Guide to the Employment Act in Singapore

22 December, 2016
By G-Team in Human Resource
What is the Employment Act?

In Singapore, the Employment Act is the main labour law. It sets the basic terms and working conditions for all types of employees, albeit with some exceptions. Here is a guide on what you need to know about the Employment Act.
Who is covered?

The Employment Act covers all employees who are under a contract of service with an employer. This includes both local and foreign workers. The employment term could be any of the following: full-time, part-time, temporary or contract. Additionally, an employee could be paid on the following basis: hourly, daily, monthly or piece-rated. However, an employee who fulfils any of the following criteria is not covered under the Employment Act: a manager or executive with monthly basic salary of more than S$4,500, seafarer, domestic worker, statutory board worker or civil worker.

What are some of the key changes in 2016?

From 1 April 2016, all employers are required to issue itemised payslips and key employment terms (KETs) to employees covered under the Employment Act. These amendments to the Employment Act aim to provide employees a better understanding of how their salary is calculated as well as their employment terms and benefits. There are specific links on the MOM website whereby employers can read more about the requirements for the itemised payslips and KETs.

Additionally, from 1 April 2016, MOM will set up a framework to address less severe breaches of the Employment Act, also known as “civil breaches”. Some of these breaches include failure to issue itemised payslips, failure to issue KETs in writing and issuing inaccurate or incomplete payslips. These civil breaches can warrant administrative penalties on employers.

Where to seek advisory services on the Employment Act?

For someone new to the Employment Act, there are employer assistance packages available on the MOM website. These packages include sample templates and resources for payslips and KETs whereby employers can download and use for their own reference.

For employers and employees who require scenario-based advice on applying the Employment Act or other related employment laws for specific situations, there are several channels whereby either the employer or employee or both can reach out to the respective subject matter experts. Email contacts and hotline numbers are provided on MOM’s Employment Act website.

What is the WorkRight Campaign?

MOM started the WorkRight Campaign which aims to help employers and employees understand their rights and obligations under the Employment Act and CPF Act. Under the WorkRight initiative, several WorkRight clinics have been launched during the month of January 2016 to allow people to understand more about their employment rights. Additionally, there are guides and resources, available in the four national languages, on the MOM website for further reading on the WorkRight initiative.

For more comprehensive information on the Employment Act, do refer to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) website here.