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Employment Terms and Conditions

Singapore - Employment Terms and Conditions

The Ministry of Manpower, MOM, enforces the Employment Act that was enacted in 1968. This act covers every employee regardless of which country they are from or if they are under contract with an employer. The exceptions to MOM’s enforcement apply to those who are employed in a managerial or executive position, a seaman, domestic worker, or are employed by the statutory board of the government. Those expatriates who are planning to work in Singapore should go to the MOM website and study the rest of the Employment Act carefully to be aware of their rights and expectations as an employee in Singapore.

Employment Act: http://www.mom.gov.sg/legislation/Pages/labour-relations.aspx

An employee has the right to have yearly time off if they are covered under the act, according to the conditions in Part 4. They also have the right to at least one work day off per week. This is generally Sunday but can be another pre-determined day, depending on the occupation.

During the work week, an employee doesn’t have to work more than 6 consecutive hours without a period of leisure or more than 8 hours in one day or more than 44 hours in one week. Should the employee end up working overtime, they are entitled to a rate of at least one and a half times the hourly basic rate of pay. To calculate rate of pay if the employee is paid on a monthly basis, 12 times his monthly basic rate of pay is divided by 52 times 44 hours. If the employee is paid on a piece rate then the overtime rate is calculated by the total weekly pay at the basic rate of pay received divided by the total number of hours worked in the week.

Unfortunately there are no provisions in the Employment Act entitling employees leave for marriage, paternity, or compassionate situations and as such these must be arranged directly with the employer. There are, however, provisions for maternity leave. All female employees are entitled to 4 weeks of leave immediately before giving birth and 8 weeks immediately after birth, for a total of 12 weeks.

The Retirement Act was replaced with the Retirement and Re-employment Act (RRA). It still covers employees who are Singapore citizens and Permanent Residents as well as expatriates. The minimum age of retirement is 62, the same as before, but employers now have to offer to re-employ the employees who are able to work until the age of 65.

The Ministry of Manpower’s website lists the details of the Trade Unions Act which defines a trade union as any group or association of workmen, whether they are temporary or permanent, whose goal is to regulate relationships between the workers and the employer, whether they are trying to promote good industrial relationships between the two or to improve the working conditions for workmen as well as enhancing the benefits of the job such as salary and social status. A group may also be called a trade union if its goal is to create greater productivity from the workers and the employer and/or for the benefit of the greater economy of Singapore.

You can find more information regarding the Trade Unions Act, as well as other regulations, on MOM's website at http://www.mom.gov.sg/legislation/Pages/labour-relations.aspx

An employer may terminate an employment contact to dismiss an employee. There are a number of legal obstacles to this process that they must fulfill in order to accomplish dismissal, however. To begin with, any route to dismissal must be laid out in the employee contract itself and expatriates obtaining employment should read and understand this agreement before commencing work. Any worker covered under the Employment Act, and who can therefore work in Singapore, is also covered under its laws and conditions of dismissal.

Both the employer and the employee can terminate the contract for different reasons. These includes: unsatisfactory probation, breach of contract by employee, employee dismissal on grounds of misconduct, employee dismissal on grounds other than misconduct, employee transfer, employee retirement, employee retrenchment, and general resignation. If the contract is going to be terminated, then the terminating party must give due notice. For an employee who has given their employer 5 years of service or more, a 4 week notice is required. Notice can be waived by both parties agreeing to do so and the salary is in part paid by the Central Provident Fund, CPF, which most employees are enrolled in automatically at the time of employment.

The CPF fund is Singapore’s government retirement fund that both the employee and the employer divvy funds into. Foreigners generally do not have funds deposited into this account, although other similar methods might be undertaken.

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Expat Health Insurance Partners

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