Singapore: Hiring in a Tight Labor Market

The Singapore Ministry of Labor recently announced that unemployment in Singapore in 2013 was only 2.9%.  Our clients continue to hire in record numbers.  To attract and retain key Singapore talent to lead your Asia-Pac sales strategy, a great compensation package will be key. Note the following when negotiating with candidates:

  • A thirteenth month or annual bonus is not required, but is the market norm.
  • A commission plan may be seen as a viable replacement for a thirteenth month bonus for a sales employee. An annual bonus may be equal to 2-3 month’s salary when the economy is strong.
  • Annual vacation leave in Singapore is typically fourteen days for new professional hires, although senior executives may command anywhere from three to four weeks.
  • Most executives request supplementary health and life insurance.  We offer a group plan to employees on our employee leasing/PEO in Singapore
  • One months’ termination notice on behalf of the employer or employee is a generally accepted practice, but this is not fixed.
  • CPF (Central Providence Fund) is the main nationally mandated benefit or social security expense. The amount varies a bit, but we recommend budgeting 16% of the employee’s salary (on top of salary) as a benefit cost to be paid into the Central Providence Fund by the employer.
  • Generally, we recommend budgeting 20% as benefits cost on top of the gross salary to allocate for the total employer’s cost of benefits in Singapore, including the CPF allocation.
  • An offer letter and employment contract in Singapore should always state the salary and any compensation amounts in Singapore dollars rather than a foreign currency.

Want to hire a candidate without setting up a subsidiary?  Use our  Global Office Incubator. Clients using our global employee leasing platform in any country automatically have an experienced HR & Finance team whose interests are aligned with yours in any HR situation.