Innopac owes outgoing CEO over $490k for 11 years' unused leave

Investment holding company Innopac Holdings owes its outgoing chairman and chief executive officer Wong Chin Yong nearly $492,000 for unused leave accrued since 2008.

The mainboard-listed company disclosed this on Wednesday in response to queries from the Singapore Exchange (SGX) on its financial results for the quarter ending Sept 30.

Mr Wong stepped down as chairman of the board of directors last week. He also resigned as CEO and plans to step down on March 31 next year.

He is owed $491,920.85 for unused leave from 2008 to 2018. Innopac said the "significant amount due to the CEO goes back to 2008 as he was unable to utilise all his leave entitlement as he had been the only executive director of the company and group".

The company's secretary and group financial controller, Ms Priscilla Tan, is owed $5,815.38 for unused leave this year.

Other staff, such as its accountant and administrative assistant, are also owed compensation for unused leave from last year.

Human resource experts said the practice of accruing unused leave over many years is uncommon but would depend on individual arrangements in employees' contracts.

Adecco Singapore country manager Mark Hall said it is more common for organisations to either not allow carrying over of leave, or allow a maximum number of days to be carried over to the following year.

"This is to ensure that financial cycles are kept clean and the cost of leave will not interfere with each year's profit and loss which will ensure audit accuracy," he said.

Singapore Human Resources Institute president Erman Tan said companies typically want to ensure leave is properly utilised so that staff have enough rest and to avoid the issue of staff being absent for a long period at one go.

Randstad Singapore managing director Jaya Dass said some companies do allow senior executives to carry forward unused leave to the next year.

"This is often due to the responsibilities that they have in their roles and the limitations they have when applying for time off, especially when the business is going through challenging times such as mergers and acquisitions or major business restructuring exercises," she said.

Innopac was first listed on the SGX in 1983 and at one time, it operated the fast-food franchise Kentucky Fried Chicken.

But it has faced challenges in recent years. A report last month by corporate finance advisory firm Provenance Capital, which was appointed in May to review the investment processes of Innopac, states that the group had incurred losses for the past five years, since the 2013 financial year.

Innopac also said in October that it would dispose of its stakes in a number of businesses to Mr Wong for just $100,000, and was later asked by the SGX to explain how it valued those businesses.

Innopac shares have been suspended on the SGX since June 7.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 28, 2018, with the headline 'Innopac owes outgoing CEO over $490k for 11 years' unused leave'. Print Edition | Subscribe