Singapore

Facts & figures

Government Type: Parliamentary republic

Capital: Singapore

Currency: Singapore Dollar (SGD)

Languages: English (official), Mandarin (official), other Chinese dialects, Malay (official), Tamil (official)

GDP Per Capita: 49,100 USD (2018)

Main Business sectors: 

Financial Sector: 69%

Wholesale & retail trade: 10%

Manufacturing: 6%

Real Estate: 5%

Employment Rate: 96%

Higher Education Rate: 57%

Average monthly salary: 5,549 SGD

Employee Income Tax: 2-22% according to salary

Mandatory paid vacation days: 7-14 days per annum

Singapore is a high-income economy. The country provides one of the world’s most business-friendly regulatory environment for local entrepreneurs and is ranked among the world’s most competitive economies.

In the most recent World Bank Human Capital Index, Singapore ranks the best country in the world in human capital development. With substantial financial support from the government, the country continues to strengthen its workforce’s nimbleness and flexibility by providing continuing education. Government spending on continuing education will nearly double, to more than S$1 billion yearly. 

Global People has a significant advantage in the Singaporean market, thanks to:

  • Experience providing global employment solutions
  • Extensive professional network
  • Top networking strategies and good understanding of the broad employment world and culture
  • An accurately designed process that assure compliance and provides a tangible ROI

Global people’s services include:

  • PEO and HR management
  • Employee Compensation calculation
  • Payroll, tax liabilities, insurance, and employee benefits advisory
  • Work Permits and immigration services.
  • Individual and group health insurance plans
  • A designated point of contact for the client and the employees, available for any query or question that may rise
  • Accessible consultation and professional opinions

Employment Manual

The Employment Act is Singapore’s main labor law. It provides for the basic terms and working conditions for all types of employees, with some exceptions. 

This law applies to all employees in Singapore and includes a set of rules, regulations and case law.

The employment agreement must comply with the Singaporean employment act and other regulations while detailing all employment conditions: 

  • Job description
  • Working hours and days
  • Monthly salary
  • Mandatory and industry benefits
  • Pension contribution
  • Specific compensations and options
  • Termination conditions

Etc.

Termination

  • Employers are not obliged to give notice for termination.
  • Termination and resignation notices must be in writing.
  • Employees can use their annual leave to offset the notice period.
  • In case of termination without notice, the employer must pay the employee a compensation in lieu of notice.
  • In case of a termination due to misconduct, the employer must hold an inquiry before taking disciplinary actions.
  • If the employee’s contract specifies a notice period, the employee must serve the notice in case of resignation or compensate  the employer in lieu of notice.
  • Notice can be waived by mutual consent between the employee and the employer.
  • 1-26 employment weeks: 1 days’ notice
  • 26 weeks-2 years: 1 weeks’ notice
  • 2-5 years: 2 weeks’ notice
  • 5 years or more: 4 weeks’ notice
  • Severance payment is mandatory after a 2 years’ employment period.
  • The severance pay usually includes all the salaries and benefits due on the last day of employment. 
  • Employees working for more than two years are entitled to retrenchment benefits agreed upon in the employment contract or a collective agreement.
  • The retrenchment benefits are usually calculated based on two weeks up to one-month’s payment for each working year. 

Employment Taxes

Total Employment Cost: up to 17.25%

  • CPF (pension): 7.5-17% (with a cap of SGD 6,000)
  • Skills Development Levy (SDL): up to 0.25% (with a cap of SGD 4,500)
  • 0-20K: 0%
  • 20-30K: 2%
  • 30-40K: 3.5%
  • 40-80K: 7%
  • Every employee is entitled to a monthly contribution to a pension fund.
  • The employee can choose both the pension fund and investment method.

Mandatory Paid leave days

1 employment year: 7 days

2 years: 8 days

3 years: 9 days 

4 years: 10 days

5 years: 11 days

6 years: 12 days

7 years: 13 days

8 years or more: 14 days

  • Sick leave is calculated according to the employment period:
    • 0-3 months: 5 days or 15 hospitalization days 
    • 4 months: 8 day at home or 30 hospitalization days 
    • 5 months: 11 days at home or 45 hospitalization days 
    • 6 months onwards: 14 days at home or 60 hospitalization days (14 days at home included)
  • The employee must give the appropriate notice to the employer within 48 hours.
  • Upon return, the employee must provide a medical certificate from a doctor.
  • The Work Injury Compensation Act allows employees to claim for medical leave wages, medical expenses and lump sum compensation for permanent incapacity, if any, or death. There are certain limits to each type of compensation.
  • There are 11 public holidays in Singapore.
  • If a public holiday falls on a day off, the employee would be reimbursed for that day or can choose to take it on another date.
  • If the public holiday falls on a Sunday, the upcoming Monday will be a paid leave day.
  • Eligibility to a maternal leave is subject to the newborn having Singaporean citizenship, the newborn’s father being legally married to the mother and the employees’ work with the same employer at least three consecutive months before giving birth.
  • In case of adoption, either one of the partners is eligible for maternity leave, providing that the adopted child holds Singaporean citizenship.

Parents to children under the age of 7 are entitled to 6 days of paid leave per year.

Specific Employee Benefits and Industry Benchmarks

Employees in Singapore view paid Medical Insurance policy as a valuable benefit. The Medical Insurance Policy usually includes inpatient and outpatient treatments in selected clinics (according to the medical panel and annual cap of the relevant health insurance plan).

The private medical insurance can be upgraded with international coverage; vision, maternity, and dental covers.

Most employers grant employees additional paid leave days, which amount to 14-20 annual days yearly.

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