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Singapore Employment Act amended to Enhance Employee’s Morale

Last modified: June 17, 2016
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Singapore Employment

As a part of a steady initiative to make Singapore Employment Act more transparent and effective one, the Ministry of the Manpower (MOM) has announced a new amendment to the said act under which all employers will be required to issue itemized payslips and Key Employment Terms (KETs) to employees. In addition to this, there will also be a new framework to treat less severe breaches of the Employment Act. This will come into effect from 1st April 2016.

This new change likely to foster an amicable relation between the employees and employers, preventing misunderstandings and disputes at the workplace. Once amendment will come into effect, employees are allowed to know how their salary is calculated and understand the employment terms and benefits. As a result, employee’s morale will enhance to a large extent.

Besides making employment law more transparent and employee-friendly, efforts are also taken to lower the breaches of the law non-criminal infringements, where a financial penalty will be imposed replacing criminal record. The Ministry is anticipating that this attempt will prevent the Singapore companies from being penalized too heavily.

The four breaches will come under the new framework are highlighted below:

  • Failure to issue itemized payslips.
  • Failure to issue Key Employment Terms (KETs) in writing.
  • Failure to maintain detailed employment records.
  • Provision of inaccurate information to the Commissioner for Labor or inspecting officers without the intent to defraud and mislead.

The MOM has given a one year grace period from April 2016 to end-March 2017 for companies to comply. According to an official of the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), this amendment has been done with an aim to educate smaller employers rather than punishing those who do not comply.
The authority is also planning to conduct briefings and workshops about the changes along with the issuance of the detailed guides with sample payslips and KETs. Since last year, the ministry has released two sets of tripartite guidelines for employers and a package of tools (free software, bank payslips and funding support) so far.
The amendments highlighted by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) are compiled after receiving feedback through various platforms and proposals evaluated by employers, unions, and the Government. These changes were basically made in efforts to offer better protection to the employee while improving employment standards.

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