Skip to main content

Notice periods for employer and employee should be the same

  • The Straits Times (4 February 2019): What is MOM's position on 'unequal' notice periods?

Notice periods for employer and employee should be the same
- The Straits Times, 18 February 2019

  1. We refer to Mr Sean Patrick’s letter (“What is MOM’s position on ‘unequal’ notice periods?”, 4 Feb 2019).
  2. Under the Employment Act (EA), the notice period must be the same for both the employer and employee. This is based on the principle of reciprocity, and balances the interests of both parties. It is an offence under the EA to have unequal notice periods in an employment contract.
  3. From 1 April 2019, all employees will be covered under the core provisions of the EA. If their employment contracts, including those signed before 1 April 2019, state a notice period, it will need to be the same for both the employer and employee.
  4. Employers should review the employment terms stated in their employment contracts, including the length of notice period, to ensure compliance with the EA. If the notice period is not stated in the contract, or was not previously agreed on by the employer and employee, the notice period stipulated under the EA applies. Members of the public may contact MOM for advice or access more information on the EA through the MOM website (

Then Yee Thoong (Mr)
Divisional Director
Labour Relations and Workplaces Division
Ministry of Manpower

 What is MOM's position on 'unequal' notice periods?
- The Straits Times, 4 February 2019

  1. In the light of the impending changes to the Employment Act to cover all employees regardless of salary, which will take effect from April, I would like to ask the Ministry of Manpower for its position on existing employment contracts signed before April, where an employee is required to give two months' notice to resign, but the employer only has to give one month's notice of termination of employment (Employment Act changes give workers greater protection; Jan 20).
  2. While such an instance of "unequal" notice periods may not be the norm in employment contracts, I am aware that they do exist in some small and medium-sized enterprises for employees who are above the $4,500 salary threshold and who, therefore, do not fall within the ambit of the Employment Act prior to the April revisions.