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: 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.

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.

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.).

S Pass Holder Minimum Basic Salary

Is there a minimum basic salary we have to give to our S Pass Holder?

The law does not indicate any minimum basic salary, but highlight that a S Pass Holder should earn at least $2,200 fixed monthly salary. That means, if your fixed monthly allowances is $1500, your basic can be as low as $700.

Such can be abused by companies easily – have the basic to be as low as possible so as to reduce the co-related benefits accordingly (e.g. AWS). Some said this is a cost cutting measure provided for the company. In anyway, it is a matter of perspective.

Reference can be found under my Page “Sources”:
S Pass

Non-Singaporean child not in Singapore. Entitled to Childcare Leave?

In the HR Singapore community I was in, this question was asked:

“We have a PRC employee whose child is below 7 years old, so rightfully, this employee should be entitled to childcare leave. However, her child is not in Singapore. In such circumstances, would you allow her to use this childcare leave?

Thanks in advance for your advise.”

It is not a question on whether we allow or disallow. It is a question on whether the employee is covered under the Employment Act. If he/she is covered, we have to give him/her the childcare leave – 2 days. The legislation did not state that the child must be in Singapore.

Aside, speaking on a moral perspective, even if the law says we can disallow the employee from taking such leave if the child is not in Singapore, we should still give to the employee. What is the internet for?

Reference can be found under my Page “Sources”:
Childcare Leave Eligibility

Terminating employee based on assumed gender

A candidate came in for interview. Short hair, with neatly trimmed moustache, wore a formal black shirt accompanied with slim fit formal pants.

Fast forward, candidate offered the job and had accepted. On the very first day, application form was given for the candidate to fill in. It was then the HR was shocked when she received the completed form – Gender was female. All along, both the hiring unit and the HR personnel thought the candidate was male.

Now, they are thinking of terminating this employee for dishonestly declaring her particulars. What is your advice?

Let’s start off with my very own, open to discussion and advice.

  1. Firstly, application form should be filled in way before the interview commences instead of when the candidate joined on the very first day. There is so much information to be declared which we can then proceed with any necessary verification and checks.
  2. Terminating an employee due to false declaration? Did the company have the candidate declare such information prior to joining? All is about assumption, and that, if proceed, will be an wrongly termination.
  3. Are we terminating based on false declaration or are we terminating because we want to hire a male employee instead of a female one? What’s the justification for that – purely discrimination?

I would say termination is a no go. What’s your take?