Employment Laws & U

Working people in Singapore are well protected by several laws that ensure their employment rights, safety, health and welfare.

Employment Act (EA)

The Employment Act (EA) is Singapore’s main labour law, which lays down the basic terms and employment standards for all employees under a contract of service with an employer, but there are exceptions. For example, Part IV of the Act which provides for rest days, hours of work and other conditions of service, does not cover managers or executives. Seafarers, domestic workers and public officers continue not to be covered under the Employment Act. They are covered by other Acts and regulations due to the nature of their work.

From 1 April 2019, the Employment Act has been amended to cover all employees. Wrongful dismissal claims will be heard by the Employment Claims Tribunal instead of by Ministry of Manpower. The changes apply to all employees, including existing and newly hired employees. 

Industrial Relations Act (IR Act)

The Industrial Relations Act (IR Act) regulates a trade union’s function in employer-employee relationships, particularly, in the prevention and settlement of trade disputes by collective bargaining, conciliation, arbitration, and tripartite mediation of individual disputes.

From 1 April 2015, the IR Act has been amended to allow a rank and file union, recognised by the employer, to represent an executive employee in the organisation.

Central Provident Fund Act (CPFA)

The Central Provident Fund Act (CPFA) dictates how employers and employees contribute to the CPF, a mandatory social security savings scheme.

Protection of Harassment Act (POHA)

The Protection of Harassment Act (POHA) protects workers, including those who provide public service, against harassment, online harassment, stalking, cyber-bullying, and other types of anti-social behaviour. It covers both intentional and unintentional offences and includes protection orders against offenders.

Workplace Safety and Health Act (WSHA)

The Workplace Safety and Health Act (WSHA) specifies that stakeholders – employers, organisations, occupiers in charge of the workplace, manufacturers and supplies, those who install or erect the machinery and equipment, and the employee – have to take reasonably practicable measures to ensure the safety and health of persons at the workplace.

Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA)

The Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA) allows employees to make claims for work-related injuries or diseases without having to take legal action. It includes medical leave wages, medical expenses, and lump-sum compensation for permanent incapacity or death. Independent contractors and the self-employed, domestic workers, and uniformed personnel are, however, not included in the WICA.

Retirement and Re-employment Act (RRA)

The Retirement and Re-employment Act (RRA) sets the minimum retirement age at 62, with an option for workers who are able and willing to continue working to be re-employed up to 65, affording Singapore citizens and permanent residents who have joined the company before 55 protection from forced retirement before then.

In July 2017, the re-employment age ceiling was officially raised to 67. Find out what this means for both companies and workers via the U Live Re-employment Guidebook.  

Employment of Foreign Manpower Act (EFMA)

The Employment of Foreign Manpower Act (EFMA) outlines the responsibilities and sets out prescriptive regulations for employers to adhere to, relating to salary, working hours, holidays, annual leave and sick leave.

Foreign Employees Dormitories Act (FEDA)                                                 

The Foreign Employees Dormitories Act (FEDA) regulates the licensing framework for operators and proprietors of dormitories for housing foreign employees to ensure certain standards are set and enforced.

Employment Agencies Act (EAA)

The Employment Agencies Act (EAA) provides for the regulation of employment agencies, relating to matters such as entry requirements, upkeep and maintenance of foreign domestic employees.