Scope and Ambit of the Employment Act

Employment Law Guide

 

Scope and Ambit of the Employment Act


Date Published: 23 March 2020 




As of 1 April 2019, the EA covers every employee (regardless of nationality) who is under a contract of service with an employer, except:-

  • any seaman;
  • any domestic worker; and
  • any person employed by a Statutory Board or the Government.

These groups of employees are protected under industry-specific legislation.

Besides the core provisions, Part IV of the EA provides ‘additional’ protection for rest days, hours of work and other conditions of service applies to certain workers (“Part IV Employees”). It applies only to:

  • workmen earning not more than a basic monthly salary of S$4,500; and
  • non-workmen covered under the EA earning not more than a basic monthly salary of S$2,600.

In general, “workmen” refers to employees engaged in manual labour, or employed partly for manual labour and partly for the purpose of supervising in person any workman in and throughout the performance of his work; but excluding any seafarer or domestic worker. Examples of workmen include: drivers, cleaners, construction workers, Labourers, machine operators and assemblers etc.

It should be noted that Part IV of the EA does not apply to any person employed in a managerial or executive position.

Employees working less than 35 hours a week are covered by the Employment (Part-Time Employees) Regulations (“Part-Time Regulations”), which provide certain flexibility for both the employer and employee, including the pro-rating of employment benefits, encashment of annual leave and provision of rest days. Please refer to section 18 below regarding part-time employees.

The EA also empowers and gives the Minister flexibility to make regulations that “regulate the conduct of an employer towards an employee, for the purposes of protecting the employee from any employment practice that may adversely affect the wellbeing of the employee.” In the second reading in parliament, the Minister cited an example involving errant practices of some employers who ask their employees to sign salary vouchers before receiving their salaries, or to sign on blank salary vouchers, either out of convenience or to cover up for late or non-payment of salaries.

 

Please note that this section of the Employment Law Guide is a summary provided for general information purposes, aimed at aiding understanding of Singapore’s employment law as at the date of writing. It is not exhaustive or comprehensive and reading this memorandum is not a substitute for reading the text of the various statutes to fully understand the extent of the obligations owed. This guide should also not be relied upon as legal advice.






Get To Know The Authors




Pradeep Kumar Singh Admin Partner at CNPLaw

Admin Partner

Pradeep acts for corporations, whether they are private or listed companies, on all aspects of their business including advice and drafting of documentation on investments, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions and restructurings. With Pradeep co-heading the Employment and Immigration team, The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2020 has commented that CNPLaw has “a solid reputation” for assisting local and foreign clients, who are employers or employees, with a range of issues.

          



Bill Jamieson is a Partner at CNPLaw LLP. Bill is an English lawyer who is also registered to practise Singapore law in the areas of corporate law, banking and finance and securities laws. He enjoys working in the diverse and dynamic Asian market and helping his clients to achieve their goals.
Partner

Bill is an English lawyer who is also registered to practise Singapore law and he is recognised by professional and commercial publications. For 2020, The Legal 500 Asia Pacific has “Recommended” him for Labour and Employment.

        



Wong Pei Ling Senior Legal Associate at CNPLaw LLP image

Partner

Pei-Ling has over 23 years of experience in corporate and cross-border transactions, and has advised on investments, joint-ventures and commercial transactions in Singapore and Malaysia.  Over the years, she has also developed a practice in the areas of data protection, technology and employment.

          



Marvin Chua Legal Associate at CNPLaw LLP image

Associate

Marvin’s main areas of practice include corporate advisory and general employment matters. Prior to joining CNP, he trained and practised at a leading commercial law firm, under the practice areas of commercial litigation and international arbitration.

     







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