Category Archives: Dollar and Cents

Top 5 Myths: Chinese New Year

Top 5 Myths

Myth 01: Chinese New Year Eve is a 1/2 day
It is not legislated by any laws in Singapore but rather a social norm, for many companies practice that. If yours is not one of them, apologies.

Myth 02: My company is obliged to give me “Kai Gong” Ang Pow
Oh yes, we do have employees who claimed it is their right. No legislation cover such, and this could be down to the social norm once again.

Myth 03: I will get double pay if I worked on Chinese New Year
You will earn 1 day basic rate of pay or 1 day off in lieu (if you are covered under Employment Act). When people say “double pay”, it means getting your usual salary for that day, and 1 day extra (either salary or day off).
Agree that this could be myth or basically something misleading (or could have).

Myth 04: Employer can give me Ang Pow in lieu of Overtime Pay
Not true if you are covered under Part IV of the Employment Act. There is nothing we can pay (or give) to replace Overtime Pay.

Myth 05: My working schedule is Mon- Sat. If CNY falls on Sat, I do not have to work and will earn 1 day off in lieu
Public Holiday Pay / Off in lieu is given to employees when Public Holiday falls on their non-working day(s). In this case, if Sat is an official working day, and company decided not to open for business for that day and thus employees are not required to come to work, they had actually “enjoyed” the Public Holiday day off and thus should not be compensated any further.

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Top 5 Myths: Overtime

Top 5 Myths

Myth 01: Overtime kicks in after 44 hours in a week
Overtime kicks in after your contractual working hours. For example, if you are contracted to work for 42 hours per week, overtime shall kicks in after 42 hours.

Myth 02: Working on Public Holiday / Rest Day = Overtime pay
Employee should be paid public holiday pay / rest day pay if they work on the respective day, but overtime kicks in after their normal daily working hours.

Myth 03: Overtime is always 1.5x rate
If a part-timer is contracted to work for 20 hours, while a full-timer (same type of employee as the part-timer) contractual hours is 40 hours, 1.5x rate kicks in after 40 hours, and any hours after 20 hours will be 1x time, where such will be considered as overtime as well.

Myth 04: Overtime can by claimed by giving employee Off-in-lieu
It is illegal as per the Employment Act.

Myth 05: Overtime is not applicable if you are an Executive / Manager
It depends on your job scope. If it matches the description of an Executive / Manager in the Employment Act, Overtime is not applicable, else, you might be liable to pay him/her Overtime.

Top 5 Myths: Public Holiday Pay

Top 5 Myths

Myth 01: Public Holiday Pay is only applicable for Full-Timers
Part-Timers are also entitled to Public Holiday Pay. However, I have seen a couple of companies who refused to pay Public Holiday Pay, which is illegal as per the Employment Act.

Myth 02: Public Holiday Pay is 2x rate
While there is nothing wrong with this statement, it can be misleading.
If you are scheduled to work on a PH, you shall be compensated with either an additional 1 day of pay (Basic rate) or 1 Day Off in Lieu. There should not be a case of paying by hourly rate. For example, if you worked 3 hours on a Public Holiday, you should still get an additional 1 day of pay (Basic rate) or 1 Day Off in Lieu, instead of 3 hours of pay (not even it is for 6 hours of pay).

Myth 03: Public Holiday Pay is OT Pay
Public Holiday Pay is never considered as OT Pay. It is simply Public Holiday Pay, that’s it.

Myth 04: Validity of Public Holiday Off
This is not covered under the Singapore labour law; you will have to depend on the contract of agreement with your employer.

Myth 05 Employees do not have to work on a Public Holiday
Most people take it for granted that as long as it is a Public Holiday, one is not required to work. In actual fact, the law didn’t legislated that right, but rather (I think) it is created out of social norm. The law only states the remuneration / compensation payable if you work on a Public Holiday. It is the company who shall state whether one will be required to work on a Public Holiday.

Top 5 Myths: Sick Leave & Reimbursements

Top 5 Myths.jpg

Assuming the employee is covered under the Employment Act (don’t have to be covered under Part IV).

Myth 01: Entitled only after Probation
The employee will be entitled to Sick Leave after 3 months of employment.

Myth 02: Medical Consultation Costs does not cover Pregnancy-related Costs
I remembered back in few years ago, a group of HR Practitioners were debating fiercely on this in my company. Why didn’t they just cite the legislation?
If an employee is eligible for paid sick leave, employer has to bear the medical consultation fee, irregardless if it is pregnancy-related or not. Do note that the law only states reimbursement for medical consultation fees and not other medical costs (e.g. medicine).

Myth 03: Sick Leave includes Work-Injury-related Medical Leave
Work Injury medical leave wages are separated from the entitlements stipulated by the Employment Act.

Myth 04: Hospitalisation Leave is recognised only if you are hospitalised
You do not have to be hospitalised in order to be eligible for paid hospitalisation leave as per the Employment Act.

Myth 05: If you are on Annual Leave and fall sick, you can take Sick Leave instead
This is not covered by the Employment Act and it shall falls back to the Company Policies.

Payment for Work on Holiday in Overseas

Re posted from HR Singapore

Can company choose not to pay holiday pay as employee is already provided per diem while on overseas trip during Singapore public holiday?

My reply:

Firstly, it is good to check if employee is covered under Employment Act first. If he/she is covered, my advice as follow:

Per diem generally refers to allowances given to staff for expenses incurred during overseas business trip. Such could be for lodging and food.
Public Holiday pay is not an allowance; a payment given to staff who worked on a Public Holiday for Public Holiday is a paid non-working day.

Unless the per diem payment given explicitly include the Public Holiday pay item (no less than 1 day basic), such should be separated from the per diem payment.

Top 3 Picks of the Week

Top 3 Picks of the week II.jpg

  1. Can we deploy our foreign employees to queue for Bak Kwa?

    This appeared in the news (see Migrant Workers Queue (Today)), where companies actually deployed their foreign employees to queue for Bak Kwa. While compensation was mentioned (half a day off, meal allowance, etc.), it is still illegal for both work permit and s pass holders as they are only allow to work in an occupation as stated in their permit card. Further, there is an issue on the compensation –  is this during office hours or after? If it’s the latter, what about overtime payment?
    Legal issues aside, while some foreigners are in favor of this arrangement (able to earn an extra income), I believe there will be some who are not willing to do so. Will this be fair for them?
    The clauses on disallowing foreign workers to work in an occupation other than that as stated in their permit card can be found in my Page Sources: Work Pass Conditions. (Forth and Fifth Schedule)


  2. New HDB Rule for Non-Malaysians Work Permit Holders in the
    Manufacturing Sector

    Effective 01 Jan, non-malaysians work permit holders from the manufacturing sector can no longer rent a whole HDB unit, thought they can still rent individual rooms. Those who are currently still under their existing contracts can stay till it expire.
    You can check out the news at HDB Rule Change (Today)


  3. Public Holiday Entitlements

    As shared previously, check out Entitlements during Public Holidays for the FAQs on entitlements for public holiday.
    Further, as CNY falls on a weekend, employees might be confused on their entitlements. You can check out on the various scenarios given at Scenarios of Work Schedule during CNY.

Lastly, we hope you had an enjoyable Chinese New Year!