The Employment Act, Cap. 91 (the "Act") is the main legislation in Singapore providing employees with statutory rights and protections.
The Ministry of Manpower (“MOM”) recently announced its plans to review the Act and published an open invitation to all members of the public to submit their views to the Ministry for its consideration. The last time a similar review took place was 6 years ago and its main objective is to seek the public’s views on the type and level of statutory protection should employees receive in Singapore.
Key Areas of Review
The Ministry has indicated that it is likely to focus on the following areas of review:
- Extending coverage of the Act to include all employees (the Act currently covers all employees except for managerial or executive employees earning a basic monthly salary of greater than S$ 4,500). The MOM is specifically seeking views on whether the provisions in the Act that deal with public holiday and sick leave entitlements, timely payment of salary and allowable deductions, and redress for wrongful dismissal should be extended to all employees.
- Extending coverage of Part IV of the Act (which covers all nonmanagerial and non-executive employees earning a basic monthly salary of up to S$ 2,500 and all workmen earning a basic monthly salary of up to S$ 4,500) to include more employees. Part IV of the Act regulates issues such as annual leave, working time limits and payment of overtime. The MOM would like to hear from the public their views on whether the salary threshold should be revised and if so what would be the appropriate amount; and
- Streamlining and/or integrating the wrongful dismissal appeals procedure under the Act with the newly established Employment Claims Tribunal dispute resolution forum.
For more details, please refer to the publication released by the MOM on 18 January 2018, a copy of which is enclosed here.
This is a great opportunity for your views on the Act and on the scope of statutory protections given to employees to be heard by the MOM. We encourage you to submit your views to the Ministry by sending them an email before 15 February 2018.
Alternatively, we in Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow plan to submit our comments and suggestions to the MOM. You may wish to let us have your views and we will be happy to consolidate them for submission together with our own views.