Debunking Myths on Singapore Employment Law
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Debunking Myths on Singapore Employment Law

Being its main labour law, the Singapore Employment Act is designed to safeguard working conditions for all employees, aside from maintaining good employment standards.

But through the years, there have been several myths regarding Singapore employment law. These myths persist even with various resources about employment and all provisions involved.

That’s why today’s post is all about debunking some of the more common myths and providing factual resources.

The Singapore Employment Act covers domestic workers.

The Singapore Employment Act covers domestic workers

The Singapore Employment Act does cover employees of all nationalities, so it is also applicable to foreign workers. However, because its provisions aren’t applicable to independent contractors doing fee-based tasks, not all employees in Singapore are covered. 

The Act doesn’t include domestic workers whether they’re full-time or part-time maids.In contrast, those who are employed by registered cleaning services in Singapore are covered by the Singapore Employment Act.

That’s not to say there’s no law to protect domestic helpers. The most reputable maid agencies in Singapore are expected to abide by the Maid Employment Law and the full coverage of the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act.

The Act prescribes a minimum wage for employees.

The Act prescribes a minimum wage for employees

There should be an initial agreement between the employer and employee about the latter’s expected wage. An employment lawyer can be called to check if the contract is fair to all involved and the payroll services that processes transactions.

However, there’s no minimum wage prescribed by the Singapore Employment Act to employees. As previously stated, the employer and employee agree to the terms prior to contract signing without any government-mandated wage matrix.

What an employer has to do is buy employees accident insurance especially for those doing manual labour (this is regardless of the employee’s salary scale). 

Otherwise, they might be sued by a personal injury lawyer if something untoward occurs in the workplace.

An employee can work for 6 consecutive hours with no breaks.

An employee can work for 6 consecutive hours with no breaks

In Singapore, the normal working hours are up to 8 hours a day or up to 44 hours per week, maximum. Work hours are independent of meal breaks, rests, and other breaks.

But no employee should work for six hours straight without taking a break. This is something that the most reputable employment agencies in Singapore should emphasize.

In addition, overtime work for all employees should not exceed 12 hours a day or a total of 72 hours per month.

The minimum age of retirement in Singapore is 65 years old.

The minimum age of retirement in Singapore is 65 years old

Singapore’s Retirement and Re-employment Act states that the minimum retirement age for employees is 62 years old. But it was announced in 2019 that it will be gradually increased to 65 years old by the year 2030.

Employers cannot request or force any employee to retire before they reach the minimum retirement age (otherwise, there might be some trouble with corporate lawyers).

But in a bid to accommodate even more older workers, retired workers can be re-employed before they reach the age of 65. 

(Please note that this is only applicable to Singapore citizens and permanent residents.)