Intern says he’s not paid the salary stated in his contract, asks “What should I do?”

SINGAPORE: An intern posted on social media that he had not been paid the salary stipulated in his contract and asked Singaporeans, “What should I do?”

“I’m interning at a local company; my contract states I work hybrid, Monday to Friday. However, for the month of February, I got paid $300 less than the stipulated amount in my contract, and I am not sure why—I took two days of unpaid leave, but even so, the math doesn’t add up. Should I contact HR?” the intern wrote on r/askSingapore on Friday (Mar 1).

The intern stated that he has been debating whether to file a complaint because he is only an intern, and he’s concerned that people at his workplace will perceive him as “presumptuous.”

“What should I do, and anyone might know why I got lowballed? Thank you,” the intern asked.

A few Singaporeans advised the man to check his payment slip or use the Ministry of Manpower’s calculator to determine whether their HR had made a mistake.

One Redditor commented, “It’s not the company “niao”, it’s just how it’s supposed to be calculated. Just check the MOM calculator and see if it’s short. If it is, just ask nicely as it could be a genuine mistake.

At my previous job they paid me lesser than what was in my contract for 2 months and I only noticed on the 3rd. Asked about it and got it back paid that month.”

While another Redditor said, “Did you get your payment slip? That would be the best way to figure it out. A possibility could be that the missing amount went into your CPF. If your internship pay is $1,500, then that could be why.”

One Redditor also chimed in and explained that his salary may be lower than usual because February had fewer days and he took two days of unpaid leave, adding:

“Depends on how niao your company is, they may be calculating based on days worked since last paid, so if it is Feb, it could cut your pay down.”

Itemised Payslips

In Singapore, employers must give employees an itemised payslip, either a soft or hard copy, every month. This is usually issued concurrently with the salary payment or within three working days afterwards, as per the Ministry of Manpower.

With an itemized payslip, the employee can see the full details and breakdown of their compensation, including the basic salary (which is the basic rate of pay, such as $X per hour), salary period, ad hoc and fixed allowances, bonuses and other additional payments, overtime pay, and net salary paid.

In cases where employees are only partially paid, MOM recommends approaching employers to clarify if there is a misunderstanding or error on their part.

If, however, this issue has been brought to the employer’s attention and the full salary is still not paid within 7 days from the due date, the employer has violated the terms of employment, and the employee has the right to terminate their contract without notice.

As a last resort, the employee can also file a salary claim with the Tripartite Alliance of Dispute Management (TADM) using this website or report the incident to their respective union.

Read also: Employee who recently quit shares his boss “won’t let him include the six-month work experience in his CV”

Featured image by Depositphotos

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