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Honestbee S’pore still has staff salary & CPF issues 2 months after leadership change

Salaries and CPF contributions paid late.

Nyi Nyi Thet | July 19, 03:02 pm

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Honestbee went through a strategic shift earlier this year.

This review led to these measures:

1. Stopping their services in Indonesia and Hong Kong.

2. Suspending their food services in Thailand.

3. Temporarily suspending their operations in the Philippines and Japan.

Apart from these operational aspects, they are also cutting 10 percent of their global head count.

All in all, things weren’t looking so hot for Honestbee in the first half of the year.

Change in leadership and teething problems

All these factored in to the inevitable change in leadership on May 2, 2019.

Out went co-founder and CEO Joel Sng, and in came fresh leadership in the form of LG scion, Bryan Koo.

LG scion Brian Koo takes over Honestbee; current CEO to resign effective immediately

Unfortunately, Honestbee doesn’t appear to be off the hook yet.

Sources have told Mothership that all might not be well.

Some staff apparently had their salaries for May delayed, while others have not yet received their salaries for June.

Central Provident Fund contributions have also seemingly been affected, prompting some to reach out to the recovery department in CPF.

All these alleged issues culminated in a townhall meeting on June 4, 2019.

The meeting produced some promises that apparently included two rounds of fresh funds being injected into the company within the next two weeks, and CPF issues also being resolved by then.

However, there were still issues of salaries and CPF payments apparently being raised as recently as July 5, 2019.

Honestbee told Mothership that while there had been “salary delays in recent months” the delays were “communicated to staff and payments” and “were made in a timely manner”.

Malaysian branch

Apart from issues with payments, Honestbee has scaled back operations in even more countries as well.

Honestbee will suspend food and grocery services in Malaysia from July 22, 2019.

According to a press statement to The Star, Honestbee Malaysia’s shopper bees will have the option to rejoin when they restore operations.

Honestbee also told Mothership they recently laid off staff in Japan.

Closer to home, Honestbee has recently shut down their food delivery and laundry service.

There was also apparently an emphasis on trimming the headcount during the townhall, with Singapore’s employee count seen as “bloated”.

Despite all this, Honestbee has apparently made it clear to staff that Habitat remains a key priority moving forward.

Here is Honestbee’s full statement:

“While there were salary delays in recent months, these were communicated to staff and payments were made in a timely manner. Beyond the initial announced round of layoffs, there were additional cuts in Japan most recently.

The new management team has taken steps to remain transparent by communicating any salary delays to staff first-hand.

We understand the significant impact this has on our staff and their families and remain committed to meeting our financial obligations to them in a timely manner.”

What’s going on with Honestbee?

Honestbee went from raising S$20 million in funding to facing financial difficulties in 4 years

Image credit: Habitat by Honestbee and Honestbee

About Nyi Nyi Thet

Thet has a chronic fear of teenage girls laughing at him. He sometimes puts on a cap in his room and yells “Gryffindor”.

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