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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.

TADM provides advisory and mediation services, before claims can be heard at the Employment Claims Tribunals (ECT). Employers and employees with salary and dismissal related claims should first register their claims at TADM. Claims that cannot be resolved through mediation will be issued with a claim referral certificate and referred to the ECT.

Types of claims

These are the types of claims that can be heard at ECT. They need 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.
  • Wrongful dismissal claims from all employees covered by the EA and CDCA.
For employers
  • Claims for salary in lieu of notice for all employers.

Maximum claim amount

You can claim:

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

When to file your claim

For statutory and contractual salary-related claims:

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.

For wrongful dismissal claims:

For pregnant employees If you feel that you’ve been wrongfully dismissed without being paid your maternity benefits, you must file your claim within 2 months from the date of your confinement.
For other types of wrongful dimissal claims Within 1 month from your last day of work.

Tripartite Mediation Framework

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

From 1 April 2019, employees will also be able to tap on the TMF to resolve wrongful dismissal disputes.

Eligibility for tripartite mediation

  • All PMEs who are union members in non-unionised companies.
  • Rank-and-file union members in non-unionised companies.

Coverage of issues

  • Employment statutory benefits, e.g. salary arrears, overtime pay, public holiday and rest day pay, maternity and other leave.
  • Re-employment issues.
  • Breach of individual employment contracts.
  • Payment of retrenchment benefits.
  • Wrongful dismissal issues.

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.

Mediation for self-employed persons

Self-employed persons (SEPs) who encounter payment disputes with service-buyers can:

Download and use the KETs template for SEPs.

More information