SINGAPORE: A man took to social media to share that his manager had overloaded them with work before the Chinese New Year.

“He says if we don’t finish our work on time, he will cancel our approved leave to make us finish the task. Can my boss do that?” the man wrote on r/askSingapore on Sunday (Jan 4).

The man also revealed that they work for an SME and that he and two of his coworkers would need to put in 40 hours of work to complete the work. This meant they would need an extra 13 hours this coming week. 

Furthermore, they will not be paid for overtime, so they will either have to work for free or risk having their leave cancelled.

“I understand many people want me to F over my manager but my main concern was to report this situation to MOM. But apparently it is legal to cancel leave with 1 week notice and demand OT. I may be able to report not paying OT but he phrased it as “volunteer OT” and 2.6k will still be roughly half our pay,” the man added.

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‘My advice is to complete the job and find another one’

Singaporean Redditors shared advice in the comments section, telling the man to look for another job once he completes his work. 

One Redditor said, “Are you work pass or S-pass, if yours is a white collar job, no chance of success complaining. My advice is to complete the job and find another one. If you walk out on your job, you can be terminated without notice.”

While another commented, “Yeah your boss can do whatever they want within the realms of being legal. This situation is called “business priorities”, your priority is to find another opportunity.

In addition, one Redditor said that the 40 hours of overtime is a clear indication of a lack of resources and that the company “either needs a temp or an extra headcount. Or maybe the boss promised to deliver something he actually couldn’t resource for. Either way, it’s the boss’s fault.”

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Can a company make an employee work on a public holiday?

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) states that an employer can require an employee to work on a public holiday. But in accordance with the Employee Act, the employer is required to give you a day off on a different day or to pay an additional day’s salary.

However, regardless of whether they work or not on a holiday, an employee is still entitled to the gross pay rate. 

The employee will not be compensated, though, if he or she applies for and takes unpaid leave on a public holiday or if they skip work on the working day before or following the holiday without permission from their supervisor.

What about OT (overtime) pay?

In Singapore, employees who work five days a week typically put in 8 hours a day, or 44 hours a week. Individuals who worked fewer days usually put in nine hours a day or forty-four hours a week.

Concerning overtime pay, according to the MOM, employees who meet the requirements of being a non-workman making $2,600 or less per month or a workman (those who do manual labour) making $4,500 or less per month are eligible to claim it.

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“The overtime rate payable for non-workmen is capped at the salary level of $2,600, or an hourly rate of $13.60,” as stated on MOM’s website.

Additionally, your employer must pay you at least 1.5 times the basic hourly rate for overtime work. After the last day of the salary period, this amount must be paid within 14 days.