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Employment agency taking me to small claims tribunal to ask for services fee

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Old 27-10-2020, 10:07 PM
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Default Employment agency taking me to small claims tribunal to ask for services fee

Hi all, so basically the story goes:

Early July 2020 - Applied for job on a job portal for a position posted by a recruitment firm. Went for interview. Subsequently got a verbal confirmation from recruiter, the same week as the interview, that the company intends to hire me, pending background check(credit rating, etc). Also that I have to take two professional exams to get the certification.

Early August 2020 - Got a call from the recruiter saying that the official letter from the employer is out and that he will be emailing me the offer terms and document for me to sign after the call. And also an email offer.
The email offer was basically a very basic email written by the recruiter laying out basic pay, annual leave, etc. I did not receive any letter of offer from the company. I replied to the email saying I accept the offer.
The start date of employment was not stated as the offer was "subject to passing PGI and BCP papers"

After which, he sent me his agency application form, with a employment services agreement with this clause:
Upon your being selected and offered a position with our client, you MUST notify ***** of the position, salary including allowance offered and the commencement date. Upon being issued letter
of appointment by our client, you must provide a copy (fax/email) to ****** for confirmation and our billing purpose.
You agree to be employed for a period of _______ months subject to a minimum of three (3) months (hereinafter referred to as the ‘minimum period’ ; or (b) you are terminated by your employer for
conduct inconsistent with the fulfilment of the express or implied conditions of your service within the ‘minimum period’; or (c) you have been continuously absent from work for more than two days
during the “minimum period’ without prior leave from your employer or without reasonable excuse or without informing or attempting to inform your employer of the excuse for such absence resulting
in your services deemed terminated, you shall be liable to pay us the sum equal to one hundred percent (100%) of your offered first month’s gross salary.
If you did not turn up for work or reject the job after confirming acceptance (either with ****** or client) of the job, including verbal acceptance, you shall pay to ****** an administration fee equal
to one hundred percent (100%) of your offered first month’s gross salary"

The recruiter called me a second time that day, in the evening and tried to persuade me that it's a must to a sign this clause as it helps me "secure the job". I then asked why it was an agency form and not a form from the employer itself. I filled up the form and signed the clause and emailed the form to him A FEW HOURS AFTER my email reply to the "offer".

He told me that will come when I start work in September. So basically, other than the interview, I have not had any point of contact with the employer. No letter of offer from them. The "offer" was basically an email from the recruiter telling me their client has offered me a position with the details.

I felt something was off and fishy, especially the no official offer letter and the "verbal agreement" portion but was pressured by him to sign the form, as I was keen to secure a job.

Fast forward to September, I have decided not to proceed with this position, but went for the exam and failed. Told the recruiter after the exam that I failed and he told me on the phone that "I have to pass the exam, if not it is considered I reject the job offer and have to pay a fee". I decided to block the recruiter's number. Sure enough, 1-2 weeks later, the agency has just emailed me asking me for one month's salary as a administrative fee,
"under the terms of our Employment Services Agreement, you shall be liable to compensate ******** an administration services fee equivalent to 1 month of your offered first month basic salary if you reject the job offer after confirming acceptance of the job (either with the client or ********).

And they ended off saying that if I do not pay up by the date specified, they will proceed with legal action and I will be liable for legal fees as well.

And now they are taking me to small claims tribunal. Got a date for the first consultation.

Any idea what it is like and what I can do?

Anybody has similar experience and/or able to give advice?

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Old 27-10-2020, 10:28 PM
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There is a similar thread to yours somewhere in this forum. Seems like this is a common thing nowadays. Care to share the name of the recruitment company? So that everyone can stay away too.

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Old 27-10-2020, 11:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
There is a similar thread to yours somewhere in this forum. Seems like this is a common thing nowadays. Care to share the name of the recruitment company? So that everyone can stay away too.
Would love to, but wouldn't that compromise my proceedings at the SCT?

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