Legal Aspect of Drafting Employment Contracts and HR Policies and Procedures

Legal Aspect of Drafting Employment Contracts and HR Policies and Procedures
Fee for Face-to-Face (Excludes 9% GST) $1000
Fee for Virtual (Excludes 9% GST) $1000
Duration 2 Days
Skills Future Credit No
Upcoming Workshops 26 & 27 Jun 2024
22 & 23 Jul 2024
21 & 22 Aug 2024

In Singapore, given the changing employment landscapes, employers are now engaging a different type of employees to suit their operational needs and requirements. As such, on the same basis, the employer cannot adopt one form of the employment contract to fit the different categories of employees. This is not withstanding with the amendment of the Employment Act that came into effect 1 April 2019; the managerial and executive category of employees who are earning a basic salary above $4,500 will also be covered under the Employment Act. As such, various types of employment contracts are now required, and it includes:

  1. Regular or Open Ended Employment Contract;
  2. Fixed Term Employment Contract;
  3. Part-time Employment Contract;
  4. Temporary Employment Contract;
  5. Casual Labour (Ad-hoc) Employment Contract;
  6. Dual or Triple Employment Contracts; and
  7. Re-employment Contract
  8. Independent Contractor (Free-Lancer) Agreement*

Are HR practitioners taught how to draft the various employment contracts as stated above? If the answer is no and if there are employment contract templates provided, would it assist HR practitioners in drafting out the various types of employment contracts? The answer is almost certainly yes. On the other hand, HR practitioners would still need to know the basic principles in contract law so that they could modify or make minor amendments to the employment contract templates. On top of understanding basic contract law, HR practitioners need to know the various employment legislation such as Employment Act, Employment (Part-Time Employees) Regulations, Retirement and Re-employment Act, Central Provident Fund Act, etc, before they could actually draft out the employment contract as surely the terms in the employment contract cannot supersede the legislation.

On the same basis, due to the amendments to the Employment Act that took effect 1 April 2019, there would be a need to revise the HR policies and procedures manual. As such, it would be good that there are templates so that it would be much easier for HR practitioners to draft out the HR policies and procedures manual. HR policies may differ greatly in that for some policies; it is governed by legislation, whereas, other policies are meant to fulfil the operational needs and requirements of the organisation. Whichever the case may be, there is a process or art in drafting HR policies and procedures and HR practitioners need to equip themselves with the knowledge and skills so as to draft the various policies such as the various types of leaves policies such as annual leave, childcare leave, compassionate leave, examination leave, prolonged illness leave, medical leave, marriage leave, medical leave, no pay leave, paternity leave, reservist leave, shared parental leave, etc. Also, it may be necessary to draft out the code of conduct policy, retirement and re-employment policy, personal data protection policy and the various employee insurance policies, compensation program, etc.

Given the above, this 2-day workshop provides the participant with the practical guide on drafting the various types of employment contracts. HR practitioners will go through each type of employment contract, and you will be taught on how employment legislation is being applied in drafting the employment contract for the different categories of employees.

Other than learning how to draft out employment contracts, HR practitioners will be taught the skills and understanding to develop and implement HR policies and procedures. Again, to draft out the entire HR policies and procedures would be extremely tough as an HR practitioner would need to be familiar with all the employment legislation. For example, if there is a need

to draft out the re-employment policy, surely the HR practitioner would need to be extremely familiar with the Retirement and Re-employment Act.

For this workshop, it is believed that after attending the 2-day workshop and with all the templates provided for both employment contracts; and HR policies and procedures, HR practitioners would be able to come with their own templates for both employment contracts and HR policies and procedures manual accordingly and we strongly believe that this will alleviate not only the productivity of the HR department but also avoid being entangled with unnecessary legal disputes in relation to the employment contract; and HR policies and procedures.

  • Draft employment contracts and HR policies and procedures with the aid of the book “HR practitioners’ guide to employment contracts and HR policies and procedures.
  • Learn by going through the process of understanding the difference between legal entitlements and privileges; deciding what should be covered/excluded in the employment contract and HR policies and procedures manual.
  • Understand contractual and legal concepts in the employment relationship in drafting employment contracts and HR policies and procedures.
  • Develop the best way, and if not steps in drafting contract HR policies and procedures.
  • Understand the fundamentals of HR policies and procedures and how it impacts the employment relations between management and employees.
  • Understand how to structure, develop and implement HR policies and procedures that are relevant, clear, complaint and effective.
  • On completing this learning, the participant may draft out their employment contract and HR policies and procedures from the templates as per the HR practitioners’ guide to employment contracts and HR policies and procedures manual.

