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Guidelines released for issuing key employment terms in writing

Singapore's Tripartite Alliance has released a new set of guidelines for employers to follow when listing terms of employment in writing to employees.

The initiative comes on the back of MOM's announcement in April 2014, which mandated that key employment terms (KETs) be issued to employees in writing. This will be made compulsory by the first half of 2016, in tandem with the mandating of itemised payslips.

The Alliance comprises of the Ministry of Manpower, National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF). In particular, the guidelines seek to help SMEs put in place good HR practices. 

"The tripartite partners agree that the provision of KETs in writing (such as for salary as well as main job duties and responsibilities) is a good employment practice which benefits both employers and employees," said a statement.

"This assures employees of their regular income and main employment benefits, and helps to prevent or resolve employment disputes that may arise."

In light of these, employers are to provide the KETs to all employees who are continuously employed for at least 14 days. As far as possible, the terms should be provided in writing before employees commence work; but no later than 14 days after the start of employment.

Some of the KETs mandated by the guidelines include:

  1. Daily working hours, number of working days per week and rest days
  2. Basic salary per salary period
  3. Overtime rate of pay
  4. Leave entitlements, such as annual leave, maternity leave, and others
  5. Notice period for termination of employment initiated by either party

Employers are encouraged to get employees’ written acknowledgement to the KETs, as well as communicate any changes to them in advance, so that employees understand and accept the changes.

"We received feedback that some SMEs may find the issuance of KETs in writing challenging. The guidelines therefore aim to prepare businesses to progressively change their HR practices before they are required by law to issue KETs in writing."

Download the full set of guidelines here

Image: Shutterstock

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