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Former broker now a security guard

Former broker now a security guard

From millions a year, ex-broker now earns $50 a day.

Sat, Sep 11, 2010

Once, he earned tens of thousands a month; now, ex-broker Andrew Michael Teo works as a security guard for $50 a day.

The 46-year-old told Shin Min Daily News that he has been a security guard since 2008. He has worked as permanent staff, and also on a part-time basis for months at a time for three different companies.

Michael revealed that he has more than 10 years of experience in the finance industry, and eight of which was in Taiwan.

When he went to Taiwan in 1995, he helped clients trade in bonds, currencies, and equities, earning about NT$3 million ($126,300) a year in commission, or about S$10,000 a month.

During the financial crisis of 1997, he managed to buck the trend, even making a profit of NT$2 million (S$84,200) in July 1997 when the market crashed.

In 2003, his father fell seriously ill and he returned to Singapore. Back home, he tried working as a business consultant for a year.

After leaving that job, he was unable to find suitable employment for two whole years. He told Shin Min that the financial industry here prefers young graduates with fresh ideas, to experienced traders.

“After a while, it didn’t feel right not to be working. I recalled that my father once worked as a security guard, so I wanted to experience what he went through,” said Michael.

 Less than $50 a day

Michael told Shin Min that his pay as a security guard is only $50 a day.

A full-time security guard works 12 hours a day, six days a week, and his pay is only about $1,200 a month.

“Many people may not be aware that the daily salary of $50 also includes your employer’s CPF (Central Provident Fund) contribution, meal and mobile phone allowance. After deducting those, your pay is only about $38 a day,” he said.

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8 Responses to “Former broker now a security guard”

  1. jj says:

    “Many people may not be aware that the daily salary of $50 also includes your employer’s CPF (Central Provident Fund) contribution, meal and mobile phone allowance. After deducting those, your pay is only about $38 a day,” he said. – definitely exploitation of cheap labour

    In order to keep more cash flow & prevent security guards to leave. Some security companies will only paid the security guard half month salary of previous month & half month salary of current month in a salary paying month.

    For example, a security guard started working in March, salary for 1/3/13 – 15/3/12 will be paid in March. Salary for 16/3/12 – 31/3/12 will be paid together with salary for 1/4/12 – 15/4/12 in April. As for salary for 16/4/12 – 30/4/12 will be forward to May.

    Some security companies will tell the security guard one figure & tell them another figure on salary before & after they started work. For example, now they tell you will be paid $1400 during interview but tell you your salary will be $1300 when you report for work.

    CBM pte ltd unser CDL group is doing these.

    Does this consider as a kind of exploitation of cheap labour? Does this violate MOM rules?

  2. CY says:

    I do not agree that whatever salary an employer quotes INCLUDES the employer CPF. I believe the writer is referring to employee CPF, rather than employer CPF, unless the practice is different for security guards.

    Usually employers quote a salary which is the gross pay not including employer CPF and before deducting employee CPF.
    The writer should get a copy of his payslip(s) to verify.

  3. jj says:

    No mention of employee CPF on payslip. Only mention of employer CPF on payslip.

  4. jj says:

    In other industries, usually you will get double pay or given a extra offday when you work on a PH. But in security guard industry, the practice is different.

    E.g. your mthly basic pay is $700 (8hr per day, 6 days per wk). Your mthly OT will be $572 (4 hr per day, 6 days per wk). When you work on a PH, you are only paid an addititonal of $26.90 that all, even though you have worked 12hr on that day. Due to manpower shortage, you wouldn’t be given a extra offday.

    Pay low wage but expect best performance, this is ridiculous. Exploitation of cheap labour.

  5. Anon says:

    In S’pore, traditionally the salary will be quoted as monthly gross pay which includes employee CPF, but excludes employer CPF and any bonus, incentive etc. This is the norm for civil service and bigger companies. Any bonus or incentive achieved will be computed along the way and paid at year-end, for example.

    Long time ago, US MNCs and some European companies in S’pore will quote gross annual salary — this will include 13th month. But still exclude the employer CPF.

    However in recent years, many unscrupulous companies have started to quote single salary amount that includes everything — employer CPF, OT allowance, clothing allowance, laundry allowance, meal allowance, transport allowance, handphone allowance. So that it is easy for employers to deduct various components as punishments e.g. late for work, take too much MC or leave, not “hardworking” enough, not “polite” enough to bosses etc etc.

    These are often the case for the lower-wage jobs such as cleaners, security guards, food stall helpers, factory workers, etc. Employers know that people who go for such jobs are poor and desperate. Even if the workers know their rights, they are unable to enforce them in pro-business S’pore, and hiring lawyers to fight is as realistic as striking $10M Toto first prize.

    Nowadays, even MNCs and GLCs are starting to quote this single salary method, especially for temp or contract staff. They outsource the hiring to job agencies, and tell the agents that the company budget is for example $3,000. This $3,000 includes everything, including the agent’s commission and employer CPF. The agent will calculate how much he/she wants to earn, and how much to set aside as employer CPF, and will finally quote a salary of $2,100 to any candidates. This $2,100 will include the employee CPF, but exclude employer CPF. Hence take home pay will be only $1,680 (actually less after deductions for CDAC/Mendaki/Sinda, union fees, etc).

    The above applies the same for salary quotes in dollars per hour basis. E.g. When the job agency quotes you $7/hr, the client company is actually paying $11/hr. The missing $4 goes mostly to the agent commission as well as set aside for employer CPF.

    And the thing is that even for such low salaries, the jobscope can be quite challenging (pau sua pau hai type), and the employers’ expectations are as high as if they are paying you $4000/mth. That’s why for jobs like security guards, I know some people who will rather go for “security projects” in un-glam places such as industrial estates and small run-down heartland retail buildings away from management. So that they can relax more, no “government” and those on night-shift can even sleep after locking up the place. Even though their pay can be $100 less than those security guards in posh downtown office skyscrapers, but to them the cost-benefit still appeals better for them.

  6. Anon says:

    Oh yes, the major reason for lousy employers (easily 80% of SMEs and 50% of MNCs) is that they want to pay less employer CPF.

    Let me explain. CPF is only payable for “wages”. Those things such as allowances are not wages and do not attract CPF. Thus, by keeping to low basic wages and topping up using “allowances”, the employers don’t need to pay so much employer CPF.

    The poor employee faces a double whammy — his employee CPF is also reduced, as it is based only on the small basic wage component of his overall pay.

    Unfortunately, I know many low-wage workers prefer this situation so that they can keep more of their gross pay as take-home pay. And they don’t want to cause trouble by reporting such practices to MOM. Actually it will be foolish for them to do so, as technically the employers are not breaking any law or legislation. Only if all 700,000 low-wage workers in S’pore stand up together to complain, then and only then will MOM take action.

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  8. jj@39 says:

    Recently, i just to pico guards & soverus security companies for interviews as security supervisor.

    In their recruitment ad, it was separately stated $2190 & $2200 but they are only willing to pay $1900. When i question them, they started telling you that you are inexperience; your salary will be review after 3 months then you will get a pay raise.

    This is all a recruitment scam. Security industry is a industry which exploit workers. Pls be aware when you apply for security jobs.

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