Remuneration has always been something employees have been fiercely possessive of. Employees expect to be paid exactly what they are owed and that too, without any delay. God forbid if any deductions are made from their salary!
In Singapore, the Employment Act governs deductions made from the salary of an employee. We set out an anecdote involving Idris and his legally trained friend, Muthu portraying the salary concerns sometimes faced by employees:
Idris: Eh Muthu, long time no see bro!
Muthu: Ya man! Why you look so stressed dei?
Idris: Alamak… I took more than 14 days of MC this year la. So, my boss want to deduct the extra days’ MC pay from my salary bro. Eh bro, you mama fella all good lawyer right? Tell me la, they can do that ah?
Muthu: Well, the Employment Act does state that no unauthorised deductions may be made from your salary.
Idris: So cannot, right?
Muthu: Relax, dei. Let me finish. There are however, certain authorised deductions your boss may make from your salary. For example, he can deduct from your salary, any employment benefit that you did not earn.
Idris: But this is my MC! I am entitled to it what!
Muthu: Yes, you are entitled to medical leave or even excess medical leave, but your boss is only required by the Employment Act to pay you for 14 days of medical leave. Anything more than that, he does not have to pay you. And if he did pay you for the extra medical leave days accidentally, he can deduct that from your salary. That is an authorised deduction.
Idris: Wa, liddat mati la bro! But at least now you tell me, I know.
Muthu: No problem. This month no kopi money la! Remember, there are certain deductions in the Employment Act your boss is authorised to make! Go and read la, last time ask you to come law school with me, you don’t want!
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