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Singapore: “Watershed” Amendments to Employment Legislation

Singapore’s employment laws are set to undergo watershed changes come April 2019. In summary, a greater number of employees – in particular, professionals, managers and executives (“PMEs”) – will soon be able to avail themselves of the statutory protections contained in Singapore’s Employment Act, the key employment legislation in Singapore.

The single most significant legislative change is the removal of the monthly salary cap of SGD 4,500 in respect of PMEs. Presently, only PMEs below this salary cap have the benefit of the provisions in the Employment Act relating to minimum periods of notice, paid public holiday and … Continue Reading

Singapore: Legal issues commonly faced by freelancers and self-employed individuals

An estimated 8 to 10% of Singapore’s existing workforce comprise freelancers and self-employed individuals.[1]  This percentage is likely to increase with the expansion of the gig and on-demand economy. In recent months, there has been increasing public concern as to the ‘employment’ rights and legal status of these freelancers and self-employed individuals. Are they employees or independent contractors, and why does it matter?

As a matter of Singapore law, there is no single conclusive test which determines whether a person is engaged as an employee or independent contractor. An assessment of the entire context and working relationship between the … Continue Reading

Singapore Government-linked Company Faces Criticism for its Termination of Employees

Last month, 54 employees of a Singapore Government-linked company, Surbana Jurong, were terminated from employment. A local newspaper, Today, reported that the Group Chief Executive of Surbana had sent a firm-wide email explaining the firm’s decision to terminate these employees and labelling them as poor performers who could not be allowed to drag down the rest of the organization.… Continue Reading

Singapore Employment Law: Key Developments in 2017

The landscape of Singapore’s employment law is set to see a number of changes in 2017. Several parliamentary bills were set in motion in the course of 2016, resulting in a number of amendments made to key employment legislation, some of which took effect as early as 1 January 2017.

2017 will also see the setting up of the Employment Claims Tribunal which will be the new institution handling salary-related disputes for all levels of employees regardless of their salary levels (with a few exceptions). The Employment Claims Tribunal will reside within the Singapore court system and will be the … Continue Reading

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