Four companies and one individual were charged in the State Courts on Tuesday (April 4) for failing to pay salaries to their employees.
In a statement, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) revealed that the four firms include two in the food and beverage (F&B) industry, a metal furnishing manufacturer and a construction firm.
The biggest offender was Goodmate Global, which makes metal doors, window and door frames, grilles and gratings. It faces 17 charges in total, comprising 14 counts of non-payment of salary, as well as three counts for failing to pay salaries to staff who left the company due to a breach of contract by the employer.
The two F&B companies involved were 3S Restaurant and WOW Holdings, which face seven charges and five charges respectively.
Both face multiple counts of failing to pay their employees. In addition, 3S Restaurant is also facing charges for not paying employees for working on public holidays, whereas WOW Holdings is facing charges of failing to pay salaries to workers who were dismissed.
The other two employers who were charged are construction firm Access Builders, and Woon Junyang, who is the sole director of robotics solutions provider Infinium Robotics.
Meanwhile, MOM said that another employer, Ching Hwa Ming, will also be charged soon for non-payment of salaries. Mr Ching, who is a director at both JS Environment Enterprise and Nam Hong Engineering, faces a total of 30 charges.
If convicted, the employers face fines of up to $15,000 and jail terms of up to six months. The penalties could be doubled for repeat offenders.
Mr Raymond Tan Choon Guan, MOM's director of employment standards enforcement, urged employers to pay their employees on time.
"MOM will take stern action against errant employers for salary non-payment, including prosecuting those who have wilfully refused to comply with Labour Court orders or those who owe a large amount of salaries to workers," he stressed.
The ministry also urged employees who have not been paid, or those who feel that their salaries have been wrongfully withheld, to approach MOM or their unions for assistance, as it will improve their chances of recovering their salaries.