High Court Clarifies Meaning of “Executive” in the Employment Act

Precedential Decision by Judiciary or Regulatory Agency

The High Court of Singapore recently clarified the definition of “executive” as applied under the Employment Act (EA), holding that the mere fact that the employee had a supervisory role was not sufficient to make him an “executive”. Whether an employee is employed in a managerial or executive position is a factor in determining the applicability and scope of coverage of the EA, and the nature of the work and all circumstances, including the level of supervisory powers, should be taken into account.

Employment Act to Cover PMEs Earning More Than S$4,500

Proposed Bill or Initiative

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is seeking parliamentary approval of proposed amendments to the Employment Act (EA) to take effect on April 1, 2019. If enacted, the EA will extend its coverage to managers and executives earning more than S$4,500 per month, thus expanding its coverage by around 430,000. Additionally, the current salary cap and overtime salary cap for non-workmen will be increased. Further, Employment Claims Tribunals will hear both salary-related disputes and wrongful dismissal claims, instead of the latter being heard by the MOM.

Adjudications Before the Employment Claims Tribunal

Trend

The State Court recently announced that since the launch of the Employment Claims Tribunal (ECT), a total of 1,190 employment claims were filed with the ECT from April 1, 2017, through March 31, 2018. The ECT hears employees’ salary-related and “salary in lieu of notice of termination” claims. The ECT is intended to provide a cost-effective and expeditious way to resolve certain employment claims and an alternative to civil ligation. To provide a one-stop service, it is contemplated that the ECT will adjudicate wrongful dismissal claims beginning in 2019.