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Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower has released a statement reiterating that any change to terms of employment must be mutually agreed upon by both employer and employee.
In the event an agreement cannot be reached, the initial contractual terms and conditions must remain unchanged. However, either party can serve notice and end the employment relationship.
This was released in response to a letter by Leong Mun Ngo titled “Questions on reducing the number of working days”.
The statement also addressed working hours noting: “While the Employment Act does not stipulate the minimum hours of work, it sets the parameters on the maximum hours of work so as to protect the interest and well-being of vulnerable workers.”
Other issues addressed included:
Reduction of the monthly salary of an S pass holder
Employers who wish to reduce the monthly salary of an S pass holder must submit a request to the Controller of Work Passes, who will reassess the foreign employee’s S pass eligibility. If the employee is no longer eligible for the S pass, the employer must obtain a valid work pass for the employee based on the reduced salary. Otherwise, the employer cannot implement the reduced salary. The employer may choose to terminate the contract and repatriate the employee after paying all outstanding salaries. MOM highlighted that employers who reduce an S pass holder’s monthly salary without the Controller’s approval may face a fine of up to S$10,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 12 months.
Retrenchment of employees
If a company is undergoing structural changes and employees may lose their jobs in the process, employers should communicate this to employees early and in a sensitive manner. Employers should also work with agencies such as Workforce Singapore and the Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) to provide employment facilitation to affected employees.
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