randstad workpocket 2019/2020 supplement.

02/12/2019 02:21

In a constantly evolving labour climate, employers need to keep up with updates and new ministry guidelines to remain in line with industry regulations. Our updated Workpocket 2019/2020 Supplement includes new changes to the Employment Act in Singapore (EA) with effect from 01 April 2019, guidelines on wrongful dismissals, as well as other important manpower amendments.

Since the EA was last reviewed in 2012, the profile of the workforce and employment landscape in Singapore has changed drastically. The 2019 employment act changes help ensure that regulations remain relevant in changing times, and contain amendments that meet the interests of both employees and employers.

It is thus important for employers to revisit and update their human resource practices, employee handbooks, and employment agreements and contracts. This is in order to reflect the new workplace dynamics and ensure a fair and compliant working environment.

changes to the employment act covered in the supplement

  • The Employment Act now covers all employees: the salary cap is removed and managers and executives earning S$4,500 and over are now covered under the Act.
  • The Employment Claims Tribunal now hears all wrongful dismissal and salary-related claims, subject to claim limits. The minimum qualifying employment period is reduced to six months.
  • Employers must now recognise medical certificates from any registered doctor or dentist.
  • Employers can make salary deductions with written consent from the employee, who can withdraw their consent at any time.

With Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians (PMETs) already forming more than half of the Singaporean workforce, the core provisions are now extended to include managers and executives. The review of the EA has been called ‘timely’ by Manpower Minister Josephine Teo, as the percentage of PMETs in the local workforce will rise from 56% today to approximately 66% by 2030.

To facilitate this, the original monthly salary cap of S$4,500 has been removed to allow a further 430,000 managers and executives to come within the protection of the core provisions. These core provisions include entitlements to annual leave (which can be a minimum of seven to 14 days of annual leave, depending on the period of continuous service), paid public holidays, paid sick leave, the timely payment of salary and protection against unfair dismissal in Singapore.

Wrongful dismissal claims will now be transferred from the Ministry of Manpower to the Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management, before being heard at the Employment Claims Tribunal. The length of service required for a manager or executive to qualify for protection from unfair dismissal has been reduced from 12 months to six months.

As the scope of the EA broadens to cover almost the entire local working population, it is critical for HR professionals to be familiar with new policies that the company needs to adhere to. If you are an employer, you can do so by requesting for the latest Workpocket 2019/20 Supplement, developed in collaboration with WongPartnership.

Is your business new to Singapore? Get the full scoop on our local manpower policies and keep up with the HR trends with the Workpocket 2019/2020.

other topics of interest covered in the workpocket 2019/2020 supplement:

  • Proposed changes to the Work Injury Compensation Act
  • Special feature on how to future-proof your business
  • Retirement and re-employment age to rise – CPF contribution to increase
  • Useful contacts and sources of further information

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