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Singapore’s amended Employment Act is in place: Revised scope of coverage

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Effective yesterday (1 April), amendments to Singapore’s Employment Act will be implemented in stages.

In an update on the its website that same day, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) detailed the specific groups covered in the Act, as well as groups receiving additional protections under Part IV.

Here are the key points for HR leaders and decision makers to note:

Coverage under the entire Act

All employees (local and foreign) working under a contract of service with an employer are covered under the Act. These employees are either employed on full-time, part-time, temporary or contractual terms, paid either hourly, daily, monthly or piece-rated.

However, seafarers, domestic workers and statutory board employees/civil servants are not covered under the Act. Instead, their T&C of employment will be according to their employment contract.

At the same time, people who work less than 35 hours a week (part-time) will be covered by the ‘Employment of Part-Time Employees Regulations‘ under the Act.

Coverage under only Part IV of the Act

Part IV of the Act, which provides for rest days, hours of work, annual leave, time-off, and compensation for working on public holidays only applies to the following groups:

a) Workmen (manual workers or blue-collar workers) earning a basic monthly salary of not more than S$4,500.

b) Employees (non-workmen) who are covered by the Employment Act, earning a monthly basic salary of not more than S$2,600.

Employers should note, however, that Part IV does not cover all managers or executives.

Note: According to MOM, basic salary excludes payment of overtime, bonus, annual wage supplement, productivity incentive payment, reimbursement for special expenses and all allowances.

Aside from the Act’s coverage, the Ministry also published a set of tripartite guidelines on legislation, covering: re-employment of older employees; expanding the scope of limited representation for executives; extending the scope of union representation for executives; mandatory retrenchment notifications, and wrongful dismissal.

In line with that, employers who are interested to know more about the compensatory framework for wrongful dismissal can access the full information released yesterday, here (as shared by Patrick Tay, Assistant Secretary-General of the National Trades Union Congress).

Lastly, here is a quick recap of the four categories of changes to be implemented in the Employment Act effective yesterday:

#1 Core provisions will be extended to all employees

#2 Additional protections will be extended to more employees

#3 The employment dispute resolution framework will be enhanced

#4 Other amendments, including the recognition of medical certificates from all registered doctors

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