Category Archives: Other Terms of Employment

Can we restrict our employees to join Union?

If the employee is covered under the Employment Act, we cannot restrict him/her to join a Union.

Such can be found under Part II of the Employment Act. Thus, do take note that both Executives and Managers might be covered as well (Part IV is not applicable for them).


Top 5 Myths: Part-Time Employment

Top 5 Myths

Myth 01: Part-Timers are hourly-rated staff
As defined by the Singapore main Labour Law – the Employment Act – Part-Timers are employees who are contracted to work less than 35 hours a week. The type of payment does not matter.

Myth 02: Part-Timers are temporary staff
As per the local law, there is no definition as to who is a temporary staff. Nevertheless, I believe it is widely agreed that it is one who worked on a temporary basis with an end date to the contract of employment. Part-Timers can be both temporary and permanent staff; they cannot be defined as temporary staff.

Myth 03: Part-Timers are staff who worked 35 hours or less
If an employee is contracted to work 35 hours in a week, he/she is not a Part-Timer and benefits should be with in accordance to what a Full-Timer entitles (especially under the Employment Act).

Myth 04: Part-Timers are not entitled to Annual Leave and Sick Leave
This is a common belief by organisations (and at times misunderstood by HR Practitioners).  As long as one completed at least 3 months of service, they are entitled to Leave benefits under the Employment Act (if they are covered).

Myth 05: You do not have to issue a contract to a Part-Timer
If one is covered by the Employment Act, the employer should issue KET (Key Employment Terms) to the employee.

Am I a Part-Time Employee?

You can ask 10 HR Practitioners and it will be no surprise that you will get more than 1 answer:

“Your weekly hours is 35 hours? Then yes you are a Part-Timer”.
“If you worked less than 5 days, then you are a Part-Timer”.
“Contract only for a week? You are a Part-Timer!”

And the list goes on…

As per the Employment Act, if you are contracted to work less than 35 hours a week, you are a Part-Timer. Keywords as highlighted.

It is very important to establish this in order to ensure compliance with the provisions in the Employment Act (e.g. Overtime, Annual Leave, etc.).

HR Managing Lateness

Re posted from HR Singapore

Dear HR Members,We have actually come up with a grace period of 10 minutes daily for lateness. Any staff who are late after the grace period will have to apply for time-off.

However, it seems that about 80% of the staff still come in late everyday.

Would appreciate if you could share with me how to go about implementing policy since the above mentioned is not working.

Thanks in advance.

My reply:

HR can come up with any policy, but it takes all department heads to oblige and cooperate – subordinates who are late often should be disciplined. If there is no corporation, HR should bring the matter to the top Management. Pressure from top down always work (usually). Of course, HR must set a good example themselves. I have a lot of HR Colleagues who are frequent late comers themselves – that doesn’t help.


Issuing Duplicate Employment Contract

Can we issue duplicate employment contact to new hire?

The Employment Act does not take issue on this, but however a good practice could be to have the staff to sign 2 copies; 1 for himself/herself and the other for the company.
Duplicate copy can have a higher chance of potential dispute (e.g. forged signature?).

Under Light Duty; Allowed to Overtime?

Re posted from HR Singapore

We have a worker who was given Light Duty medical chit by a specialist doctor from the hospital. During office hours, we only let him walk around to inspect and check on equipment instead of his normal job scope that require more hands-on hard labour work.
Would like to know whether can we allow him to work overtime?

My reply:

The Employment Act does not cover such, and thus as long as he/she is certified fit to work, mutual agreement to overtime is allowed.

However, taking the “common sense” approach, he/she must be not feeling very well and thus consulted a doctor. For the well-being of the worker, he/she should not be given Overtime but go home on time to rest.
Do also note that if he/she is scheduled to do Overtime, there is an increase chance of work injury. In terms of the worker’s productivity, I think it goes without saying.

Definition of the word “week”

Different people might interpret differently. For example, some might say a week equates to any 7 days period.

As per the Employment Act, a week refers to a continuous period of 7 days, starting Monday and ending on Sunday. This is important when we are determining the hours of work per week, schedule of employees’ rest days, etc.

Reference can be found under my Page “Sources”:
Hours of Work