Newsletter

Legal Clinic Newsletter

In order to have a better understanding of employment laws, including industrial relations legislations, HR Law Academy will share regular updates with HR practitioners on how to tackle some of the pertinent HR employment law and industrial relations issues.

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“Newsletter”

A sample of the legal clinic newsletter is as follows:

Scenario :

Question:

Your Regional Human Resource Director, an expatriate read the Ministry of Manpower’s website and came across a page which states that from 1 April 2016, all employers will be required to issue itemised pay slips and key employment terms (KETs) to employees covered under the Employment Act. There will also be a new framework to treat less severe breaches of the Employment Act.

Your Regional Human Resource Director could not quite understand what it meant and posed you the following questions:

a)      Who should the company issue the KET to on/from 1stApril 2016?

b)     When should the company issue the KET?

c)      KET takes effect from 1st April 2016. Employees hired from 1st April 2016 onwards need to be issued with the KET, what about those already working in the company?

d)      Can the company ask the employee to start work before he signs the employment contract? Is it illegal?

e)      Can the employer change the terms in the employment contract after it is signed? Or would both parties’ consent be required for any amendment?

Solution:

Yes, with the amendments to the Employment Act on 1 April 2016, employers must issue itemised payslips to all employees covered by the Employment Act. Specifically, employers need to issue payslip at least once a month and the payment of salary should be made on the same day and if not earlier.

a)      Who should the company issue the KET to on/from 1stApril 2016?

From 1st April 2016 onwards, KET must be issued to:-

  • · Newly employed workers who start work on or after 1 April 2016;
  • · Workers who are covered by the Employment Act; and
  • · Workers who are employed for a continuous period of 14 days or more.

b)      When should the company issue the KET?

KET must be issued within 14 days from the start of employment.

c)      KET takes effect from 1st April 2016. Employees hired from 1st April 2016 onwards need to be issued with the KET, what about those already working in the company?

​It is optional for the company to issue the same Key employment terms to the existing employees. But as long as they leave their positions, the new employees replacing them have to be issued with the Key employment terms.

d)      Can the company ask the employee to start work before he signs the employment contract? Is it illegal?

It is not illegal to start work without an employment contract. However, to avoid any misunderstanding, it is advisable for employers to give a written Employment Contract or Appointment Letter that states the terms & conditions of employment.

e)      Can the employer change the terms in the employment contract after it is signed? Or would both parties’ consent be required for any amendment?

Both the employer & employee are bound by the contract of service that was signed at the beginning of employment. This contract should not be amended or changed without the consent of both parties concerned. If the employer would like to amend the terms & conditions of employment as stated in the employment contract, it would need to negotiate with the affected employees and fresh consideration should be obtained. Employees who do not agree to the changes should raise their objections directly to the employer for negotiation. Ultimately, if there is no agreement reached on the changes to the employment contract.

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