PUB reimburses 6 months overtime pay with interest owed to some staff due to ‘technical difficulties’ with the HR system


SINGAPORE — Due to a technical glitch in a human resources (HR) system, a group of workers at the national water agency PUB had to pay overtime for six months, TODAY has learned.

Workers had to pay overtime from August last year to January this year.

In response to questions, PUB said it has since rectified the error and paid the workers overtime pay due in the six months and for February and March this year in the April payroll.

Workers will also receive, by the end of this month, the interest that could have been earned if employee contributions had been paid into their Central Provident Fund (CPF) accounts.

These have been passed on to workers, PUB added.

TODAY understands that PUB generally credits overtime pay two months after the month it was worked. So, for overtime pay due for February 2022, workers would receive payment in their April 2022 payroll.

However, the agency also paid overtime worked in March 2022, which would normally be paid in May 2022.

Although PUB and its employee union (PUBEU) declined to say how many workers were affected and the amount of overtime owed, TODAY understands that only a small group of workers were affected and the amount owed does not was not important.


Earlier this month, TODAY received a letter from affected workers identifying themselves as PUB’s Catchment and Waterways Department, saying they had not been paid overtime since August 2021 The workers did not give their names and wrote anonymously.

In the letter to Minister of Manpower Tan See Leng, the workers concerned said that they were told that the human resources department of PUB was involved in the overtime payment delays and that they had been assured that they would be paid.

However, they were unhappy because they were forced to work overtime while their payments were delayed, and they would lose interest earned on the overtime payment they owed.

“The delay in our (money owed) means that we have lost interest on our CPF contributions over the past few months,” they said.

“Basically, PUB denied our accrued interest and lost future interest due to the delays.”

Employers and employees must make contributions to CPF accounts under the National Savings System.


In response to questions from TODAY, a PUB spokesperson said the agency refunded unpaid overtime pay in the April payroll. Interest would also be paid to workers by the end of April.

“The issue arose due to technical difficulties, which caused a delay in the implementation of a new work shift module in our HR system. As a result, agents were unable to submit their job requests. overtime in the system for processing,” the spokesperson said. mentioned.

“Throughout this period, officers have been made aware of the delays in setting up the system.

“We recognize that the issue could have been handled better and the inconvenience this may have caused our officers. We will learn from this episode to ensure this does not happen again.”


In a response to TODAY, the Public Service Division (PSD) said it understands that PUB has “settled the arrears and will cover the interest deficiency of the CPF, and that PUB has communicated this to the relevant officers.”

“PUB will work to tighten its processes to ensure similar issues do not reoccur.”

He also said that the PSD has channels for officers to give their opinion on various issues and that it will take steps to investigate and review each grievance.

“Once we were alerted to this issue in early April by PUB officers, we immediately followed up with the relevant departments to understand the facts of the case and ensure appropriate corrective action was taken.

“We treat these shortcomings very seriously and will work with public agencies to close the gaps and improve administrative processes.”


PUBEU General Secretary Shafari Baharawi told TODAY that the union was aware of the changes to the agency’s human resources system and its subsequent start-up problems.

“Earlier this month, it was brought to the union’s attention that the system had caused a delay in the payment of overtime to some employees, which has since been resolved.

“We understand the anxieties workers face in such a situation and encourage affected staff, especially our members, to contact one of our union leaders if they need further assistance.”


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