MOM Investigating Emart24 for Failing to Pay Former Employees

Remember when Flash Coffee disappeared in a flash after failing to pay its workers?

Just half a year later, Emart24 is now being investigating by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) for allegedly failing to pay its former employees.

Emart24 Being Investigated For Failing To Pay Former Employees

MOM and the Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management (TADM) said in a joint statement on 13 April said that TADM, as of 12 April, received claims from 15 former employees of Emart24 Singapore over unpaid wages.

The statement said TADM is currently assisting these affected workers, and has successfully assisted five of them in reaching an agreement with the South Korean convenience store chain.

TADM noted that Emart24 has begun repaying the five, while mediation sessions are being scheduled for the remaining affected employees.

MOM said it is investigating Emart24 for possible offences under the Employment Act, and “would like to remind employers to pay salaries on time to their employees.”

Emart24

Emart24 is under South Korea’s retail giant and listed company Shinsegae, and has more than 6,500 outlets in Korea.

Singapore is actually late to the game because Emart24 has already opened 52 outlets in Malaysia since its debut there in 2020.

Two years later,?Emart24 came to Singapore on 23 December 2022.

Image: Facebook (Emart24 Singapore)

It opened its first two outlets in Singapore in Jurong Point and NEX.

In July 2023, a third outlet was opened in Queenstown, Margaret Drive.

The popular South Korean convenience store chain was met with a lot of support, with many Koreaboos flocking to their outlets to try their items and get a taste of Korea in Singapore.

Koreaboos could only dream that Emart24 would bring their oppas to Singapore too.

Their outlets offered snacks like tteokbokki, corndogs, and Cupbap (bibimbap in a cup). Korean fried chicken, banchan (Korean side dishes), and gimbap were other dishes that were loved by Emart24’s patrons.

Then, last March, everyone realised that Emart24 had closed.

And it wasn’t just one outlet, all three of their outlets had closed.

This was met with dismay and outcries online, wondering why the popular chain had closed all their stores. Some netizens also mourned the fact that they did not get to try Emart24’s snacks before they closed.

The convenience store chain then said the closure was due to decisions to “reshuffle (their) outlets”, and that they are “here to stay”.

Emart24 also claimed that they “remain fully committed to make Singapore (their) home.”

Salary and Employment Disputes In Singapore

TADM provides employees and employers with services to resolve salary-related claims and employment disputes.

Employers and employees with salary and dismissal related claims should find out their options and register their claims at TADM.

For claims resolved through mediation, parties will enter into a settlement agreement under the Employment Claims Act.

Claims that cannot be resolved through mediation will be issued with a claim referral certificate and referred to the Employment Claims Tribunals (ECT).

The maximum claim amount is $20,000. Those who go through Tripartite Mediation Framework or mediation assisted by unions recognised by the Industrial Relations Act can claim up to $30,000.

Read more on when to file your claim and more information on managing employment disputes here.

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