Singapore government extends workers’ rights with amendment bill

Singapore government

The Singapore government’s Employment (Amendment) Bill 2018 has been passed in parliament after a second reading by Josephine Teo, minister for manpower, on 20 November 2018.

Changes to Singapore’s Employment Act (EA) and Employment Claims Act (ECA) are due to take effect from 1 April 2019.

Core provisions under the acts will no longer be subject to a salary cap, and will now extend to professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) earning above S$4,500 (£2564.16) per month.

This means they will have the right to a minimum of seven to 14 days’ paid annual leave, paid public holidays and sick leave, timely payment of salary and protection against wrongful dismissal.

Currently, only manual workers, blue-collar workers, rank-and-file white-collar workers and managers and executives with salaries up to S$4,500 are subject to such protection. The bill predicts that coverage will extend to an additional 430,000 employees.

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The bill provides for additional protection for workers on matters such as their hours of work, overtime pay and rest days.

Teo said: “This bill will better protect our workers, enhance our dispute resolution framework and provide employers enhanced flexibility. It will bolster our efforts to institute good employment norms and develop progressive workplaces for our people.”