Ex-staff of famous food chain cry foul over employer’s EPF fraud

KUALA LUMPUR: Fifteen former employees of a fine dining food chain gathered here yesterday to lodge a report to the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) over alleged fraud by their ex-employer.

The individuals, who included a manager, supervisor, chefs and waiters, claimed while the EPF deductions were made from their salaries, the company did not remit the payment to the fund. They claimed this had been going on for up to four years.

The former employees worked at different branches of the chain located in the Klang Valley, with all 15 of them having resigned from the company.

Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng, who was present to assist the victims, said a representative from the Raja Chulan EPF branch had given an assurance that they would investigate the matter thoroughly.

“The EPF branch chief said they may even consider getting a court order to ban the company’s directors from leaving the country pending investigation,” he told reporters.

Section 43 of the EPF Act states that any employer who fails to pay to the Fund any contributions which he is liable under the act to any employee is, on conviction, liable to a maximum imprisonment of three years, fine not exceeding of RM10,000, or both.

Section 47(1) of the same act states that if an employer deducts or attempts to deduct from the wages of any employee the employer's contribution, he is, on conviction, liable to imprisonment of up to six years, or to a fine not exceeding RM20,000, or both.

Meanwhile, a contractor and a live fish supplier, who were also present yesterday, accused the food chain of cheating them out of thousands of ringgit over the past year.

Contractor Leong Mei Kuan said the company owed her RM286,000 for renovations and furniture for its new branch in KL Gateway, but she has yet to receive payment since March.

“We completed 60% of the renovations, but when asked to pay, they failed to do so. We have since stopped work there beginning March, but have only received RM25,000,” she said, adding that a police report would be lodged on the issue.

Live fish and seafood supplier Tan Won Lin said the company also failed to pay her for four months worth of supply, from January to April, amounting to RM34,000, with a police report lodged on Monday.

Efforts to obtain a response from the company were futile till press time.