Support Site for The Unemployed & Underemployed
Wednesday January 16th 2019

33-year-old master degree holder unfairly dismissed and feeling desperate


Hi Mr Gilbert,

I was employed in xxxxx as an Accounts Administration Manager on 10th Sep 2012.

However, recently on 17th Sep 2014, I was terminated with one month of salary.

The reason given was that the Board could not work with me. In Aug 2014, 2 staff were terminated from the school, stating cost cutting.

They left the school within 2 hours.

The company did not inform MOM of termination nor cutting costs beforehand.

Notifying MOM will help the Ministry to monitor the labour market situation for the purpose of reviewing manpower policy, and offer assistance to the affected workers. But the company did not do this.

I was told to hand over everything and leave on that day.

Due to the great amount of work load, I had to stay another 2 more days (18-19th Sep). I was also told I will be paid till 16th Oct 2014.

The company is not honouring the 2 extra days. In Aug, a particular staff was terminated. She was paid a salary of $6303 and $2000 additional duties.

But she was paid the $2000 but why the discrimination for a Singaporean for extra 2 days? 2 days salary may be small to many but not to me.

I would like to highlight about the company.

The company does not pay the vendors on time every month. The company does not honour the payment terms. This accumulated the debts every month.

Every vendor calls me to settle this back debts.

Whenever I call and ask for cash flow, I won’t be given a proper answer nor the amount asked for.

This sours the relationship between me and the school Board. I also ask for cash flow from the Board after seeking approval from the school Head.

So why was I terminated by such a reason? Without proper cash flow, I cannot run the Accounts dept properly. I get calls almost every day demanding for payments.

My job was to settle outstanding and assist the school in the finance dept. I was terminated for doing my job.

And also, when I was hired in 2012, due to the IT specialist leaving, I had to take over the IT part which was not in the contract and for 2 years I was not paid any remuneration for the additional IT job duties.

In July, the 13th month salary to the school teachers was paid 18 days late in Aug 2014. They were supposed to be paid on 28th July 2014. The teachers started to e-mail me and the finance officer.

The finance officer does not take any initiative to ask for cash to pay the vendors every month.

There is also salary discrimination at the workplace.

The teachers get the 13th month salary but the admin team does not and have not gotten it. The company practised double standards.

The admin team was not given market rate salary nor desired salary.

I can even accept this as increment is up to company’s discretion but a company should not practise different standards.

Salary increment for the teachers was given upon their grades but not the admin team.

A proposal letter was given to the Board for  salary increment and AWS, but was turned down for two years straight.

I was terminated for doing my job. If I had made a mistake, the company would have terminated me without any notice nor salary in lieu.

However, in this case, I was terminated by an unacceptable reason of the Board being unable to work with me.

There are few Directors in the board but one of the Director brought his son in.

There was no proper documentation nor declaration to relevant government agencies to prove his existence as one of the Board member. This is totally wrong as we have to sometimes take his instructions.

I am writing this letter to seek justice for the AWS, 2 days salary and a proper reason for termination.

I am 33 years old and unable to get a job despite sending out resumes. I am a Masters Degree holder and have 17 years of work experience and yet, no companies reply to me .

My parents are old and I am paying for housing mortgage loan.

The company did not have a conversation with me. They terminated me to their own convenience. I am an affected worker here. I want fair treatment.

I also filed a case with MOM on 22nd Sep 2014. The case number is xxxxx. You can give me a call for discussion.

Thanks and Regards


Editor’s note:  we have extend our counselling service to the writer  if he requires and will help him look out for suitable job position.

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Reader Feedback

6 Responses to “33-year-old master degree holder unfairly dismissed and feeling desperate”

  1. Lim says:

    Good day.
    I sense a case of corruption here. Hope that you can send this case to CPIB after MOE. You mentioned a school, not sure private educational institute regulated by MOE or not.

    Anyway, be strong. The world is a big place. If you are a Chinese, 树大有枯枝,人多有白痴。 Just let it go and move on asap.

