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Made redundant after 2 weeks - need redundancy advise

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cgeyer
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Made redundant after 2 weeks - need redundancy advise

Postby cgeyer » Mon, 15 Jul 2013 6:10 pm

I have just been made redundant (as a result of restructuring so role no longer exists) after my family relocated to Singapore 2 weeks ago. I started commuting for the job since April.

My employer has told me that they will pay for my family's flights back to Australia but will not pay for shipping of our belongings. I was sent to Singapore from another country but now want to relocate home to Australia.

Under Employment of Foreign Manpower Act (Chaptr 91A), it is the employer's responsibility to 'repatriate' the employee home. Does anyone know whether this is flight only or does it include belongings as well?

Also, since we are only here for 3 months (notice period), we are now not able to sign a lease hence will need to be in temporary accommodation. My employer initially said that they will pay for the temporary accommodation. However they now will only pay for the difference between temporary and permanent accommodation. We think that they should pay for the accommodation entirely since they put us in this situation.

This is obviously a stressful time for the family and to have to negotiate these terms as well just make me more angry.

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Postby katbh » Mon, 15 Jul 2013 6:14 pm

What a shit. It is a bit of a grey area. It should be set out in your contract if you came on an expat package. I assume the issue is that you came from a country close to Singapore and they were not counting on you wanting to return to Australia rather than the country you came from. First port of call is therefore your contract. Lets us know the terms in that and we can work it out from there.

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Postby Wd40 » Mon, 15 Jul 2013 7:37 pm

Feel sorry for you man. 3 months is a good time. Why not look for another opportunity man, while you are already here? Talk to recruiters and see how the market is.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 15 Jul 2013 8:26 pm

What type of employment pass were you on?

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Postby cgeyer » Mon, 15 Jul 2013 9:50 pm

My employment pass is Type P1, the normal EP.

My 'home' was changed to Singapore in my contract 2 years ago (on paper) when my 3 year secondment was up. The policy is that the secondment period can only be 3 years or one has to localise. In an effort to continue the secondment period beyond 3 years, HR proposed that we change our home to Singapore even though we never lived there. So we don't have any repatriation terms in our contract. However now that I am made redundant and my EP will be cancelled, I cannot remain in the country. And the Employment of Foreign ManPower says that the employer has to repatriate the employee home.

I have started to look for opportunities but just in case things don't work out, I want to make sure that my shipping home is paid for. It doesn't make sense to just repatriate me but not my belongings?!

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 15 Jul 2013 10:40 pm

[quote]EMPLOYMENT OF FOREIGN MANPOWER ACT
(CHAPTER 91A)

Liability for certain costs
18.—

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Postby PNGMK » Tue, 16 Jul 2013 12:13 pm

This is such BS but I see it more and more with my own employer. "Localisation" is just an excuse to cut costs.

I'd be arguing that you want your 3 months notice paid out NOW and basically jump on a plane ASAP back home - with any luck some of your goods will still be packed? I'd not at all be inclined to work the 3 months out in Singapore on your own coin - maybe come to an agreement to support them remotely via email and telephone from Australia.

Unless you are certain you can find a job in Singapore don't settle down - it's an extremely expensive locale to live in.

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Postby cgeyer » Tue, 16 Jul 2013 7:04 pm

Actually HR tried to make me sign a new contract with the clause that I have to repatriate myself home when I'm redundant but luckily I refused to sign it. I already have an existing contract in place (from 2 years ago) which does not have this clause in it so I guess they have to repatriate me. I can't believe how crappy HR is!

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 16 Jul 2013 8:12 pm

cgeyer wrote:Actually HR tried to make me sign a new contract with the clause that I have to repatriate myself home when I'm redundant but luckily I refused to sign it. I already have an existing contract in place (from 2 years ago) which does not have this clausse in it so I guess they have to repatriate me. I can't believe how crappy HR is!


I'd take it straight to a lawyer to see where you actually stand before doing anything rash.

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Postby cgeyer » Tue, 16 Jul 2013 10:01 pm

Agree. If anyone has a good lawyer to recommend (with redundancy experience for foreigners), please send me a private message. Thanks!

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Postby Wd40 » Tue, 16 Jul 2013 10:23 pm

cgeyer, In SMS's statement "before doing something rash" is the key. I am sure, he is not suggesting you to go and sue the company. Its a foreign country remember and a country which is "business friendly - employee unfriendly" and you have limited time.

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Postby PNGMK » Tue, 16 Jul 2013 10:33 pm

cgeyer wrote:Actually HR tried to make me sign a new contract with the clause that I have to repatriate myself home when I'm redundant but luckily I refused to sign it. I already have an existing contract in place (from 2 years ago) which does not have this clause in it so I guess they have to repatriate me. I can't believe how crappy HR is!


In what jurisdiction was the contract drafted and does it indicate where arbitration must occur? (i.e. under the court or laws of blah blah). IF it's stilla valid contract and it is in labour friendly jurisdiction you might need to consult a lawyer from that country. If it's a in a 'fire at will' country like Singapore you're down to negotiation skills and not much else.

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Postby cgeyer » Thu, 18 Jul 2013 9:08 pm

It's a Singaporean contract. They have confirmed that they will not pay for our shipping home. They will pay for our temporary accommodation for 3 months during the notice period.

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Postby PNGMK » Fri, 19 Jul 2013 3:24 am

cgeyer wrote:It's a Singaporean contract. They have confirmed that they will not pay for our shipping home. They will pay for our temporary accommodation for 3 months during the notice period.



Well I think you're an idiot if you stay the three months instead of trying to get a pay out after a week and using that money to move home with.

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Postby katbh » Fri, 19 Jul 2013 5:51 am

+1
Not an idiot, but you would be silly not to try


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