The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has charged five construction companies in the States Courts today with breaching multiple employment-related laws.

The charges include breaches of the Employment Act (EA) such as failure to pay wages, failure to pay overtime, failure to grant paid annual and holiday leave, and making unauthorised deductions from salaries.

In a statement, MOM named the five companies as: JK Integrated Pte Ltd, Ng Brothers Scaffolding Pte Ltd, Shanghai Tunnel Engineering Co. Ltd, Shanghai Tunnel Engineering Co. (Singapore) Pte Ltd, and Straits Construction (S) Pte Ltd.

All but one of these companies had failed to pay their workers on time, or had withheld their workers’ salaries or made unauthorised deductions.

Under the EA, it is also illegal to work more than 72 hours of overtime in any given month, except in certain exempted circumstances.

MOM stated these cases came to light after they conducted checks at construction work sites, as well as feedback through workers and third parties.

It cautioned employers to fulfil their legal obligations and ensure workers are given statutory benefits under Singapore's employment laws such as the EA and the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act.

"Employers have to be familiar with their legal duties," it said in a statement.

"MOM will step up engagement with the construction sector to highlight these legal obligations and common employment malpractices.

"We strongly urge errant companies to review and rectify illegal and unreasonable clauses in their employment contracts. We will take action against companies that flout or disregard our employment laws."

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