Global menu

Our global pages


Global employment briefing: Singapore, January 2018

  • Singapore
  • Employment law


Public consultation on potential changes to the Singapore Employment Act

The Ministry of Manpower (“MOM”) invited the public to provide their views on three key areas in the Employment Act, Cap. 91 (the “EA”).

The EA is the main employment legislation in Singapore. It is regularly reviewed by MOM, the National Trades Union Congress and Singapore National Employers Federation. The last review was held in 2012 to 2013, and the amendments came into effect in 2015. Since then, the tripartite partners have considered other areas within the legislation that require further review to ensure that it remains relevant to the changing work force.

The areas of the EA on which the MOM requested feedback are:

Provisions in the EA

Current Status

Suggested Amendment

The core provisions which include:

1. Dismissal (s14)

2. Payment of salary (s21)

3. Allowable deductions of salary (s27 and s32)

4. Maternity protection (s76, s81, s84, and s84A)

5. Childcare leave (s87A)

6. Public holidays (s88)

7. Sick leave entitlements (s89)

The core provisions do not apply to managers and executives earning more than SGD 4,500 per month, domestic workers, public servants and seafarers. To amend the core provisions so that it applies to all employees.

Part IV, in particular:

1. Work on rest day (s37)

2. Hours of work (s38)

3. Annual leave (s43)

Some workers such as those working in “white collar” industry (e.g. clerks, receptionists, retail sales assistants) earning a monthly salary of up to SGD 2,500 and some engaged in manual work (e.g. cleaner, construction worker, labourer, machine operator and assembler, driver) earning a monthly salary of up to SGD 4,500 are entitled to additional protections under Part IV, namely benefits relating to annual leave, hours of work, overtime pay and rest day. To revise the level of salary thresholds (i.e. SGD 2,500 and SGD 4,500) as to who enjoys the additional protection under Part IV of the EA.
N/A The Employment Claims Tribunals hear salary-related disputes, and the MOM hears claims on wrongful dismissal. In most cases, wrongful dismissal claims relate to salary issues. It would be more efficient if the matters can be resolved together under one authority. To streamline the dispute resolution process for salary and dismissal-related claims


MOM welcome feedback from the public. The consultation started on 18 January 2018 and will last for one month until 15 February 2018.