Changes To The Employment Act wef 2019



November 9, 2023

Key Changes At A Glance:

Core Provisions Coverage

Before 1 April 2019:
The Core provisions covered all employees, except managers and executives earning more than $4,500.

From 1 April 2019:
Core provisions will cover ALL EMPLOYEES

What This Means
The monthly basic salary threshold of $4,500 for managers and executives will be removed. All employees, whether managers and executives, workmen and non-workmen, will be covered by the core provisions under the Employment Act. Seafarers, domestic workers and public servants will continue to be excluded, due to their nature of work, and separate coverage by other Acts and regulations.

Salary Threshold Revisions

Before 1 April 2019:
Non-workmen earning up to $2,500 were protected by Part IV provisions, with overtime rate payable capped at the salary level of $2,250.

From 1 April 2019:
Non-workmen earning up to $2,600 will be protected by Part IV provisions, with overtime rate payable capped at the salary level of $2,600.

What This Means
Non-workmen earning more than $2,500 to $2,600 will enjoy protection under Part IV

  •  The cap for overtime rate payable for non-workmen covered under Part IV will be raised to $2,600, up from $2,250, to be aligned with the raised salary threshold.
  •  There will be no change to the Part IV coverage of workmen earning a monthly basic salary of up to $4,500.

Wrongful Dismissal Claims Will Be Heard By The Employment Claims Tribunals

Before 1 April 2019:
Wrongful dismissal claims heard by MOM

From 1 April 2019:
Wrongful dismissal claims will be heard by the Employment Claims Tribunals (ECT)

What This Means
MOM will no longer hear wrongful dismissal claims under the Employment Act and Child Development Co-savings Act. Such claims will be heard by the ECT, following mediation by the Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management (TADM).

• This change will provide a “one-stop service” to employees with both salary-related and wrongful dismissal claims. Employees who had both claims previously had to seek recourse separately.

• While employers and employees have the right to contractual termination, employees can still submit a dismissal claim if they believe and can substantiate, as required, that their dismissal is wrongful. This includes employees who feel that they were forced to resign for wrongful reasons.

• For managers and executives, the minimum service period they must fulfil before they can submit a dismissal claim (for dismissals with notice) will be reduced from 1 year to 6 months. There is no change for non-managers and executives for whom no minimum service period is required.

Medical Certificates From All Registered Doctors And Dentists Will Be Recognised For Paid Sick Leave.

Before 1 April 2019:
Only medical certificates (MCs) issued by: Government doctors and dentist or Company-approved doctors and dentists were recognised for granting paid sick leave

From 1 April 2019:
MCs issued by doctors registered under the Medical Registration Act and dentists registered under the Dental Registration Act will be recognised for granting paid sick leave.

What This Means
Employers will be required to recognise MCs from all registered doctors and dentists for the purposes of granting paid sick leave.
• Employees will have the flexibility to see general practitioners (GPs) nearer to their homes.
• However, there is no change to the policy on reimbursement of medical consultation fees – employers will still be required to reimburse medical consultation fees only for consultation with government doctors; or company-approved doctors, if the medical consultation entitles the employees to paid sick leave.

Download the full PDF Guideline here

‍Next Steps for Employers and HR Practitioners

  1. Identify employees impacted by the changes
  2. Ensure existing contracts as well as key employment terms are compliant with the revised laws
  3. Communicate changes through appropriate channels and platforms, including informing relevant supervisors and updating company handbooks
  4. Contact the following organisations if you need more information or have any clarifications

Ministry of Manpower Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management

Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices

Singapore National Employers Federation (For employers)

National Trades Union Congress (For Employees)

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