  2. Qwe says:

    1) Since they had give you 1 month salary, actually you are technically still pay on 18-19th Sept.

    2) Read what your employment letter said about AWS

    3) Company will prefer to said that you are ‘no good’ rather than admit that they have money problem.

    I believe you can get new job soon, don’t give up hope and move on. The company is losing a good manager like you.

  3. ase says:

    Dear Sam,

    First and most importantly, I am sorry for your termination.

    “I am writing this letter to seek justice for the AWS, 2 days salary and a proper reason for termination.”

    Unfortunately, you won’t get any of these three things.

    AWS is not considered in the laws regulating termination.

    Notice period is technically a period when you have to work. They can opt to pay you so you go away immediately, but they can also oblige you to work. So, in making you work the two days, they are entirely within their rights. You could have had the option of PAYING THEM so you don’t have to work (isn’t the law wonderful??!).

    Reason for termination. This is the last thing in the world MOM cares about.

    I know you are very aggrieved. Someone dear to me was in the same situation last time, only worse (the person intended to complain against the superiors, and was fired before the complaint could go up).

    MOM does not care at all, I promise you this. The only thing you can do for yourself is to chalk it up to bad luck, and think that you genuinely are better off not working for assholes. The job market is no good now, but it will be like this for a long time to come. It is better to see the harsh reality now, the sooner the better.

    The other thing you can do is to let everyone know of the worthlessness of Singapore’s employment laws.

  4. MyTop says:

    Once again, I don’t want to sound cynical, but Sam’s version of the story has many inconsistencies and at times I can’t even make out what exactly he wants to get from the company other than a broad sense of unhappiness over his job.

    A few quick ones:

    1) He starts off by complaining that his company did not report to MOM of his termination.

    Based on his narrative, he was just an accountant looking after receivables and payments in a company that provides services for a school. Why on earth he thinks that the company should inform MOM of his termination or that MOM even gives 2 hoots about him is beyond me.

    2) By his own admission, the company was upfront in informing him that he was to leave immediately on 16 August and be paid till that day accordingly.

    For whatever altruistic reason he chose to stay on for 2 more work days to hand over, but now he is making it seem as if the company short changed him just because they gave some ex-gratia payments to another terminated colleague. Whether the colleague deserved the extra payment is at the discretion of the company, important things is they were candid and did not ask him to stay for 2 more days or promised to pay him for the effort to do so.

    3) Sacked for poor relationship with school board. This is the only part that I think makes sense and where there could be case for unfair dismissal if it were true.

    He should concentrate on building up the case if he wishes to pursue legal action or mediation with MOM rather than ranting on all sorts of irrelevant stuff that was neither illegal nor unethical for the company to do.

    4) Did not get salary increment because he was doing admin while teachers got theirs. Lots of organizations out there practice allocating increment budget to only key departments.

    If he felt unhappy of his pay levels, he should have left and pursued other opportunities. The company offered him a contract with a fixed salary. The company has lifted up to their end of the bargain by paying him accordingly.

    Whether he think he deserve the same increment as teaching colleagues is besides the point. Raising this sort of issue just exposes him as a neophyte and MOM wouldn’t bother as well. This has no legal or even ethical standing at all.

    4) He wants to “seek justice” for his 2 days pay and AWS. I suggest he concentrate on proving a case for unfair dismissal rather than waste time on these trivial issues that have no chance of success.

    AWS is discretionary by nature and the company is not obliged to pay in the case of termination. Bringing in sob story about house mortgage and aged parents isn’t going to help in the situation at all.

    The extra 2 days of work was pretty much his own doing and even if the MOM officer is sympathetic for the extra work he did, there is no way to compel the company to pay him as they pretty much told him to clear out immediately there and then.

  5. australia mate says:

    Move on. You got no case.

  6. singaporean says:

    I would second the fact that MOM won’t do a shit. In fact, Singapore’s legal system is pro-business, and human rights are zilch. So, no case there. Small money, just let go and move on is right. Don’t let it get to ya and just make sure you find a better employer who will treat ya well, which is more important for your overall health, i feel.

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