Former Harry's International director charged with falsely declaring salaries in EP applications

SINGAPORE - A former director and human resources division head of Harry's International, Parmjit Kaur, 48, has been taken to court by the Manpower Ministry (MOM) for allegedly overstating the salaries of foreign employees in Employment Pass applications.

She was charged on Thursday with 20 counts of making false declarations of salary to the Controller of Work Passes, from April to September 2013.

In a statement, MOM said its investigations found that she had instructed her staff to declare the fixed monthly salaries for the foreign employees as $3,100, to meet the minimum requirement of $3,000 for Employment Pass applications at that time. Kaur, a Singaporean, allegedly knew that the employees would be paid less than that.

If convicted of the offence under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act, she could be fined up to $20,000 and jailed for up to two years.

A total of 95 other employers are now under investigation for making false declarations regarding work pass applications for 241 foreigners, MOM said, adding that it has stepped up on enforcement efforts following the raising of maximum penalties for false declaration in 2012.

Last year, the courts fined eight employers, who were franchisees of convenience store chain 7-Eleven , between $8,000 and $56,000 for making false declarations. Besides penalties imposed by the courts, businesses may also be barred permanently from hiring foreigners.