Singapore has recently made significant changes to its employment laws that business professionals in or who are exploring an expansion into the country will want to be aware of moving forward. The country itself is thriving, but employers need to be aware of these updated employment nuances to ensure full compliance.
An Overview of Singapore Employment Law Updates
As of April 1, 2019, an extension of the core provisions of the Singapore Employment Act is in effect that now covers all employees working within an organization. In the past, those benefits were limited only to those employees making less than $4,500 per month.
All workers will now be able to enjoy a wide range of benefits that were previously only available to a select few. These include, but are not limited to:
- Minimum of 7 to 14 days of paid leave every year
- Paid public holidays and sick leave
- Guaranteed timely payment of salary
- Statutory protection against wrongful dismissal
- Many see this as a significant step towards Singapore further protecting the rights of workers
The only exceptions to this are public servants, domestic workers, and seafarers. This is because they are already covered separately by other laws, thanks to the particular nature of the work they’re completing.
Another significant change is the extension of Part IV of the Employment Act. In addition to aforementioned core revisions, Part IV was designed to provide additional protection in terms of not only working hours, but also payment and overtime for rest days.
In the past, Part IV was only available to workmen earning up to $4,500 per month and non-workmen earning up to $2,500 per month. While there is no change on the workmen side, Part IV is now available to non-workmen earning up to $2,600 per month, a $100 increase.
Likewise, the cap for the basic monthly salary used to calculate the hourly rate for overtime work for non-workmen was $2,250 per month prior to these amendments. Since April 1, the cap has been raised to that same $2,600 per month.
Other Singapore Employment Law Updates
On the horizon lies a significant enhancement of the employment dispute resolution framework used across the country. The changes aim to provide a complete, turnkey service for employees who find themselves in this a dispute situation. At the same time, the adjudication of wrongful dismissal claims will be shifted from MOM to the ECT, otherwise known as the Employment Claims Tribunals. Currently, it only adjudicates salary-related disputes.
Updates to Time Off, Holidays in Singapore
Finally, changes were made that give employers in Singapore the flexibility needed to give time off to more employees for work on public holidays in the future. This is all while still guaranteeing that those employees with lower bargaining power will be able to get the extra day’s salary or full day off to which they are entitled. Previously, workmen and non-workmen only had access to those two specific compensation options. Now, for workmen earning up to $4,500 per month and non-workmen earning up to $2,600 per month, those two additional options are now included.
Expand into Singapore with an Experienced Expansion Partner
The updates to Singapore employment law serve as an important reminder of the complexities that can come with executing a global expansion plan. This is ultimately why finding the right partner like an International PEO (Professional Employer Organization) is critical; relying on an experienced expansion partner means fewer headaches, and a better understanding of your target market.
Velocity Global’s International PEO solution streamlines the expansion process, helping organizations break into their new international markets in a matter of days—not months that are required when establishing an entity. International PEO provides compliant employment contracts, mitigating the costly risks associated with misclassified contractors, so you can rest assured your employees are properly classified.
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