Twelve Cupcakes fined S$119,500 for underpaying staff from 2016 to 2018

They were underpaid S$114,000 in total.

Joshua Lee | January 12, 2021, 11:47 PM

Homegrown cupcake chain Twelve Cupcakes has been fined S$119,500 for underpaying seven foreign staff from December 2016 to November 2018.

They were underpaid S$114,000 in total.

The seven foreign staff in question included sales executives, customer service executives and a pastry chef, reported CNA. They were promised salaries of between S$2,200 and S$2,600.

The seven staff were paid between S$200 and S$1,200 less than what was agreed.

Employees returned part of their salary in cash

In order to avoid getting caught by the authorities, Twelve Cupcakes credited the agreed amount into their staff's bank accounts and then asked them to return a portion in cash, reported CNA.

Twelve Cupcakes has been owned by India-based tea company Dhunseri Group since 2016, according to the Straits Times.

Dhunseri Group pleaded guilty to 15 charges under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act in December 2020.

In its defence last month, the company's lawyer said that the practice of paying its staff less than what was agreed on paper was implemented by the previous owners, founders Daniel Ong and Jaime Teo.

The company has repaid the staff the salary owed.

Founders also charged

Both Ong and Teo were also charged in court in December 2020 for allowing Twelve Cupcakes to underpay eight foreign staff between 2013 and 2016, when they were running the company.

Some staff didn't even receive their income at all for periods of time between 2012 and 2013, reported The Straits Times.

Top image via Twelve Cupcakes.