Former Twelve Cupcakes director fined S$20,000 for allowing staff to be underpaid

She owed S$19,900 in unpaid wages to two foreign employees.

Low Jia Ying | July 29, 2021, 11:44 AM

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Yvonne Ong Hwee Ming, older sister of former radio DJ Daniel Ong and former director of Twelve Cupcakes, was fined S$20,000 on Tuesday (Jul. 27) for allowing foreign staff to be underpaid at the local bakery chain, the Straits Times (ST) reported.

Founders Daniel Ong and artiste Jaime Teo have also been fined for similar offences.

Allowed two foreign employees to be underpaid

According to court documents seen by Mothership, Twelve Cupcakes started employing foreign manpower in 2012 to expand its business.

The company's directors, which included Yvonne at the time, decided on the salaries of the employees.

In her capacity as director, she allowed the company to underpay two foreign employees — a pastry chef and a sales executive.

She committed the offences between late 2012 and 2014.

According to court documents, the pastry chef's fixed monthly salary was supposed to be S$2,300, but only had S$1,600 credited to his bank account each month.

The sales executive only received S$1,350 out of his expected S$2,000 salary each month, and later received S$1,450 out of an expected S$2,400 monthly salary in late 2014.

Ministry of Manpower prosecutor Maximilian Chew said that Yvonne was therefore liable for offences under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act.

Restitution only made to pastry chef

Court documents further noted that Yvonne had since made a restitution of S$3,500 to the pastry chef before court proceedings commenced.

She was unable to return the S$16,400 owed to the sales executive, as he had left Singapore in June 2019 and could not be located.

Accused was a former teacher

Yvonne left the company on November 30, 2014, and returned to her former occupation as a teacher, according to court documents.

ST also reported that her defence lawyer pleaded for a fine of S$12,500 instead, citing Yvonne's good character and lack of experience in human resources.

Founders Daniel Ong, Jaime Teo received similar charges

Founders Daniel Ong and Jaime Teo both received separate fines of S$65,000 earlier this year for allowing their company to underpay employees.

Twelve Cupcakes was founded in 2011 by the then-married couple. According to CNA, they sold the company to India-based tea company Dhunseri Group in 2016, shortly after their divorce.

The current owner of Twelve Cupcakes was also fined S$119,500 for underpaying staff between 2016 and 2018.

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Top photo via Google Maps/TB Foo