Amendments to Employment Act Take Effect on 1 April 2014
- The changes to the Employment Act (EA), approved by Parliament in November 2013, come into effect today.
- The objectives of these changes are to:
i. Extend better protection to more workers and improve employment standards;
ii. Provide flexibility for employers to implement these changes; and
iii. Enhance MOM’s enforcement capabilities to bring about better compliance with the EA
- Some of the key changes to the EA include: extending the general provisions of the EA, which include sick leave benefits and protection against unfair dismissal to Managers and Executives (M&Es) earning a basic monthly salary of up to $4500. The salary threshold for non-workmen, such as clerical staff and frontline service staff, to get overtime pay will also be raised from a basic monthly salary of $2,000 to $2,500. The overtime rate payable for non-workmen will be capped at the salary level of $2,250 to help employers manage costs.
- For a more detailed overview of the EA changes, please refer to Amendments to the Employment Act webpage.
Assistance for companies
Information on EA changes
- The Ministry of Manpower (MOM), together with our tripartite partners, as well as the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) and SPRING Singapore, has prepared various forms of assistance to raise public awareness about the EA changes, and help employers comply with them.
- Employers may refer to the Guidebook on “Changes to the Employment Act 2014” (to be downloaded at www.mom.gov.sg/ea-assistance-2014), or sign up for seminars and workshops conducted by our partners1 and other training providers. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that need more hands-on guidance can seek one-to-one assistance from the SME Centres supported by SPRING2.
Help for companies to issue itemised payslips
- MOM has also announced that issuance of itemised payslips will be mandatory by 2016. A set of Tripartite Guidelines was issued on 13 January 2014 as a first step to encourage employers to adopt this progressive workplace practice. Employers can also tap on a range of different tools based on their needs:
a) Hard copy payslip templates
Micro companies with very few employees that wish to issue hard copy payslips to their employees may pick up free payslip template booklets, from the SME Centres or download them from the MOM website3.
b) Payslip software
SMEs with basic requirements that wish to start using IT solutions may try out a simple and free software (“SP-Pay”)4 developed by Diploma in Business Information Technology students from the Singapore Polytechnic (SP). This is in line with IDA’s efforts to promote ICT adoption by SMEs in their businesses. This application can be downloaded from the MOM website from 20 April 2014.
c) Other software
Companies that have more complex needs may consider commercially available solutions. If required, companies may seek funding support through the iSPRINT scheme administered by IDA and the Productivity and Innovation Credit scheme, administered by Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore for the adoption of such solutions.
- MOM welcomes feedback on the tools provided to help companies issue payslips, so that these tools can be further refined to prepare employers to issue itemised payslips before legislation takes effect. Companies can send their feedback to MOM_EA_Feedback@mom.gov.sg.
Singapore National Employers Federation, Singapore Business Federation and Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices
The contacts and locations of the SME Centres are detailed in the same MOM weblink.
The Malay, Chinese and Tamil versions can be downloaded from MOM’s website by end April.
SP-Pay is a simple software developed by SP to provide a tool that could ease the process for SMEs to adopt IT solutions. SP has worked with their graduating students to help build this payslip application for the SMEs, as part of the efforts to develop our future IT talent. SMEs may wish to try out SP-Pay to meet their basic needs before transiting to commercial-grade products available in the market for more sophisticated needs.
For a start, this application will run on Windows 7 and Windows 8. Other platforms will be considered if there is a demand.