Changes to the Employment Act (Cap 91) of Singapore (the Act) – effective 1 April 2019
The Act (other than Part IV) to cover employees earning more than SGD 4,500 – the Act (other than Part IV) will apply to all employees (except for public servants, domestic workers and seafarers) regardless of their salary levels. This would mean that managers and executives who were previously not protected by the Act would now benefit from the minimum standards stipulated by the Act in relation to certain conditions of their employment (for example, paid sick leave entitlement).
Increase of salary threshold under Part IV of the Act for non-workmen from SGD 2,500 to SGD 2,600 - Part IV of the Act (which relates to time-based provisions such as annual leave, hours of work, overtime pay and rest days) currently provides additional protection for non-workmen (typically white-collar rank-and-file workers such as clerks) earning a basic monthly salary of up to SGD 2,500 and workmen earning a monthly salary of up to SGD 4,500. The salary cap for non-workmen will be raised from SGD 2,500 to SGD 2,600.
Part IV of the Act – increase of salary cap for non-workmen for overtime pay from SGD 2,250 to SGD 2,600.
Sections under Part IV of the Act to be reviewed – It is contemplated that benefits such as annual leave will be extended to all employees. As annual leave currently falls under Part IV of the Act, these specific provisions would need to be taken out of Part IV.
Employment Claims Tribunal of Singapore to hear claims related to wrongful dismissal - currently, salary-related disputes are heard by the Employment Claims Tribunals of Singapore, while wrongful dismissal claims are heard by the Ministry of Manpower of Singapore. Noting that dismissal related claims are typically also salary-related, the Employment Claims Tribunals of Singapore will begin hearing claims related to wrongful dismissal, which should streamline the dispute resolution process.