Here’s 10 Key Recent amendments to the Employment Act Singapore (wef 1 April 2014) that Singapore HR Practitioners, HR Business Partners and Leaders must know

Employment Act Amendements Infographic












1.The salary threshold for non-workmen, such as clerical staff and frontline service staff, to be covered under the working hours-related provisions (Part IV) of the EA will be raised from a basic monthly salary of $2,000 to $2,500, in line with increases in salary levels.

2. In addition to the salary protection currently accorded to them, PMEs earning a basic monthly salary of up to $4,500 will be covered under the general provisions of the Employment Act, including sick leave benefits and protection against unfair dismissal.
3. A 25% sub-cap will be imposed for deductions to employees’ salaries for accommodation, amenities and services, to prevent excessive deductions to their salaries. This is within the existing 50% total cap for authorised deductions.
4. Presently, non-workmen earning up to $2,000 and workmen earning up to $4,500 can claim overtime pay. Though the salary threshold of non-workmen will be increased to $2,500, the overtime rate payable for non-workmen will be capped at the salary level of $2,250 to help employers manage costs.

5. PMEs earning up to $4,500 will need to have served with the same employer for at least 12 months to be eligible to seek redress against unfair dismissal, where notice is given. This will provide employers time to assess suitability of the PMEs for their jobs.

6.Employers will be allowed the additional option to grant time-off in-lieu for PMEs who are required to work on public holidays, subject to mutual agreement. In the absence of mutual agreement, at least half a day off in-lieu has to be granted.

7. Employers will not be obliged to grant paid sick leave and bear medical examination expenses of employees for cosmetic consultations and procedures, such as mole removal or nose jobs. The assessment of whether a treatment is cosmetic or not would be based on the opinion of the medical practitioner performing the examination and providing the medical certificate.

8. The penalty for failure to pay salary in accordance with the EA will be raised. A first-time offence will be liable to a fine of between $3,000 and $15,000 and/or 6 months’ jail. A subsequent offence will be liable to a fine of between $6,000 and $30,000 and/or 12 months’ jail.

9. Employment inspectors will be granted the power to arrest any person whom he reasonably believes is guilty of the failure to pay salary. They will also be allowed to enter any workplace to conduct checks.

10. Individuals such as directors or partners of companies will be made more accountable for EA offences committed by the company. Such individuals, who are primarily responsible for the offence and have failed to exercise reasonable supervision or oversight, will be presumed to be negligent and be held liable. He/she will be able to rebut the presumption by proving that he/she has exercised reasonable supervision or oversight to avoid commission of the EA offence.

In summary, The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has recently made these changes to the EA to extend better protection for more workers and improve employment standards, while allowing flexibility for employers where there are practical business concerns. – See more at:

Arthur Khong,
Principal Trainer, HR Law Academy