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Managing employment disputes

The Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management (TADM) provides employees and employers with services to resolve salary-related claims and employment disputes.

From 6 March 2018, TADM will also help self-employed persons (SEPs) resolve payment disputes with service buyers.

TADM provides advisory and mediation services, including mediation before claims can be heard at the Employment Claims Tribunals (ECT). Employers and employees with salary-related claims 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 heard at ECT, to be first filed at TADM

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 also operates a short-term relief fund to help local low-income claimants, if their employer cannot pay their salary arrears due to business failure. TADM will assess if claimants qualify for the financial relief.

Mediation for disputes not covered under employment laws

Employees can contact TADM for assistance if they have a dispute that is not covered under employment laws.

SEPs can also use this service to help resolve payment disputes with their service buyers, though we encourage SEPs to first approach their sector agencies to resolve such disputes where possible.

Sector agencies include:

Sector agency Contact for more info
IMDA Subsidised mediation service for media freelancers only

More information

Last Updated: 5 September 2018