Singapore

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Employment

It is advisable to have a written Employment Agreement (also known as Appointment Letter) where the employee and employer agree on specific terms and conditions of the employment.
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The employment agreement must comply with Employment Act and certain limits. The employment contract cannot be less favorable than Singapore’s Employment Act. Employment agreement includes position of the employee, duration of the employment, start date of the employment, remuneration, benefits and etc. In most cases, only senior management employees can negotiate their employment agreements.

Payroll

Salaries are paid on monthly basis for work done between the first and last day of the month. Salaries must be paid by the 5th of the following month.

HR & Labor

Working Hours: Employees can work no more than 44 hours per week and 8 hours per day. Employees are not allowed to work more than 6 hours without receiving a break. Daily working hours cannot exceed 12 hours.
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Minimum Working Age: The official minimum working age is 13. Employees from 13 to 15 are only allowed to carry out light work duties. Up until 18 years of age, special restrictions apply.

Immigration

The work visas issued to foreign employees are called “Employment Pass”. The EP is given for 1-2 years and can be renewed afterwards. The application must be filled by the employing company.
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In order to be issued an S pass, holders must have a salary of at least $6,000 SGD monthly.

Benefits

It has become a common practice to provide employees with 13th month salary as an annual bonus.

2018 Updates

Effective January 1 2018, S pass holders must have a minimum monthly salary of at least $6,000 SGD (up from $5,000 SGD).

This change does not effect applications issued previous to effective date.

The Settling in Program, or SIP, is a new course being instituted throughout 2018 for educate foreign workers on employment regulations, Singapore laws, and social norms.
*Employers must ensure to register employees relocation to the course.

Minimum Wage

There is no official minimum wage.

Public Holidays

** If an employee works on a public holiday, they are entitled to another day off instead.

August 9: National Day
September 1: Hari Raya Puasa Holiday
October 18: Deepavali
December 25: Christmas Day

January 1: New Years Day
February 16-17: Chinese New Year
March 30: Good Friday
May 1: Labor Day
May 29: Vesak Day
June 15: Hari Raya Puasa
August 9: National Day
August 22: Hari Raya Haji
November 6: Deepavali
December 25: Christmas Day

Pension Fund

The employer contributes from 16% with monthly salary ceiling of $960.

The employee contributes 20% with monthly salary ceiling of $1,200.

Severance Payments

The severance payment includes all the salaries and benefits due at the last day of employment. If the employee has been employed for at least 3 years they are entitled to receive “retrenchment benefits”. The amount is decided by the employee and employer at the time of hiring.

Advance Notice

Employee can terminate the contract by giving a written notice or by providing payment in lieu of notice. There is no official requirement for how many days in advance the notice should be given. It is agreed between both parties in the Employment Agreement. However it is common practice to provide 2 weeks of written notice during the probation period and one month’s notice afterwards.

Termination Procedure

The employer is required by law to provide a written notice or providing a payment in lieu of notice.

Sick Days

If the employee has been in the company for 6 months, then he/she is entitled to 14 days non-hospitalized sick leave and 60 days hospitalized leave.

Employees of at least 5 months are entitled to 11 days of non-hospitalized leave and 45 days of hospitalized sick leave.

Employees of at least 4 months (but less than 5) are entitled to 8 days of non-hospitalized leave and 30 days of hospitalized leave.

Employees of the company for at least 3 months (but no more than 4) are entitled to 5 days of non-hospitalized leave and 15 days of hospitalized leave.

Vacation Days

According to the Employment Act, employees are entitled to minimum 7 days of annual leave after working in the company for three consecutive months. Afterwards one additional day is added per each year.
Common practice: The employee is entitled to 14 to 20 days of annual leave.

Expat Benefits

Expatriates do not contribute to Social Security fund in Singapore.

Social Security

20% for Singaporean nationals and Singapore permanent residents (with a limit of 960 SGD/ month).

16% for Singaporean nationals and Singapore permanent residents (with a limit of 960 SGD/ month).

The Skills Development Levy (SDL) is payable is at 0.25% of the monthly remuneration for each employee, with the minimum payable of $2 (for an employee earning less than $800 a month) and a maximum of $11.25 (for an employee earning more than $4,500 a month).

VAT

The VAT is 7% standard rate.