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Did Tan Kin Lian structure structured employment contracts as training contracts instead?

Did Tan Kin Lian structure structured employment contracts as training contracts instead so that it can get around ordinary employment law restrictions? Back in those days when Tan Kin Lian was then the CEO of NTUC Income, NTUC Income requires employees to pay back one month's salary if they resign within one year of joining the co-operative. This is revealed from a letter written by the ex-CEO himself to TODAYonline.

Tan Kin Lian is to contest in the coming Singapore Presidential Election 2011 should he passes eligibility requirements.

Ensure training provided to new recruits is not wasted
TODAYonline Weekend • March 26, 2005

I REFER to the letter, "Don't accept a job offer, if you won't join" by Cindy Lit-Tan (Mar 24).

I agree with her views. The applicant who fails to turn up for the job has caused unnecessary waste to the employer and deprived another deserving person from the job. There are other people who accept the job and receive expensive training from the employer. In the meantime, they continue to look for another job. This is unethical and should be strongly discouraged.

I wish to suggest a solution. For the past five years, NTUC Income requires a new employee to pay back one month of salary if they resign from the job within the first 12 months. This is to compensate us partially for the cost of recruitment and training the employee.

This strategy has worked well. Applicants who are not serious about the job usually decline our offer.

We are able to recruit people with the right attitude. We enjoy a lower turnover rate and have employees who are more dedicated and suitable. We are able to provide excellent training for our employees, knowing that the investment will not be wasted.

Letter from Tan Kin Lian, chief executive officer, NTUC Income

Is penalty for early resignation fair?
TODAYonline Wednesday • March 30, 2005

I refer to the letter, "Ensure training provided to new recruits is not wasted" by Mr Tan Kin Lian, CEO of NTUC Income (March 26).

According to Mr Tan's letter, NTUC Income requires employees to pay back one month's salary if they resign within one year of joining the co-operative.

This is interesting because it deviates from both market practice and the norms established under the Employment Act.

Since the Act requires the same notice period from both employer and employee, one wonders if NTUC Income would also pay an additional month's wages if it terminates an employee within the first year.

Has NTUC Income structured its employment contracts as training contracts instead so that it can get around ordinary employment law restrictions?

A clarification would help prevent other employers from imposing one-sided or possibly illegal terms in employment contracts in the belief that NTUC Income does too.

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