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Calling for Public Feedback on Employment Act Review

19 November 2012

  1. The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) invites members of the public to give feedback on areas being considered in the review of the Employment Act (EA).
  2. The EA is Singapore's main labour law that sets out the basic employment terms and shapes the responsibilities and relationships between employers and employees. The EA has been in place since 1968, and the last major review was conducted in 2008, with the changes implemented from 2009 [See Annex A].
  3. Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin said, “The character of our labour force is changing, with more Professional, Managers and Executives (PMEs) in our workforce. Today, PMEs form about 32% of our resident workforce, up from 27% in 2001. This will only grow. Thus, while the EA has been effective in safeguarding the rights and interests of workers, there is a need to ensure the EA remains relevant and responsive to the needs of the changing workforce”.

    Review to be conducted in two phases
  4. This public consultation exercise follows discussions and consultations with relevant industry stakeholders, including employer and employee representatives, after the EA review was announced in April this year. MOM has since received numerous suggestions, including proposals to expand the scope and coverage of the Act, to improve employment terms and benefits of workers as well as to enhance operational flexibility for employers.
  5. The feedback received from the public so far has been useful in helping to scope and prioritise the issues for review. Given the complexity of some of the issues, the review will be conducted in two phases:

    Phase Areas of review
    Phase 1
    (2Q 2012 – 1Q 2013)
    (A) Extending coverage of the EA
    (B) Improving employment standards and benefits for employees
    (C) Reducing rigidity and augmenting flexibility for employers
    Phase 2
    (from 4Q 2013)
    More complicated issues that require further study including, but not limited to:
    (D) Enhancing protection for employees in non-traditional work arrangements, such as contract work, self-employment and outsourcing
    (E) Better mechanisms to facilitate employment dispute resolution between employers and employees
  6. MOM is seeking feedback on the areas being considered under Phase 1 of the EA review as outlined above.

    Call for public feedback on areas being considered under Phase 1
  7. Details of the areas and specific proposed changes can be found in the public consultation document on the REACH website over the next eight weeks (19 November 2012 to 11 January 2013). You can write in and give your feedback at
  8. MOM welcomes all feedback to help ensure that the EA remains relevant and continues to harmonise the interests of both employers and workers.

Annex A - The Employment Act