Unscrupulous Employers


This article highlights some of the behaviors of unscrupulous employers. To most employers, employees are a business costs (a number). With all business it is easier to squeeze costs than generate revenue, so most employers would shortchange employees if they could.

With the death of the life-long job and job security, it may more sense to take the plunge and work for ourselves so that we get paid for the hard work that we put in.

Abuse of Internship (Industrial Attachment) Schemes

There are employers that take on students under such schemes and treat them as cheap labor, sometimes subjecting them to either long hours of work or deploy them on days when business is at a peak (weekends and holidays; special events). This happens in the food and beverage, catering, tourism and hospitality industry.

International Assignees without Family

Staff is relocated overseas for work, but the family does not go with him or her.

International Assignees Receives Home Pay

If the home country has a currency exchange advantage over that of the currency of the assigned country and the living costs in the assigned country is low, I is most likely that the international assignee be paid a high pay that he would get with the same job if he had stayed in the home country.

Incentives for Frontline Staff Only

The employer does not pay a bonus. It pays an incentive based on the revenue generated by the front line staff. The back end or support staff gets nothing no matter how well they support the front line operations.

Suppressed Pay

It is alright to give staff an increment but to no extent their pay should be adjusted to the market rate.

Project Manager

The job vacancy is advertised as a project manager. Nobody clarify that it is not a permanent job. Once the project is completed, the job holder’s service is terminated.

Shift Allowance

Shift allowance is not an allowance for doing shift work. The employee gets paid only if he or she worked the second (evening) or third (overnight) shift.

Split Shift

The staff works 2 shifts on the same day, with the shift separated by 1 or 2 rest hours.

Failing to Check the Contract

The job applicant may have been told at the interview that bonus is paid at the year end, but it is not mentioned in your employment contract.

Misleading Variable Bonus

During the job interview, the employer tells job applicants that they can expect to receive up to 2 months of variable bonus if their work performance is good. In reality, the budgeted variable bonus was only half a month.

The Hype about Training

The employer mentioned in the job advertisement or the company annual report saying that staff receives training. Once hired, the job applicant founds out that either training is for the favored or if it is a on the job training, it is never structured.

No Overtime Pay

It is supposed to be an 8 hours a day job but you have been putting in 10 to 2 hours every day, month after month. You are getting overtime pay because you are an exempt staff.

Lower Pay and Long Hours

There may be a situation where the Department is shorthanded, and the both the workload and the work expectations are high, but not only are you not paid extra

Lower Pay and Higher Expectations

For a unemployed and very experienced job applicant, he faced the prospect of being offered a job that underpays him but where he is expected to do work in terms of scope and capabilities that commensurate with a better paid job.

You Get to Do Your Boss’ Job

Your boss keeps pushing his work to you. He just spend his days answering emails.


Lavish Spending but Not for Staff

The management is willing to splurge on office renovation, a brand new coffee machine and a second refrigerator, but not willing to give the employees a bonus.

Big Corner Office and Board Room

The CEO has a big corner office and the Board that meets only quarterly can have a big boardroom but all the staff in the office has to share one photocopy machine.


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