|Currency||Singapore Dollar (SGD)|
|Official language||English, Malay, Mandarin and Tamil|
|Ease of doing business||Very friendly to business (#2 out of 190)|
|Minimum wage||There is no minimum wage in Singapore (with few exceptions)|
|Estimated employer cost||17 – 17.25%|
|Employer retirement contribution: Central Provident Fund (CPF)||As an employer, you’re required to contribute to the Central Provident Fund (CPF) for your employees who are Singapore Citizens or Singapore Permanent Residents. CPF covers contributions to Retirement, government healthcare and social housing. The contribution rates for employers are:
– Under 55 years old : 17% of ordinary wages (incl. base salary, recurring allowances, etc) capped at SGD 1,020.00 per month + 17% of additional wages (non-recurring remuneration).
– Over 55 years old : From 14% to 7.5% of ordinary wages capped at SGD 1,020.00 per month + 14% to 7.5% of additional wages.
The Republic of Singapore is a developed city-state located in Southeast Asia. With a population of around 5.4 million, it has the second highest GDP (PPP) per capita in the world. Its diverse population is also very educated, ranking high in most international education rankings (PISA, QS ranking, …).
Singapore’s employment landscape is governed by the comprehensive Employment Act, which provides flexibility to employers to manage the employment relationship with the employee.
Employment in Singapore
- Work in Singapore is 40 hours per week for a 5-day work week. The law authorises a maximum of 44 hours a week for a 5-day work week, up to 9 hours per day. If the work week is longer than 5 days, the maximum of hours per week remain at 44 hours, but there is a maximum of 8 hours of work per day.
- An employer can request that an employee works reasonable overtime within the limits of 44 hours per week. For non-manual workers, overtime is commonly factored into the salary package, and no additional payments are required for any additional hours worked.
- Employers determine the length of probation, which varies depending on the nature of the business and the role. 3 or 6 month probationary periods are common.
- Employees need to be paid at least once a month, within 7 days of the end of the salary period.
Main Types of Leave in Singapore
Minimum Statutory requirement is 7 days per year, with one extra day per year of service, up to 14 days.
However, it is customary to provide at least 14 days to 22 days per year, depending on responsibilities.
14 days of paid outpatient sick leave.
60 days of paid hospitalisation leave, inclusive of the 14 days sick leave.
Eligibility starts gradually after 3 months of service, and is full after 6 months of service.
*The employer can request for a Medical Certificate (MC).
Maternity leave can range from 12 weeks to 16 weeks of leave, for employees with more than 3 months of service. Reimbursement of 8 to 16 weeks of wages is possible via the Government-Paid Maternity Leave scheme (GPML), depending on eligibility (nationality of child, number of children) and capped at SGD 10,000 per 28 days.
The child’s father is entitled to 2 weeks of paid leave if:
- The child is a Singapore citizen
- The father is married to the child’s mother (except for adoption)
- The father has more than 3 months of service
National Service Leave – Employers are required to grant a leave of absence to Singaporean Citizens & permanent residents called for national service duty (periods going from a few days to a maximum of 40 days per year).
*The employer will be able to claim reimbursement of wages during that period from MINDEF.
Childcare Leave – Parents are eligible to 2 to 6 days of childcare leave or extended childcare leave if:
- Their child is under 12 years old
- The employee has more than 3 months of service
*The employer can claim partial reimbursement from MSF subject to conditions.
Notice periods are typically set in the contract between 1 and 3 months. If the employment contract didn’t specify it, then the notice period will depend on the length of service:
- 1 day notice for less than 26 weeks of employment
- 1 week notice for employees who have been employed more than 26 weeks and less than 2 years
- 2 weeks’ notice for employment of more than 2 years and less than 5 years
- 4 weeks’ notice for over 5 years of employment
Within probationary periods notice periods are normally not required, or reduced to 1 week.
As long as a due notice has been given, no reason for termination needs to be given. Terminations without notice are possible in the event of employee misconduct or breach of employment terms, such as continuous absence from work without informing the employer.
As an employer, you must provide a written termination letter to the employee.
We recommend that you seek professional advice before taking any action on termination.
In cases of retrenchments, there are no legal minimum requirements, but the norm in Singapore is to provide between 2 weeks to 1 month of salary per year of service to employees who have more than 2 years of service.
For those with a shorter length of service, any retrenchment benefit would be granted out of goodwill.
Disclaimer: The information on this webpage is current as at 19 September 2022, and has been prepared by Employment Hero Pty Ltd (ABN 11 160 047 709) and its related bodies corporate (Employment Hero). The views expressed on this webpage are general information only, are provided in good faith to assist employers and their employees, and should not be relied on as professional advice. The information is based on data supplied by third parties. While such data is believed to be accurate, it has not been independently verified and no warranties are given that it is complete, accurate, up to date or fit for the purpose for which it is required. Employment Hero does not accept responsibility for any inaccuracy in such data and is not liable for any loss or damages arising either directly or indirectly as a result of reliance on, use of or inability to use any information provided on this webpage. You should undertake your own research and to seek professional advice before making any decisions or relying on the information displayed here.
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