The Employment Act 1968 (Employment Act) is Singapore’s primary employment legislation that prescribes the basic terms and working conditions for all types of employees (including part-time, contract, and temporary employees). The Employment Act applies to both Singaporeans and international workers in Singapore.
Companies must make sure that they are staying compliant to avoid a fine or losing talented candidates. This includes following Singapore staffing and recruiting regulations to find the right candidates for open positions.
Recruiting in Singapore
There are several ways to handle the hiring process for your Singapore business, including:
- Working with an employment agency or recruitment firm: While this approach can save you time, you should research the agency’s rates, policies, and permits.
- Posting job advertisements online: Most candidates will look for regional positions online, while local positions are more likely to be in the newspaper.
- Attending job or career fairs: More people are attending job fairs today, which will allow you to do on-the-spot interviews. These events are also a great avenue to hire for skill-based jobs.
- Recruiting on campuses: Many universities will let you come to campus for interviews or recruitment talks if you want to hire graduates or post-graduates.
Laws against discrimination in Singapore
The Ministry of Manpower has guidelines for fair hiring and recruiting practices, particularly regarding the following protected characteristics: age, nationality, sex, marital status, pregnancy status, caregiving responsibilities, race, religion, language, disability, and mental health conditions.
For example, you should always consider skills, experience, and ability to perform the job over age, race, gender, religion, family status, or disability. Make sure you let the job applicants understand the selection criteria, and update the requirements frequently to ensure that they’re relevant.
To avoid discrimination, don’t list any of the protected characteristics listed above in a job advertisement unless you can justify their necessity. Stick to questions relevant to the job requirements during interviews and tests, and ensure that you ask for personal data only for administrative purposes.
Singapore employment laws
Singapore’s employment compliance — which covers working hours, rest days, annual leave, and holidays — is outlined in its Employment Act.
- The normal working hours of employees covered under Part IV of the Employment Act are 8 hours per day, up to a maximum of 44 hours per week. An employer must confirm the hours of work in the employment contract.
- Employees covered under Part IV of the Employment Act cannot work more than 72 hours of overtime per month unless there is a specific exception from the Ministry of Manpower.
- Employees covered under Part IV of the Employment Act are allowed 1 unpaid rest day a week, which is typically Sunday unless otherwise stated in an employment contract.
- Employees are entitled to paid leave under the Employment Act if they have worked for an employer for more than 3 months. Annual leave entitlement depends on years of service, starting with 7 days paid leave for 1 year of employment. It is common market practice for employers to provide for 14 days of annual leave entitlement in Singapore.
Onboarding in Singapore
Before you officially hire employees in Singapore, it is best practice to draft an employment contract that outlines the details of the agreement between you and your future employee. Spell out vacation days, expected working hours, and any supplemental benefits you’ll offer.
Include the exact position and duties the employee will perform as well as the terms of termination for the employee’s reference, which gives them clear expectations of the workplace culture. It’s also important to have a separate policy in place that establishes a code of conduct.
Grow globally with G-P.
G-P never forgets that behind every hire is a human being. That’s why we’ve backed our fully customizable suite of global employment products with our robust team of HR and legal experts, so we can remain at your side, ready to support you as you build your global teams. With G-P Meridian Recruit™, you can search for talent anywhere, and find your perfect full-time or contract match with our all-in-one platform.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you recruit, hire, and onboard anyone, anywhere.