Singapore

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Country Snapshot

The GPS Country Snapshot includes 25 sections of information about labor law compliance in Singapore. See a sample of popular sections below.

Termination of Employment

Singapore's labor law requires a contracting party to give notice to the other party in writing to terminate the employment contract. This notice can be in the form of a termination letter or resignation letter. The length of notice must be the date indicated in the contract or the length agreed to in the verbal agreement if no written contract exists. All employees, including those on a fixed-term contract, can resign at any time, as long as they serve the required notice stated in their contract, or make payment in lieu of notice. If no notice period has been agreed to in the contract, the notice should be based on the employee's length of service as follows:

  • Less than 26 weeks: 1 day
  • Between 26 weeks and less than 2 years: 1 week
  • Between 2 years and less than 5 years: 2 weeks
  • Between 5 years and above: 4 weeks

Both parties can also agree to waive the notice period by mutual consent. Such a waiver should be concluded in writing.

Work Permits

The following categories of work passes may be issued by Singapore

  • Work permit (including a training work permit) - For semi-skilled foreign workers in the construction, manufacturing, marine shipyard, process, or services sector
  • S pass - For mid-level skilled staff who earn at least SGD 3,150 a month and meet the assessment criteria.
  • Employment pass (including a training employment pass) - For foreign professionals, managers, and executives (candidates need to earn at least SGD 5,000 (Singapore dollars) per month and have acceptable qualifications)
  • Personalized employment pass - For high-earning existing Employment Pass holders or overseas foreign professionals (this pass has greater flexibility than an Employment Pass)
  • EntrePass - For eligible foreign entrepreneurs who want to start a business in Singapore
  • Work holiday pass - For full-time students aged 18 to 25 to stay and work in Singapore for 6 months
  • Miscellaneous work pass - For foreigners taking on a short-term work assignment of up to 60 days in Singapore
  • Letter of consent - For eligible LTVP/LTVP+ holders and dependent's pass holders who want to work in Singapore

The duration of the employment pass is 2 years for first-time candidates and three years for renewals.

Paid Annual Leave

Under the Employment Act, every female employee is entitled to take maternity leave beginning 4 weeks before the expected delivery and for 8 weeks after delivery. This 12-week minimum maternity leave must be paid by the employer and is available to employees who are not covered under the Child Development Co-Savings Act. The Child Development Co-Savings Act grants 16 weeks of partially government-paid maternity leave to employees who meet the following criteria:

  • The child is a Singaporean citizen.
  • The employee is lawfully married to her child's father.
  • The employee has worked for her employer or has been self-employed for at least three continuous months before her child's birth.

An employee can take her maternity leave either at once or spread out over 12 months. The employee should reach an agreement with the employer on how her maternity leave is to be split before taking the leave. The employee must take the first 8 weeks in one block and can take the last 8 weeks flexibly. Employees are also eligible for adoption leave if they adopt a child under 12 months of age.

Working Hours

Generally, an employee's service contract shall not require them to work more than 6 consecutive hours without a break, more than 8 hours in a day, or more than 44 hours in one week. Some exceptions to this general rule are listed in the paragraphs below.

An employee engaged in work that must be carried on continuously can be required to work for 8 consecutive hours. However, the workday must include a period or periods of not less than 45 minutes in total, during which the employee shall have the opportunity to have a meal.

Also, if there are fewer than 8 hours of work on 1 or more days of the week, the limit of 8 hours in 1 day may be exceeded during the remaining days of the week. Still, no employee shall be required to work for more than 9 hours in a day or more than 44 hours per week.

Maternity Leave

Under the Employment Act, every female employee is entitled to take maternity leave beginning 4 weeks before the expected delivery and for 8 weeks after delivery. This 12-week minimum maternity leave must be paid by the employer and is available to employees who are not covered under the Child Development Co-Savings Act. The Child Development Co-Savings Act grants 16 weeks of partially government-paid maternity leave to employees who meet the following criteria:

  • The child is a Singaporean citizen.
  • The employee is lawfully married to her child's father.
  • The employee has worked for her employer or has been self-employed for at least three continuous months before her child's birth.

An employee can take her maternity leave either at once or spread out over 12 months. The employee should reach an agreement with the employer on how her maternity leave is to be split before taking the leave. The employee must take the first 8 weeks in one block and can take the last 8 weeks flexibly. Employees are also eligible for adoption leave if they adopt a child under 12 months of age.

Minimum Wage

While Singapore's labor law sets minimum wages for workers in Singapore in specific sectors, the Ministry of Manpower states that employers should pay their employees based on their skills, capabilities, and competencies. 

Singapore sets forth a progressive wage model for employees who are Singapore citizens or permanent residents in the cleaning, security, landscape, lift and escalator, retail, food services, and waste management job roles. Employers are encouraged to use the same progressive wage principles for foreign employees in those sectors. The LQS is SGD 1,400 (Singaporean dollar) per month full-time employees and part-time employees are entitled to at least SGD 700 per month. This will increase to LQS 1,600 from July 1, 2024.

Country Profile

The GPS Country Profile contains detailed information on over 60 topics related to labor law compliance within Singapore.
  • Type of Employment Relationship
  • Permanent Employment
  • Fixed-Term or Specific-Purpose Contracts
  • Temporary Employment Contracts
  • Part-time Employment
  • Young Worker Employment
  • Vendors and Independent Contractors
  • Types of Contracts
  • Probationary Period
  • Termination of the Contract of Employment
  • Grounds for Termination
  • Notice of Dismissal
  • Fair Dismissal
  • Redundancy
  • Unfair Dismissal
  • Suspension of Contract of Employment
  • Severance Benefits
  • Hours of Work
  • Work Week and Timekeeping
  • Night Work and Shift Work
  • Overtime
  • Remote Work
  • Required Time Off
  • Public Holidays
  • Annual Leave
  • Sick Leave
  • Maternity
  • Other Forms of Leave
  • Social Insurance and Retirement
  • Social Security Contribution
  • National Retirement Scheme
  • Dependents’/Survivors Benefit
  • Life and Disability Insurance/Benefit
  • Statutory Allowances
  • Compensation and Benefits
  • Minimum Wage (Basic Wage)
  • Bonuses, Profit Sharing and Other Compensation
  • Medical Insurance
  • Work Environment
  • Workplace Safety and Health
  • Prohibition of Discrimination
  • Prohibition of Harassment
  • Data Protection and Privacy
  • Whistleblowers and Retaliation
  • Workers’ representation in the organization
  • Freedom of Association
  • Registration and Recognition of Unions
  • Trade Union Personality
  • Collective Bargaining and Agreements
  • Disputes and Settlements
  • Strikes and Lockouts
  • Unfair Labor Practices
  • Taxation of Compensation and Benefits
  • Income Tax
  • Taxation of Employee Benefits
  • Tax Filing and Payment Procedures
  • Double Tax Relief and Tax Treaties
  • Visas and Work Permits
  • Visas
  • Work Permits and Residence Permits

 Country Snapshot

Get the full Country Snapshot with 25 sections of information about labor law in Singapore.