Applicability of EA
The EA applies to a person who is under a contract of service with an employer, except:
- any person employed in a managerial or executive position who earns a basic monthly salary of more than S$4,500;
- any seaman;
- any domestic worker; and
- any person employed by a Statutory Board or the Government.
Notice of termination under the EA
The statutory minimum notice period under the EA is as follows:
|Length of Service||Notice Period|
|Less than 26 weeks||1 day|
|26 weeks to less than 2 years||1 week|
|2 years to less than 5 years||2 weeks|
|5 years and above||4 weeks|
Termination without notice under the EA
The EA also provides several circumstances where no notice of termination is required. An employer can terminate employment without notice if:
- the employee has been absent from work continuously for more than two working days, without approval or a good excuse; and
- the employee has been absent continuously for more than two working days without informing or attempting to inform the employer of the reason.
On the other hand, an employee can terminate employment without notice if:
- the employer fails to pay the employee’s salary within seven days of it being due; and
- the employee or the employee’s dependant is immediately threatened by danger to the person by violence or disease such as the employee did not by his contract of service undertake to run.
Where the EA does not apply
Where the EA is not applicable, the following points (not exhaustive) should be considered:
Minimum Notice Requirements
If a contract is silent on the notice period, a reasonable notice period will be implied in common law.
Agreement on different notice requirements on termination
It is industry practice for employment agreements to provide for termination by notice or salary in lieu of notice.
Formalities of notice
The terms of the contract of employment will govern the procedure whereby a contract of employment may be validly terminated.
There is no requirement that termination agreements have to be in writing. Even if the contract expressly states that a written agreement has to be given, oral notice by mutual agreement should be allowed.
Termination process before giving notice of termination
Any inquiry will be governed by terms or procedure in the employee’s contract of employment or any other document which may be incorporated by reference, such as employee handbooks.
While post-termination restrictions are lawful, their scope is subject to control by the courts. In assessing the enforceability and scope of such restrictions, the Singapore courts have considered whether there is a legitimate interest that the employer seeks to protect and whether the restrictions are reasonable in the interests of the parties and of the public.