Support Site for The Unemployed & Underemployed
Monday January 21st 2019

28-year-old PMET forced to pay $1500 for failing to attend interview

Dear Gilbert,

I am Terence, 28, an ex-civil servant. I quit the service in 2013 to pursue personal interests for a year and currently, I am looking for a job.

My situation is as follows:

I have attached the contract for your reference.

I signed a contract with ACP company which would help to source for potential clients and send me for interviews in a teaching position at a school.

On 27 February, I received news that the company has managed to source for an interview for me at a school in Bukit Timah. Factoring the transport time and long working hours (if I get accepted), I declined the interview opportunity.

Upon learning of my decision, the company has threatened to sue me for $1500 in liquidated damages, as indicated in the contract. It is an excessive amount for not attending a job interview!

They have also said they would be sending me a legal letter to demand payment.

While I admit I am in fault for breaching the contract, I find this abuse of power most distressing.

I appreciate any assistance or advice as to what is the best course of action to take.

Thank you for reading.


Terence (name changed)

Editor’s note: We have forwarded this mail to MOM and TAFEP for their clarification and action.

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7 Responses to “28-year-old PMET forced to pay $1500 for failing to attend interview”

  1. xyz says:

    1stly is ACP Computer Training School a computer training school or a job-search company?? From the above account and the “contract” it’s more like a job-search company.

    2ndly what in the world is a “provisional employment contract”?!?!? Is there a provisional salary paid to you?? How much??

    3rdly ACP says it is a 3rd-party company (client of ACP) who will select you, but you will sign employment contract with ACP?!?! WTF?!?! So you’re a contract staff outsourced by ACP to 3rd-party client companies???

    4thly is ACP being compensated by clawing a certain percentage of your salary from the client company, as well as by employee-search fees paid by the client company??? It’s not transparent at all.

    Not sure what MOM will say, but I think many years ago (10+?) MOM said that no one should be made to pay money or threatened to pay money for job-search. There were a few similar cases made public and reported in newspapers, and complained to CASE.

    I think MOM will ask ACP & the guy to quietly work things out. E.g. ask the guy to spell out exactly the criteria e.g. job scope, salary range, travel distance, working hours, annual leave days, MC days, permanent or contract, probation period, criteria for passing probation, KPIs, criteria for promotion, career pathway in the company, whistle-blowing channel, grievance channel & procedure, type of working structure in the company, reporting style, dress code, etc etc etc. And for ACP to find these type of job openings for that guy to go attend interviews.

  2. crooks faking legal way says:

    It is stated as a provisional employment contract. What is an employment contract? It is a job, a real job right? So, if it is for one month contract, there must be a salary for one month, right? Did they pay you a salary of one month? Did they reimburse you taxi fares for going to see their clients (even though it is for a job interview, but it is still official client’s business, seen in respect to the company that’s employing you for a month}

    It is a ‘con-man’ tactics used to rip the unaware. They may get a lawyer to send you a letter, just ignore it. Many unscrupulous lawyers helped these crooks and really dare to send you the letter of demand for money. What you need to do is simply ignore it. These people won’t have the guts to really pursue it in court. They know they would be asking for trouble for themselves if they do it!

  3. sal says:

    This type of contract should not be allow in Singapore. The MOM or the Authority should step in and put a heavy fine on this company as a deterrent for others. Hope future party that gov the city would make this one of the top priority in their policies.

  4. Francis Ignatious says:

    Inform them that you are waiting for the legal letter so that you can send it to Straits Times and the goverment dept. that deals with unfair practices. These “swines:” are always fearful of bad press. Stand your ground dude.
    They can write anything they have in their contracts dose not mean that it can be enforced. It just like organisattion that say that you park at your own risk in their carparks. The coourts have in all cases ruled against them.


  5. xyz says:

    Btw any such lawyer letter boh parkay one. Any tom dick lawyer will simply collect $200-$300 to write such letter for you. You can also pay lawyer to send letter demanding this company to stop harassing you. You can F-care such crap letters. In fact if you tell the company “Send your lawyer letters lah. I’ll use them as toilet paper and post to Stomp.” — The company will probably won’t waste money to pay lawyer for such crap letter.

    Any company must be idiot to sue you for $1,500. They will need to pay $10,000 to $20,000 just to start legal process. Are you rich? Do you stay in private property? If no, then there is no profit for any company to sue you. And profit is ultimately the aim for such companies.

  6. The real "Terence" says:

    Hi XYZ,

    Thanks for your queries and advice. I have answered them.

    1. They are an agency that provides trainers to MOE schools.

    2. NO provisional salary was paid. $0.00. My only “benefit” was a job interview, which I rejected via e-mail. (and then they started threatening)

    3. “Outsourced” to schools to teach.

    4. No idea of how they are compensated. It was not made known to me.

  7. Gary says:

    I am an ex employee of ACP.

    I wanna share with you my side of story.

    I went for ACP interview and was offered a provisional contract just like you. As I was desperate for a contract pay kind of position, I signed the contract. The manager told me I must go for all the interview they secured. Failure to do that,will have it consequences. I went for the 1st interview with a school.

    The interview session was very uncomfortable as a ACP manager will sit beside you during the interview. The manager will only go off if the HOD request some private interview with the interviewee.

    For the 1 month, I am not allow to get other full time job.

    A or 2 week after I signed the provisional contract, a competitor company offered me a contract with higher pay, attaching to another school. As I did not want to pay the $1500, I didnt take up this offer.

    In the end, I gotten a successful interview with a school through ACP within 1 month and was “forced” to worked in the school.

    If I have read earlier about all your comments, I would not have stay throughout the provisional contract.

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