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Mediation Remains Highly Effective in Resolving Employment Issues Amicably

1. In 2022, employers and employees continued to resolve issues amicably, with low incidences of employment claims and appeals. More than 80% of employment claims were resolved at mediation and majority were concluded within 2 months at the Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management (TADM). Additionally, more than 90% of employees fully recovered their salaries and payments. The minority of employers who were unable to pay salaries had financial difficulties.

2. The findings are available in the Employment Standards Report 2022 released by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and TADM today. The report also highlights the tripartite efforts to resolve employment disputes and improve the dispute resolution process through digitalisation. This represents the continued commitment of tripartite partners to build harmonious workplaces with fair and progressive employment practices. The full report can be found here:

Key Highlights

Incidence of employment claims and appeals saw a slight increase but remained low

3. The overall incidence of employment claims and appeals lodged with MOM and TADM increased from 1.73 in 2021 to 1.97 per 1,000 employees in 2022, but remained lower than pre-COVID levels (2019: 3.04 per 1,000 employees). This was due to an increase in salary claims by both local and foreign employees, which made up the majority of employment claims. The increase was driven by a higher proportion of group claims from companies that experienced business failures or financial difficulties. While the overall incidence of salary claims increased from 1.43 per 1,000 employees in 2021 to 1.68 in 2022, it was lower than the pre-COVID period (2.68 in 2019).

Majority of salary claims concluded at TADM within 2 months

4. In 2022, 90% of salary claims were concluded at TADM within 2 months. Similar to 2021, 86% of salary claims were resolved at TADM, while the remaining 14% were referred to the Employment Claims Tribunals (ECT) for adjudication.

9 in 10 employees fully recovered their salaries with assistance from TADM and ECT

5. In 2022, TADM and ECT assisted 93% of the employees to recover their salaries in full, similar to 95% in 2021. 4% recovered their salaries partially through settlement payments from security bond insurers or main contractors, or through financial assistance from the Short-Term Relief Fund or Migrant Workers’ Assistance Fund. MOM also suspended the work pass privileges of employers who did not fully repay their employees. Less than 1% of the salary claims lodged in 2022 involved wilful employers who did not make full payment despite having the means to do so.

6. Similar to 2021, 84% of wrongful dismissal claims were concluded at TADM within 2 months. The overall incidence of wrongful dismissal claims in 2022 remained relatively constant at 0.26 per 1,000 employees compared to 0.27 in 2021.

  • 25% of dismissal claims lodged in 2022 were assessed to be substantiated. 70% of these claims were resolved at TADM, and the remaining 30% were referred to ECT for adjudication.

  • Of the 75% of claims that were unsubstantiated, the majority involved disputes over work performance or had arisen due to miscommunication between the employers and employees. These employers had fulfilled their contractual or statutory obligations of employment termination with notice. 63% of these claims were resolved at TADM, with the remaining 37% referred to ECT for adjudication.

Continued Efforts to Improve Dispute Resolution Process and Create Harmonious Workplaces with Fair and Progressive Workplace Practices

7. In 2022, the Online Dispute Resolution portal was enhanced to process disputes involving multiple claims. As a result, the number of claims processed on the portal increased from 430 in 2021 to 1,000 in 2022. TADM also piloted the use of the portal to resolve more cases involving migrant workers and provided the necessary resources to assist workers in resolving their disputes virtually. Specifically, the portal enables the employer and employee to amicably resolve the disputes amongst themselves, which contributes to more harmonious workplaces.

8. Beyond management of employment claims and appeals, we are making significant steps to create more inclusive workplaces. Although workplace fairness standards have improved over time, we will strengthen our legislative framework against workplace discrimination, while aiming to preserve a harmonious workplace culture that focuses on mediation as the primary means to resolve disputes. The Tripartite Committee on Workplace Fairness1 is continuing to engage stakeholders in developing its recommendations to enact workplace fairness legislation, and will be releasing them in due course.

9. To uplift more local lower-wage workers, the Progressive Wage Model (PWM) has been progressively expanded.2 To ensure local lower-wage workers benefit, MOM has set up a dedicated team to help employers meet the new requirements.

10. We continue to have a high level of compliance with employment standards as a result of sustained efforts in safeguarding employment standards and resolving disputes. Employers continue to be responsible by paying employees in accordance with the law and adopting progressive HR practices. Both employers and employees are prepared to resolve disputes amicably at mediation to maintain a harmonious workplace.

11. MOM, TADM and TAFEP remain committed to safeguarding employment standards through effective dispute resolution, education of both employees and employers on their rights and obligations, and strong enforcement actions where necessary. We will continue to work closely with tripartite partners (NTUC and SNEF) to build better workplaces with the greater adoption of inclusive and progressive workplace practices.


  1. On 13 Feb 2023, the Tripartite Committee on Workplace Fairness issued an interim report recommending that the new legislations provide stronger protection against discrimination in respect of the following characteristics (i) age, (ii) nationality, (iii) sex, marital status, pregnancy status, caregiving responsibilities, (iv) race, religion, language, (v) disability and mental health conditions.
  2. Sectoral progressive wages (PWs) were expanded to retail sector and in-house workers of existing PW sectors of security, cleaning and landscape from 1 Sep 2022, food services sector from 1 Mar 2023, and waste management sector from 1 Jul 2023. Occupational PWs for administrators and drivers were also introduced from 1 Mar 2023. Firms employing foreign workers have to pay at least the relevant Sectoral or Occupational PWs to local workers in applicable job roles, and at least the Local Qualifying Salary to all other local workers.