Singapore Employment Act to be amended

Almost half a million more Singapore workers will now be protected by the Employment Act.
By: | March 5, 2018

Singapore’s Employment Act will be amended to remove the existing S$4,500 per month salary cap.

Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say, who announced the key change during a debate in Parliament, said that about 430,000 more professionals, managers and executives will be protected by the amended legislation.

Currently, only workers earning less than $4,500 per month are guaranteed access to key employment terms, including paid sick leave and compensation for wrongful dismissal.

“Our workforce is changing fast, we now have more PMETs  (professionals, managers, executives and technicians), and fewer rank-and-file [staff],” said Lim. “With PMETs making up 56% of the local workforce now, going up to 65% by around 2030, it is timely to make a more fundamental change to the coverage of [the Employment Act].”

He added that this move would extend these protections to all workers, except for public servants, domestic workers, and seafarers who are covered by separate legal instruments.

The changes will be implemented by April 2019, and follow from a month-long public consultation conducted earlier in the year.

During that consultation, Patrick Tay, the assistant secretary-general of Singapore’s National Trades Union Congress, had recommended that the Act be expanded in scope to include workers earning above S$4,500, among other things.

At the HRM Awards 2018 on March 2, where Tay was the guest-of-honour, he also alluded to “exciting” changes ahead for employees and HR professionals alike.