He may have lost his job as a law professor after being found guilty of corruption in the sex-for-grades trial.

But Tey Tsun Hang, 42, will leave with close to $200,000 from the National University of Singapore (NUS), where he was an associate professor since 2006.

During his trial, it was revealed in court that his annual salary amounted to $225,000.

Last July, after Tey was charged with six counts of corruptly obtaining gifts and sex from his former student, Miss Darinne Ko, now 23, the university suspended him with full pay.

On Monday, a district court sentenced him to five months' jail after he was convicted of all six charges. He is now out on bail pending his appeal against the conviction and sentence.

The university confirmed on Thursday that Tey will get to keep the salary that he received during his 10 months under suspension.

Responding to queries by The New Paper, an NUS spokesman explained in an e-mail that while Tey was suspended to "protect the interests" of its students, his salary was not withheld as "investigations and court proceedings were in progress".

He said Tey's appointment was terminated with immediate effect after his conviction, but the university will not be recovering the salary paid to him "as there is no legal basis to do so".

"NUS is an autonomous university and our staff are not part of the civil service. As an institution of higher learning, we expect our faculty, staff and students to behave ethically and responsibly. We will continue to underscore this to the members of our community," the spokesman said.

"In the event of alleged breaches, we take a serious view and will take strong disciplinary action against the individuals concerned."

During his judgment, Chief District Judge Tan Siong Thye said NUS fell within the definition of a public body even after becoming a corporation since 2006. The university "receives significant public funds annually and performs a public service of providing tertiary education", said the judge.

Terms of employment contract

Member of Parliament Zainal Sapari said the terms of Tey's employment contract could be the reason NUS is unable to recover the money paid to him.

"When Tey was put on suspension with full pay, it was actually a decision made by NUS. I suspect NUS is not clawing back the money because there are no provisions under the contract for NUS to do so," he said, adding that this is usually the case among professionals.

Rank-and-file workers, on the other hand, come under the Employment Act, said the MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC, who also sits on the Government Parliamentary Committee for Manpower.

Under the Employment Act, an employer can suspend an employee on half-pay for a week when conducting an inquiry on the grounds of misconduct.

Mr Zainal said that if the employee is found to be innocent, the company must refund him the unpaid salary.

But if he is found guilty, the company cannot reclaim the money.

HR experts say that this is usually the case in the private sector.

Mr Bruno Marchand, manager of the business support division at recruitment consultancy Robert Walters Singapore, said reclaiming money from employees suspended with pay is "not common practice".

"Payments for salary would usually cease if the case results in summary or instant dismissal. The employer may choose to summarily dismiss the employee thereby not paying notice pay," he said.

Public Service Commission Secretariat director Terence Chia pointed out that since Tey is not a public officer, the "details of his disciplinary proceedings under NUS might differ from those in the civil service".

"Public officers who have been interdicted in relation to civil service disciplinary proceedings may have their salaries withheld. Whether the withheld amounts are paid to the officer at the conclusion of disciplinary proceedings will depend on the individual circumstances of each case," he said.

Examples of public officers interdicted include former Central Narcotics Bureau chief Ng Boon Gay and former Singapore Civil Defence Force commissioner Peter Lim Sin Pang.

Under the Public Service (Disciplinary Proceedings) Regulations, public officers can be suspended with or without pay.

Once dismissed, the public officer has to forfeit "all claim to any allowance or other benefit which he would have enjoyed, but for his dismissal".