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FAQs on salary and leave arrangements

Employers and employees can find out more about your salary and leave arrangement.

For employers

My company was not allowed to resume operations at the post-Circuit Breaker. Can my company continue with the cost-saving measures put in place during the Circuit Breaker?Show

Employers who cannot resume operations post-Circuit Breaker will continue to receive 75% wage support through the Jobs Support Scheme.

If there’s a need to extend the cost-saving measures, employers should engage and mutually agree with unions and employees on the appropriate salary and leave arrangements, taking reference from the updated advisory for salary and leave arrangements.

Employers with at least 10 employees are also reminded to notify MOM if the cost-saving measures result in more than 25% reduction in the gross monthly salary for local employees or more than 25% reduction in basic monthly salary for foreign employees.

My company had already implemented cost-saving measures before the Government announced enhancements to the Jobs Support Scheme. Can my company continue with this arrangement?Show

Employers whose business had been severely affected and had implemented cost-saving measures earlier should review their measures taking into consideration the additional support provided by the Government.

Employers and employees should discuss and mutually agree on an arrangement to support the company’s survival and ensure that jobs are preserved.

My company is unable to operate and is not collecting any revenue. Do I still need to pay my employees?Show


Your company should use the enhanced Government support to pay your employees baseline salaries during this period.

With the enhanced Jobs Support Scheme payouts, what is the baseline salary that I should pay my local employees?Show

The Government has provided substantial wage support through the Job Support Scheme (JSS) to help employers retain and pay employees.

Employers who are unable to resume operations should continue paying baseline salaries to employees. The baseline salary may vary across employers due to different financial position and business prospects.

For example, an employer who continues to be financially healthy may give a non-working employee salary + CPF contribution equivalent to the enhanced JSS payout for May (i.e. 75% of one month of wage).

Employers should discuss with unions and employees and come to an agreement on the salary and work arrangements, with special consideration for lower wage employees.

How should I treat employees who have less than 3 months of service, e.g. joined in February 2020?Show

The Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) provides wage support to employers, helping them retain local employees during this period of economic uncertainty.

The JSS payment goes to the employer based on the eligible employees and the employer has the discretion on how best to use the JSS payout to support their entire workforce, including those who have less than 3 months in service.

What are employers expected to do if they're unable to come to an agreement with their employees on adjustments to salary / working hours?Show

If the terms and conditions of an employment contract need to be changed, both employers and employees should negotiate and try to reach an acceptable agreement, taking into consideration business needs and the employee’s concerns.

If no agreement can be reached, the initial contractual terms and conditions must remain unchanged but either party can serve notice and end the employment relationship.

Employers cannot make changes to the employment terms and conditions without the employee’s consent.

To prevent misunderstandings or disputes, a written agreement with the new terms and conditions clearly stated, whether temporary or permanent, should be signed, where possible (e.g. electronic signature).

My company has implemented no-pay leave as part of its cost-saving measures as the company is unable to resume operations due to Government restrictions. Can my employee still claim sick leave during this period and seek reimbursement for their medical consultation fees?Show

Employees would not be eligible to apply for paid sick leave if they fall sick during the day they are on no-pay leave, or any other non-working day, e.g. public holiday or annual leave.

For example, the company implemented 1 day no-pay leave each week, and the employee had agreed to be on no-pay leave for all Mondays. If the employee was given two days of sick leave on a Monday, the employee is counted to having taken 1 day of paid sick leave for Tuesday.

In addition, as the employee had agreed to the cost-saving measures to support the company, as an employer, you are encouraged to exercise compassion and reimburse medical consultation fees, if any.

Can I ask my employees to take annual leave in advance as part of cost-saving measures if they don't have enough leave balance this year?Show

You should only ask your employees to clear their annual leave if your employees’ salary is below the prevailing salary after you have considered the JSS payout.

If your employees don’t have enough annual leave, you should be flexible and compassionate in granting time-off or other leave arrangements, e.g. childcare leave, sick leave, etc.

If they’ve fully used their annual leave, you can ask your employees to take annual leave in advance, capped at 1 year’s worth of leave entitlements.

To prevent misunderstandings or disputes, you should discuss and mutually agree with your employees on the possible situations. For example:

  • Whether your employees will be given additional leave if the business recover in the following year.
  • Whether your employees can choose not to take annual leave in advance, e.g. take no-pay leave instead.
  • How their advance leave will be treated if they resign or are dismissed.

As an employer, you should act responsibly and fairly, especially for lower wage employees, such as those who qualify for Workfare Income Supplement (earning $2,300 or less).

For employees

Can my employer put me on no-pay leave or ask me to clear my annual leave even though my employer is getting the Jobs Support Scheme payouts?Show

As an employee, you should also be prepared to share some of the cost burden of your employer to help preserve jobs during this period.

To manage cost pressures and conserve manpower for when they are most needed, employers may request employees to clear some of their paid annual leave when business activity has been sharply reduced. Employers should be allowed to do so, and encouraged to seek their employees’ support and understanding to help the business get ready for business resumption.

Employers should discuss with unions and employees and come to an agreement on the salary and leave adjustments, taking reference from the updated advisory for salary and leave arrangements.

Can my employer ask me to use my annual leave or take no-pay leave while I am able to work from home?Show

Your employer may ask you to clear some of your annual leave when there is reduced business activity.

Your employer must pay you your prevailing salary if you are working from home full-time.

For employees on reduced or no-work arrangements, your employer may ask you to use annual leave or take no-pay leave for the period where there is no work.

Can I use my childcare leave entitlements during the period of business inactivity, e.g. company cannot resume operations due to Government restrictions? If my employer started cost-saving measures earlier, e.g. salary adjustments, would my childcare leave be based on the revised salary?Show

Yes, eligible employees continue to be entitled to take childcare leave.

During childcare leave, eligible employees should be paid based on their prevailing salary.

If employees have used their childcare leave entitlements, employers are encouraged to allow flexible work arrangements to support the childcare needs of employees.

I resigned and left the company before the announcement of the enhanced Jobs Support Scheme (JSS), can I file a claim for the JSS payout from my company?Show

The intent of the Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) is to maintain jobs rather than provide cash to employees. As such, the cash grant goes to the employers to help them remain afloat and to retain their local employees.

If your company has fulfilled their contractual obligations, e.g. annual leave encashment, notice pay, etc, you would not be able to file a claim against the company.

Can I file a wrongful dismissal claim if my company terminates my employment despite receiving the Jobs Support Scheme payout?Show

If your employer had implemented a cost cutting exercise and the majority of the employees have agreed to fair wage reductions to preserve their jobs, but you disagree, then your employer can terminate your employment contract. This would not constitute as a wrongful reason for termination.

In this case, you employer must give due notice or pay in lieu of notice, and fulfil all other contractual obligations, before ending the employment relationship.

Can my employer retrench me even though they are getting the Jobs Support Scheme payouts?Show

Yes, despite their efforts and the JSS support, some employers could still have their operations and business prospects adversely affected and will need to make adjustments to their businesses to stay viable, including retrenchment. Retrenchment is the termination of employees due to redundancy, i.e. employer has no plans to fill the vacancy any time soon.

Redundancy is a valid reason for employment termination. If you are retrenched due to redundancy, your employer is required to fulfill all outstanding contractual obligations, e.g. annual leave encashment, notice pay, retrenchment benefit, etc.

I have more questions on the salary and leave arrangement implemented by my company. What should I do?Show

If you are seeking advice on cost savings measures by your employer which affected your salary or leave arrangements, you can contact us through online feedback.

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