Minister of VSA Emil Lee said on Wednesday that he experienced ‘gross non-compliance’ during his recent field visit with the Labor inspectors of VSA. Lee says that the inspectors were even denied access to conduct their inspections of a Government owned entity.
Lee says he finds it unfortunate that something like this is happening and he intends to bring this matter up with the management of that company. Lee occasionally joins the field inspection in order to get a better understanding and to assess the challenges faced by the inspectors and also to understand what is going on in the community.
“As a Government, we need to try and ensure compliance and we are looking at it as a phased approach. Certainly, for people who are paying their taxes and premiums, we would work along with the employer in terms of how we can improve their compliance in terms of work permits and residence permits. For those companies who are not paying their taxes and social premiums – that is unforgivable. For the country, that is something we just simply cannot afford to let happen.” Minister of VSA, Emil Lee said.
He advised that employers and employees alike are to adhere to compliance regulations. The general observation according to Lee is that employees who were addressed, were under the impression that they were being compliant. However, when asked to provide appropriate documentation such as pay slips and labor agreements they were unable to show proof. “It is troubling to see that a lot of these workers are in a way being taken advantage of. Imagine, many of the employees couldn’t even provide the name of the company that employed them.”
Employees are reminded and encouraged by the Minister to be sure to receive a pay slip from their employer, to always have a valid form of identification on hand and to have a copy of their labor agreement. “If you have a smart phone, take a picture of your last pay slip and labor agreement and have this on hand.” Employers are reminded that they must understand that they have a responsibility, regardless of the legal status of an employee – taxes and social premiums must be paid, and it is a legal obligation. The press statement concludes.