Singapore Employer of Record
If a lack of speed or local expertise are among your top concerns when expanding to or employing workers in Singapore, an employer of record may be the best option for achieving your global growth objectives.
An employer of record, sometimes known as an international PEO, enables you to quickly hire and onboard workers in Singapore―often in as little as two weeks―without having to take on the cost and risk of establishing a local entity.
Learn about the hiring, employment, and benefits requirements for workers in Singapore and how our employer of record service, Global Employment Outsourcing (GEO), and local HR experts can help you manage your international employment needs.
Hiring in Singapore
Employment in Singapore is mostly governed by the Employment Act of 1968, the Industrial Relations Act, the Trade Unions Act, the Work Injury Compensation Act and the Workplace Safety and Health Act, as well as by common law. The largest ruling in Singapore labor law is that any employment terms offered must be equal to or more favorable than the rules established in the Employment Act.
Since employment in Singapore relies so heavily on common law and Employment Act mandates, it’s important for employers to prioritize compliant employee contracts. As your employer of record and PEO in Singapore, we can ensure that every contract, for every worker, meets all requirements. We can also provide you with guidance about cultural norms and hiring best practices and keep you up-to-date with employment regulations as they change.
Employment contracts in Singapore
As you look to hire employees in Singapore, here are some common regulations you’ll need to know to create a compliant contract, as well as how an employer of record and PEO can provide support for your unique HR needs.
The standard workweek in Singapore is 44 hours, and employees are entitled to one rest day per week without pay—either Sunday or another day determined by the employer. In general, employees in Singapore must receive a rest break after six hours of continuous work; however, if work is required for up to eight continuous hours, meal breaks of at least 45 minutes must be provided. In regards to shift work, employers may designate any continuous period of 30 hours as the day of rest.
As you consider the appropriate salary to offer employees in Singapore, keep in mind:
- There is no national mandatory minimum wage in Singapore. However, the Progressive Wage Model requires that employees with security, landscaping and cleaning jobs be paid minimum wages, and those are defined in a tier system based on employees’ level of seniority and work responsibilities.
- If an employee works more than 44 hours per week, they must be paid overtime at a rate of 1.5 times their hourly wage. Managers and executives aren’t eligible for overtime pay.
- Employees must be paid at least monthly, and detailed pay slips must be provided within three days of salary payment. Pay slips must include the full name of the employer and employee, pay period and salary breakdown, as well as any allowances, bonuses, holiday or other leave, deductions or overtime received.
As your employer of record in Singapore, we can provide you with resources and insights about employee compensation, so you are better equipped to make a competitive employment offer.
There is no mandate in the Singapore labor code for employers to offer bonuses, although many companies do offer them, and the bonuses are spelled out in employment contracts. Annual bonuses typically equal one to two months’ wages.
Singapore’s employment laws do not require probation periods; however, if an employer requires probation for a position, it must be clearly stipulated in the employment contract.
Termination and severance
According to Singapore labor laws, either the employer or employee may terminate the employment contract, and notice must be given in writing. If the notice period isn’t defined in the employment contract, labor laws require:
- One-day notice for employment less than 26 weeks
- One-week notice for employment of at least 26 weeks but less than two years
- Two-week notice for employment of is at least two years but less than five years
- Four-week notice for employment of five years or more
The employer or employee may terminate a contract without providing notice if they pay the other party the amount of salary the employee would have earned during the notice period.
As your employer of record in Singapore, we can work with you to quickly handle the unforeseen event of an employee termination, providing legal guidance and a personalized process that ensures you stay out of labor court.
Employee benefits and paid leave in Singapore
When negotiating terms of an employment contract with a candidate in Singapore, here are some of the statutory benefits and paid leave requirements to keep in mind, as well as how an employer of record can support your company’s benefits strategy.
Pregnant employees are entitled to 16 weeks of maternity leave if they have worked for the employer for three continuous months, and if the child is a citizen of Singapore. During the maternity leave, the employer pays the first eight weeks and the government pays the remaining eight weeks. Paid maternity benefits are capped at S$10,000 per month.
If an employee has worked for an employer three continuous months but the child is not a Singapore citizen, the employee is entitled to 12 weeks of maternity leave. The employer pays the first eight weeks and the remaining four weeks are unpaid.
Employees who have not worked for the employer for three consecutive months are entitled to 12 weeks of unpaid maternity leave.
Employees on the job for at least three months are entitled to seven days of paid vacation annually. Workers accrue one additional day per year for each subsequent year of service, up to a maximum of 14 days’ paid vacation leave.
Singapore’s Holidays Act mandates that employers offer paid time off for the following 10 holidays:
- New Year’s Day
- Chinese New Year (two days)
- Good Friday
- Labor Day
- Vesak Day (Buddha’s birthday)
- National Day
- Hari Raya Puasa (End of Ramadan)
- Deepavali (Hindu New Year)
- Hari Raya Haji (Feast of Sacrifice)
- Christmas Day
If a holiday falls on a Sunday, the next day that is not a holiday is celebrated as the official holiday. Employees required to work on a holiday are entitled to an extra day’s salary or another day off.
Workers with at least six months on the job are entitled to paid sick leave up to 14 days and paid hospital leave up to 60 days. The employee must be examined by a licensed medical practitioner of the employer’s choosing, and at the employer’s expense, to qualify for paid sick leave.
Employees in Singapore receive health coverage from a mixed financing system that includes national insurance, called MediShield Life; a required savings sytem, MediSave; and government subsidies, MediFund. Additionally, individuals can purchase supplemental private health insurance or receive private insurance through an employer.
As your employer of record in Singapore, we may be able to provide optional supplementary medical insurance coverage for professionals and their dependents at a more cost-effective rate.
Employees in Singapore are eligible for additional benefits, including workers’ compensation, retirement pensions and disability. Singapore labor laws do not provide for unemployment compensation.
Employer social costs will cover a large portion of employee benefits in Singapore, but we can consult with you about supplemental coverage options, such as additional pension contributions or life insurance, if needed.
Employee onboarding with an employer of record in Singapore
We write and validate all local employment contracts, streamlining the onboarding process for you and your Singapore employees—all you have to do is provide relevant information and review and approve the employment agreement.
As your employer of record in Singapore, we will:
- Schedule a welcome call to discuss HR and employment information for Singapore, as well as answer any questions
- Prepare a customized employment contract in English and in Malay (or other local language)
- Share the employment contract and benefits information with the new employee for signature and review
- Gather tax and banking information from the employee to set up payroll
- Provide a local point of contact to the employee to answer any questions regarding their employment, local HR or payroll
The entire onboarding process for the employee is often completed in as little as two weeks.
Partner with Safeguard Global as your Singapore employer of record and PEO
With over a decade of service, we are the longest-serving employer of record and PEO provider in the international market. Organizations around the world rely on Global Employment Outsourcing (GEO) to expand and hire in over 179 countries around the world, quickly and compliantly.
We’ve seen just about every global employment circumstance imaginable—and with our extensive knowledge of local law and culture, we know what it takes to get employment right in Singapore. We provide written contracts in the local language, salaries in the local currency and HR support in your employees’ time zone.
Additionally, as a global payroll provider we support payroll administration—including payments, filings and other calculations—in more than 150 countries and can accommodate the payroll outsourcing needs of any size organization.
The information provided on or through this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Safeguard Global expressly disclaims any liability with respect to warranty or representation concerning the information contained herein, including the lost essence, interpretation, accuracy and/or completeness of the information in transit and language translation.
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