In June 2016, Singapore's Ministry of Manpower, National Trades Union Congress and National Employers Federation jointly published a set of Guidelines on the Employment of Term Contract Employees.
As the Guidelines explain, term contract employees are those on a fixed-term contract of employment that will terminate on the expiry of a specific term unless renewed. The Guidelines set out good employment practices for employers when engaging employees on term contracts. Among the recommendations are that -
- For term contract employees who do not qualify for leave benefits because they are employed on a series of short contracts, with breaks in between, employers should grant the employees leave benefits including by (i) treating contracts renewed within one month of a previous contract as continuous and granting/accruing leave benefits based on the cumulative term of the contracts; (ii) providing prorated annual leave, sick leave and child-care leave benefits based on the length of the contract term.
- For work arrangements that involve term contracts that are renewed multiple times, the employer should give sufficient notice before the contract's expiry as to whether the employer wishes to renew. This will allow sufficient time for the employee to make alternative arrangements. The guidelines suggest that the notice period that an employer should give may be the same as the notice period required for early termination of the contract and should be not less than:
- one day’s notice if the cumulative employment is less than 26 weeks;
- one week’s notice if the cumulative employment is 26 weeks or more but less than 2 years;
- 2 weeks’ notice if the cumulative employment is 2 years or more but less than 5 years; and
- 4 weeks’ notice if the cumulative employment is 5 years or more.