Updates on employment law in Singapore – Employment Pass holders may now take up secondary directorship subject to approval by MOM



Updates on employment law in Singapore – Employment Pass holders may now take up secondary directorship subject to approval by MOM

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Date Published: 1 December 2016

Author and Contributor: Abel Ho and Bill Jamieson.


The Ministry of Manpower (“MOM”) has recently clarified on its website that Employment Pass (“EP”) holders may be appointed as directors in another company other than the company for which the EP has been approved (“Secondary Directorship”) if the EP holder has obtained a letter of consent (“LOC”) from MOM. In general, EP holders are only allowed to work for the company specified in their EP.

MOM has recognised that Secondary Directorships in related companies (e.g. subsidiaries) may be critical to the roles of EP holders. As a result, MOM has confirmed that it would generally allow EP holders to take on such secondary roles by granting a LOC.

As for Secondary Directorship in unrelated entities (for example, fund entities), MOM has clarified that they may still grant the LOC if it is relevant to the EP holder’s primary occupation. MOM does not clarify the meaning of “fund entities” so it remains to be seen in practice if it will grant LOCs for an employee of a fund manager under an EP who sits on the board of the investee companies in which the fund invests.


Application Process

To apply for a LOC, the company who intends to appoint the EP holder to the board of directors must ensure that the company has updated its shareholder records with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority of Singapore.

The company must complete and sign a request form and submit a scanned copy of the signed form using iSubmit[1]. Under the Request Type in the iSubmit application portal, to choose option 1: Work Pass Application Matters (Excluding Work Permit). Then choose Appointment of pass holder from a related company to your Board of Directors.

The request will take approximately 5 weeks to be processed.


[1] https://services.mom.gov.sg/isubmit/Forms/iSubmitForm.aspx



Disclaimer: This update is provided to you for general information and should not be relied upon as legal advice.


CNPLaw’s Labour and Employment Lawyer

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.

    Bill’s practice focuses on corporate financing transactions, investment funds, mergers and acquisitions, private equity, and employment law matters. His experience includes 10 years in the City of London and over 20 years in Asia. Before joining CNP, Bill was a partner in a well-known international law firm. He is recommended lawyer for Corporate and M&A, Banking and Finance, Investment Funds and Labour and Employment in Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2021. Bill is one of the firm’s contacts for Interlaw, a network of independent full-service corporate law firms ranked by Chambers and Partners in its highest category, “Elite”, amongst all global law firm networks.

    Employment issues are of fundamental concern to both individuals and corporations alike. This is especially so given the growing emphasis on human capital development across the world. Such issues involve an intricate interplay between commercial objectives and normative considerations. Here at CNPLaw, our lawyers strive to help our clients find the balance required to nurture a positive working environment. We advise both employers and employees (whether local or foreign) on the areas below.

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