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Errant bosses can now be arrested on the spot

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From today, Ministry of Manpower (MOM) officers have been granted the power to apprehend and arrest bosses who do not pay their workers.

This change to the Employment Act is one of many amendments being made, which also include allowing MOM inspectors to enter any workplace to conduct checks.

First-time offenders could face a fine of between $3,000 and $15,000 and/or six months’ jail, while repeat offenders could face a fine of between $6,000 and $30,000 and/or 12 months’ jail.

Directors and partners of companies will also be made more accountable for offences, and those who are “primarily responsible for the offence and have failed to exercise reasonable supervision or oversight, will be presumed to be negligent and be held liable”.

Other changes that take effect today include non-workmen and PMEs receiving better protection, capped overtime salaries to help employers manage cost and more flexibility in granting staff time off in lieu.

Employers will also be able to retrieve guidelines on MOM’s website today around providing itemised payslips to staff.

Earlier this year, MOM, National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and Singapore National Employers Federation collaborated to produce the guidelines for companies, which aimed to “prepare these businesses to change their practices in a sustainable way, so that they are able to comply when we make it a legal requirement”.

For the full set of amendments of the Employment Act, click here.

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