Singapore: Hiring in a Tight Labor Market

Bret Silverberg
by Bret Silverberg

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.

Bret Silverberg

Bret Silverberg

Director, Content Strategy, Globalization Partners

Bret Silverberg joined Globalization Partners in April 2017. He has 10 years experience working in content marketing and publishing.