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Managing employment disputes

The Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management (TADM) and Employment Claims Tribunals (ECT) will provide employees and employers with services to resolve salary-related claims and employment disputes.

If you have filed your salary claim with MOM before 1 April 2017, your case will continue to be heard by the Labour Court.

If you are unable to attend the Inquiry in the Labour Court, you need to make a request to reschedule the Inquiry at least 3 working days prior to the Inquiry and provide documents to support your request. For the withdrawal of claim, it can be before or after Inquiry.

From 1 April 2017, the Employment Claims Tribunals (ECT) will replace the Labour Court in adjudicating statutory and contractual salary-related claims.

Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management (TADM) will provide advisory and mediation services, including mediation before claims can be heard at ECT.

Employers and employees with a salary-related dispute should first register your claims at TADM. Claims that cannot be resolved through mediation will then be referred to the ECT.

Types of claims that can be filed at TADM and ECT

For employees:

  • Statutory salary-related claims from all employees covered by the EA, RRA and CDCA.
  • Contractual salary-related claims by all employees, except domestic workers, public servants and seafarers.

For employers:

  • Claims for salary in lieu of notice for all employers.
Maximum claim amount

Up to $20,000.

Or up to $30,000 if you go through Tripartite Mediation Framework or mediation assisted by unions recognised by the Industrial Relations Act.

Note: If your claim exceeds the maximum amount, you must forego the excess amount to be able to enter into a settlement agreement under the EC Act, or to enable your case to be heard by the ECT.

When to file your claim
  • Still employed by the company – within 1 year after the dispute arose.
  • No longer employed by the company – within 6 months from your last day of work.

Tripartite Mediation Framework

The Tripartite Mediation Framework (TMF), in accordance with the Industrial Relations Act, has been enhanced to allow more employees to benefit from tripartite mediation as an option to resolve employment disputes.

Eligibility for tripartite mediation

Before April 2017 From April 2017
  • PMEs earning monthly basic salary of up to $4,500 per month and are union members in non-unionised companies.
  • All PMEs who are union members in non-unionised companies.
  • Rank-and-file union members in non-unionised companies.

Coverage of issues

Before April 2017 From April 2017
  • Salary arrears
  • Breach of individual employment contracts
  • Payment of retrenchment benefits
  • Employment statutory benefits, e.g. overtime pay, public holiday and rest day pay, maternity and other leave
  • Re-employment issues
  • Salary arrears
  • Breach of individual employment contracts
  • Payment of retrenchment benefits

Financial relief for unpaid salary claims

TADM will also operate a short-term relief fund from 1 April 2017. The fund provides ex-gratia financial relief to local low-income claimants, where employers are unable to repay salaries due to business failure. The fund broadly covers the bottom 20th percent of the workforce and applications will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

More information

Last Updated: 17 April 2017