THE article ("Eatery director on false salary charge"; Nov 21) reported that the director of an Indian eatery had been charged with providing false salary information to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

This practice may not be that uncommon. Other restaurants, trading firms, IT companies, construction companies and international schools may be guilty of the same practice.

They give their workers fancy designations such as senior catering manager, network manager and so on, but the actual jobs may involve serving customers, cleaning tables, clerical work and manning the cash register.

They declare they will pay their workers higher salaries than what the employees actually get, in order to secure work passes for them.

The employers think they are safe as long as the foreign workers agree to this "arrangement".

To cover their tracks, they issue cheques for the declared salary, then take back the difference in cash from the workers.

Another practice among restaurants is to put "phantom" local staff on the payroll. These people do not work at the restaurant and receive no salary, but the establishment contributes to their Central Provident Fund accounts so that they appear to be on its payroll.

The restaurant can then hire more foreign workers since it has met its quota for local workers.

The MOM seems to take action only when it receives specific complaints. We should find creative solutions to these issues.