Employment agency fined a total of $32,500 for breaches during suspension

An employment agency which entered into new business with clients when it was not supposed to while under suspension was fined $30,000 on Thursday.

Sunway Employment was fined another $2,500 and ordered to pay a levy of $347 for employing a foreign employee as a cleaner and clerk without a valid work pass at its Upper Cross Street premises. This after a representitave of the company had pleaded guilty to both charges.

During the suspension, which took effect from May 22 this year, Sunway was allowed to carry on its existing business but not to enter into new recruitment or placement agreements. In breach of the suspension, Sunway continued to enter into agreements with new clients from June 17 to July 1.

The court heard that domestic worker Lorena Crucillo Condat was brought back to Sunway on May 21 last year as her previous employer wanted to transfer her to other employers. She was then holding a valid work pass to work for Sunway's branch manager, Ms Stephanie Quek, when Ms Quek's boss, Ms Khoo Ying Tze, asked her to help her with office work. Ms Condat worked from June 6 to July 9 last year without pay as she still had an outstanding agency loan of six months.

The company could have been fined up to $15,000 under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act, and up to $80,000 under the Employment Agencies Act.