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Employer's Responsibilities (3 of 3): Employer's Legal Responsibilities

Singapore's laws require all employers to respect the rights and obligations of employees in relation to wages, benefits, workplace health and safety, among other issues.

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Published by Enterprise Singapore
on 14 Oct 2019

Labour Laws

The following labour laws apply to all employees:

  • The Employment Act
    This Act protects local and foreign employees except Managers or executives with monthly basic salary of more than $4,500, Seafarers, Domestic workers and Government employees.  
  • Work Injury Compensation Act
    This Act protects all employees engaged under a “contract of service” or “contract of apprenticeship” with an employer, regardless of salary level.

  • Employment (Part-Time Employees) Regulations
    This Act protects local and foreign part-time employees who work less than 35 hours a week.

  • Maternity Leave
    Maternity leave benefits are set out under Government-Paid Maternity Leave.

  • Paternity Leave
    Paternity leave benefits are set out under Government-Paid Paternity Leave and in the Employment Act.

  • Shared Parental Leave
    Working fathers are also entitled to share 1 week of the 16 weeks of maternity leave if the mother qualifies for Government-Paid Maternity Leave.


The following labour law applies only to local employees:


The following labour law applies only to foreign employees:


Labour Laws And Employment Contracts

  • Singapore's labour laws impose certain terms and conditions for hiring employees.
  • The Employment Act for instance states clearly the maximum hours of work and when the employer has to pay overtime.
  • When drafting the employment contract, the terms must clearly follow the labour laws if your employee comes under these laws. Otherwise, they will be considered illegal.
  • If your employee is not protected under any of the labour laws, the rights and obligations of all parties are stated in the contract.
  • The Employment Act does not, for example, protect employees who are managers. This means that the required terms on maximum work hours do not apply. You must therefore state clearly in the contract what the employee's working hours are.


Other Responsibilities Of Employers

The following responsibilities apply to all employees:

The following responsibility applies only to local employees:

The following responsibilities apply only to foreign employees:

  • Foreign Worker Levy
    You must pay the Foreign Worker Levy at the prevailing rate if your foreign employee holds a Work Permit or an S Pass.

  • Tax Issues For Foreign Employees 
    You must seek clearance for foreign employees leaving Singapore.
    You may deduct expenses relating to recruitment and relocation of foreign employees.

Last Modified Date: 14 Oct 2019