it is due to you, and is able to send lawyers on you because 'there is no paper trail to prove about that'.

2. It is not absurd. Imagine every foreign worker is allowed to do what you do. Then ICA and MOM can close down and the locals can move out to another utopia, so the foreigners can stay in and work 'freelance', when they are actually freeloading on the job market.


The new gig will be commission-only at first, which I'm ok with given the other factors. However, after a few weeks or a month or two, they would be looking to move me over as a full time, salaried employee plus commission (thus opening the possibility to a new Q1).

# This is the common lie most naive jobseekers always hear. The employers will tell them the same bull-manure, and then continue to string them along, trying to hold off those employer commitments as long as they can. Why? Because it is cheap and free of commitments and they can get away, with probably a minimal fine at most, while that poor man got deported and banned permanently instead. :(

My plan is to work with the new company, who is totally cool by the way, on a commission-only basis, get paid under the table somehow in the mean time (or have it delayed until I begin work), then after a few weeks, apply for a new EP with the new company, then, while I have my current Q1 EP (current job) tied to them, AND new IPA (new job), quit my current job, and exchange the new IPA for a new EP.

3. This path is ok. It is normal for those who intend to jump ship to have company B apply for IPA while still working under company A. Once IPA is approved, they will then jump ship.

4. But please don't freelance. You will violate the law. The only part-time work you are allowed to have is non-paid voluntary work. And if your current employment contracts states that you're not supposed to undertake other paid employment under your personal capacity, all the more reason not to!


I'm sure these kinds of situations happen all the time, as far as you all know is this pretty much the way it happens?

5. I personally have witnessed some of my former colleagues pulling the same crap. They got caught and prosecuted before being deported out of the country. Do not try this! It probably happens but we do not condone illegal action here. Better hope MOM doesn't see this thread and trace you using IP.

Thank you!

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Postby offshoreoildude » Thu, 13 Dec 2012 9:13 am

OP, you're being spun a web of lies by the potential new employer. Don't fall for it.
Now I'm called PNGMK

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Postby keyz81 » Thu, 13 Dec 2012 11:04 am

Thanks for your replies. I should mention here I was never actually considering getting paid under the table, I simply wanted to see the reactions to it and gauge next steps.. not for any moral reason since we're talking about the government, simply because I've got a strong sense of self-preservation. What I was considering, however, was moving forward with them without an EP (so-called volunteer work), not make money from it yet, and have them apply for an EP once a relationship is established.

I can see more clearly now how it works out better for the employer than for me. I don't think there is anything malicious going on, simply lack of understanding by both parties. Thanks to your replies, now I'm going to be firm and make it clear the only way moving forward I'll accept is a new EP application.

Since I don't think I was clear when I said “these situations happen all the time,”

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Postby ecureilx » Thu, 13 Dec 2012 11:48 am

keyz81 wrote:... What I was considering, however, was moving forward with them without an EP (so-called volunteer work), not make money from it yet, and have them apply for an EP once a relationship is established.

I can see more clearly now how it works out better for the employer than for me. I don't think there is anything malicious going on, simply lack of understanding by both parties. Thanks to your replies, now I'm going to be firm and make it clear the only way moving forward I'll accept is a new EP application.


During the previous wave of EP rejections and all, many an employer did do the above, me was one, who was strung along, and since I didn't have a pass, I couldn't get paid, and the EP application was being 'processed' for more than a month before I figured out that the employer was looking for free labour .. and had not even submitted the application .. or was thinking of stretching me as much as possible ..

And many of my local friends did get caught that time, and boy, they did get paid, by less than half of what a full time staff would be paid, with an employer even claiming that it is illegal to pay without a contract, so he will pay on 'cash terms' and with their company policy limiting the amount for cash terms, was paying paltry amounts ..

So my 2 cents : if the employer is large, and professional, they will not let you even volunteer .. forget about 'trying to see if the relationship can work .. '

the rest - lynx has summed it up ..

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 13 Dec 2012 11:51 am

No, the irony is on you, my friend.

You are a foreigner in their country. Therefore the problem isn't the law, but outsiders who come here trying to subvert the law. The country runs pretty well using the laws that they have. You're ideal may be okay from where you are from, but if that's what you want, you would be better off there and not here. Simple really. There is a old saying right? When in Rome.......

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Postby keyz81 » Thu, 13 Dec 2012 12:54 pm

Thanks ecureilx, that's very helpful to know, and sorry you had to go through that... karmic justice, I do believe in it, and I hope things are working out for you now. I really hope my new employer is ok applying for an EP, because I'll feel awful if I almost ended up getting used and putting myself at risk.

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Therefore the problem isn't the law, but outsiders who come here trying to subvert the law. The country runs pretty well using the laws that they have. You're ideal may be okay from where you are from, but if that's what you want, you would be better off there and not here. Simple really. There is a old saying right? When in Rome.......

I don't know what problems you're talking about so you could be right, all I can say is so far I've seen a ton of things that work terribly here for both locals and foreigners and to me make no sense whatsoever, the majority for which I can make a strong case is directly the fault of the government. Having said that I agree, if things were better off elsewhere I wouldn't be here, and I do also believe in "when in Rome."

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Postby x9200 » Thu, 13 Dec 2012 5:37 pm

Your main concern should be whether you will get the new EP at all. Changing your employer within few months does not look good from any perspective. Add to this the current sentiments and clear trends to tighten all the EP related criteria and what you will get is the impression that you asking for troubles.


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