Employment Law in Singapore Series Part 1: Introduction 新加坡雇佣法系列 (第一章):简介

6 December 2022|In Legal Updates

Employment law in Singapore is frequently described as “employer-friendly” or “pro-business”, given that parties are generally given the freedom to agree on the terms of employment, subject to the limited restrictions set out in the Employment Act 1968 (“EA”).
新加坡的雇佣法经常被描述为“对雇主有利”或“有利于商业发展”,因各方通常可以自由商定雇佣条款,但须遵守新加坡的《雇佣法1968》(“ EA”)中的有关强制性规定。

Key Players 主要参与方

Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (“MOM”) performs both promotional and regulatory roles in balancing Singapore’s manpower needs. MOM’s mission is to develop a productive workforce and progressive workplaces for Singaporeans to have better jobs and a secure retirement.

Tripartism, a unique collaborative approach, is adopted by unions, employers, and the Singapore Government to promote shared economic and social goals to arrive at win-win outcomes for all parties in a non-confrontational and objective manner. The tripartite partners comprise the MOM, National Trade Union Congress (“NTUC”), and Singapore National Employers Federation (“SNEF”). In 2006, the tripartite partners set up the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (“TAFEP”) to promote the adoption of fair, responsible, and progressive employment practices.

Legislation, Guidelines and Advisories 立法,指引与建议

The primary legislation governing employment in Singapore is the EA. Beyond the EA, other key sources of employment law include:

  1. Child Development Co-Savings Act 2001;
  2. Employment of Foreign Manpower Act 1990;
  3. Retirement and Re-Employment Act 1993;
  4. Work Injury Compensation Act 2019; and
  5. Workplace Safety and Health Act 2006.

The TAFEP also regularly issues guidelines and advisories. While the guidelines and advisories issued by TAFEP are not law (i.e. they are not legally binding), MOM has stated that it can take action against non-compliance with the guidelines and advisories, such as curtailing an employer’s work pass privileges.
“公平与渐进雇佣实施三方联盟” 还定期发布有关雇佣的指引和建议。虽然 “公平与渐进雇佣实施三方联盟” 提供的指引与建议不属于法律(即它们不具有法律约束力),但新加坡人力部表示该联盟有权对不遵守指引与建议的行为采取行动,例如:限制有关雇主的工作准证特权。

Scope of Application of the EA 新加坡的《雇佣法1968》的适用范围

The EA provides for basic terms and conditions at work for employees. All employees (local and foreign) are covered by the EA if they are working in Singapore under a contract of service with an employer, unless he or she is: (a) a seafarer; (b) domestic worker; or (c) statutory board employee or civil servant.

Employees can be employed on a: (a) full-time; (b) part-time; (c) temporary; or (d) contract basis in Singapore. Employees who work less than thirty-five (35) hours a week are deemed to be “part-time employees”.
符合条件的员工可以在新加坡采用以下方式受雇:(a)全职;(b)兼职;(c) 临时;或(d)以合约时间为准。每周工作少于三十五(35)小时的员工被视为“兼职员工”。

If an individual is not covered by the EA, the terms and conditions of his or her employment will be according to his or her employment contract.

If an employee is covered by the EA, every term in his or her contract which provides a condition of service which is less favourable to the employee than any of the conditions prescribed in the EA will be null and void. In other words, employers may not contract out of conditions provided for in the EA.

Part 4 of the Employment Act 新加坡的《雇佣法1968》第四部分

Part 4 of the Employment Act, which provides for rest days, hours of work, and other conditions of service, only applies to:

  1. a workman (doing manual labour) earning a basic monthly salary of not more than S$4,500; and
  2. an employee who is not a workman, but who is covered by the EA and earns a monthly basic salary of not more than S$2,600.

Part 4 of the EA does not cover managers or executives even if his/her monthly basic salary does not exceed S$2,600.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This memorandum is only intended as a guide and does not purport to be an exhaustive or conclusive discussion of the matters set out herein and should not be relied on as a substitute for definitive legal advice. Reference should always be made to the applicable statutes, the relevant subsidiary legislations and other applicable guidelines. This memorandum is not to be transmitted to any other person nor is it to be relied upon by any other person or for any other purpose or quoted or referred to in any public document or filed with any governmental or other authorities without our consent in writing. This memorandum is limited to the laws of Singapore. In issuing this memorandum, we do not assume any obligation to notify or inform you of any developments subsequent to its date that might render its contents untrue or inaccurate in whole or in part at such later time. If you would like to discuss the implications of these legal developments on your business or obtain advice, please do not hesitate to approach your usual contact at Insights Law LLC or you may direct the inquiry to our key contacts stated above.