SINGAPORE: A concerned son revealed on social media that his father received monthly salaries of nearly $0 after his employer deducted almost 100% from his salary to pay off his S$9,000 debt to the company.

“This leaves him with practically nothing to make a living and support our family. Should he file a complain to MOM?” the son asked on on r/askSingapore on Friday (Jan 2).

The son stated that his father used to get S$2,200 in pay; however, since incurring the debt, he has only received salaries that only amounted to S$0.03 and S$12.

For context, the son shared that his father got in debt with his company due to an accident. 

“My father said that he was trying to park his [company] vehicle, had accidentally bumped against the side of the victim’s car, and the victim were in their car at that moment in time. Victim seemed well enough to come out of their vehicle to confront my father, but a few weeks later claimed that he had suffered an injury from the accident. There were no actual proofs of any injuries, only claims,” the son wrote on r/askSingapore on Friday (Jan 2).

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He also shared that his father was required to keep working for said company as long as he was still indebted to them.

As the son was still young and wasn’t quite sure what to say to his father, he decided to turn to social media to ask the adults for advice.

“He is working himself to the bone just to get a salary of a few bucks,” he added.

SG Redditors: ‘It’s unethical and illegal. Please report to MOM.’

After reading the post, Singaporean redditors expressed outrage, criticizing the company’s practices and claiming that it is illegal to take nearly 100% of his father’s wages.

One redditor wrote, “It’s unethical and illegal!! Please report to MOM and talk to his company. If they refuse, then don’t be shy and make the company infamous online. Media coverage will help your father’s situation! And also, for a vehicle accident, doesn’t matter if it’s private settlement still need to report to their insurer! Inform your father to make report to protect himself against any liability from the accident!”

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Another redditor commented that the incident and the S$9,000 in settlements his father had to pay were “sketchy,” given that insurance would typically cover cases like these.

The redditor added, “Worst case excess is 3k for each party. That’s 6k total. At least this number is based on my own experience.”

One redditor also provided the son with a list of ways to assist with his father’s circumstances.

“They can deduct pay by installments and should not take so much from salary. How old are you? Maybe can do adhoc part time to help with financial. If need groceries good that you can use cdc voucher? If need financial assistance or food rations approach the family service centre. Or download Goodhood to request help in terms of food ration. If need more info can pm me,” the redditor said,

MOM: Maximum salary deduction is capped at 50%

As per the guidelines set forth by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), employers are not permitted to deduct more than 50% of an employee’s total pay in a single salary period.

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However, in the event that the employee’s contract is about to be terminated, the total authorized deduction may exceed 50% of their final salary.

Also, employers are only allowed to deduct from their employee’s salary for the following reasons, as listed on MOM’s website:

  1. Absence from Work
  2. Damage or loss of money or goods, including work gear, tools, equipment, and vehicles
  3. Supplying accommodation
  4. Supplying amenities and services
  5. Recovering advances, loans, overpaid salary or unearned employment benefits
  6. CPF contributions
  7. Payments to any registered co-operative society
  8. Other purposes for which you consent in writing

In cases where the above conditions are violated, individuals are encouraged to report their employers to MOM by contacting them through their workright number (1800 221 9922) which is available on weekdays (8.30 AM to 5.30 PM) and Saturday (8:30 AM to 1 PM). Or, individuals can also opt to make a report through their website.