A competent HR practitioner must have the knowledge and skills in the following:

Part 1: Drafting of Employment Contract

1. Understand the sources of employment laws in Singapore

  • What are statutory laws?
  • What is common law (judge-made law or case law)?
  • Which is more supreme, statutory laws or common law?
  • Whether an employment contract can supersede or contradict statutory laws?

2. Understand the essential terms in the employment contract:

  • Commencement of employment;
  • Appointment – job title and job scope;
  • Hours of work;
  • Probation period, if any;
  • Remuneration;
  • Employee’s benefits (e.g. sick leave, annual leave, maternity leave);
  • Termination of contract – notice period; and
  • Code of conduct (e.g. punctuality, no fighting at work).

3. The parties, employer and employee relationship and that of an independent contractor

  • Definition of the contract of Service.
  • Definition of contract for service (Independent Contractor).
  • Differentiate between the contract of service and contract for service.

4. Understand whether the contract is made orally, in writing or by conduct?

  • What is key employment terms and must it be in writing to all employees?
  • Definition of employed as per the Employment Act.
  • Can employment contract and HR policy and procedures be soft and hardcopy?

5. Understand the requirements of an employment contract and the vitiating factors that may make the contract null and void.

  • Offer;
  • Acceptance;
  • Consideration;
  • Intention to create a legal relationship; and
  • Vitiating factors that may void the employment contract

6. Understand the terms of the Contract of Employment

  • What is the express term?
  • What is the implied term?
  • How to vary the terms and conditions of employment?
  • Are the terms in the employee handbook or HR policy and Procedures part of the employment contract?

7. Know the different types of employment contracts that may be issued to a different type of employees:

  • Regular or Open Ended Employment Contract;
  • Fixed Term Employment Contract;
  • Part-time Employment Contract;
  • Temporary Employment Contract;
  • Casual Labour Employment Contract;
  • Dual or Triple Employment Contracts; and
  • Re-employment Contract
  • Independent Contractor (Free-Lancer) Agreement*
  • All the above employment contract templates are as provided in the HR Practitioners Guide to Employment Contracts and HR Policy and Procedures

8. Understand the different categories of employees in Singapore and how to apply the employment contract templates, namely:

  • Non-Executive (workman and non-workman).
  • Professional, Managerial and Executive.

9. Know the pitfalls to avoid in drafting employment contracts

  • Not in compliance with statutory provisions.
  • Terms against public policy.
  • Having the same terms regardless of the different category of employees.
  • Other common errors in drafting employment contracts

10. Understand the need to incorporate job description and employee benefits schedule in the employment contract

  • Purpose of the job
  • What needs to be input to the job description.
  • Purpose of employee benefits schedule.
  • List of employee benefits to be stated in the employee benefits schedule.

Part 2: Drafting HR Policies and Procedures

1. Definition and importance of HR policies and procedures

  • What is the definition of policy?
  • What is the definition of procedures?
  • Why is there a need for HR policies and procedures?
  • Are HR policies and procedures manual part of the employment contract?  

2. Know the steps in policy development and implementation.

  • Step 1: The need for a policy.
  • Step 2: The content of the policy.
  • Step 3: Drafting the policy.
  • Step 4: Review and approval of the policy.
  • Step 5: Implementation and communication of the policy.  

3. Understand the methodology and the six key elements in formulating HR policies and procedures:

  • Purpose
  • Scope
  • Policy
  • Procedure
  • Responsibilities and Approval
  • Effective date  

4. How to draft HR policy

  • Compile relevant information in relation to the policy.
  • Determine the main objective of the policy.
  • Determine what applicable statutory laws that may be applicable.
  • Articulate the procedures.
  • Know the approving authorities if applicable.  

5. Grasping the salient point in drafting the various policy as outlined in the HR Practitioners’ Guide to Employment Contract and HR Policy and Procedures Manual as follows:


  • Policy No. 001: Employee’s Personnel Data Protection
  • Policy No. 002: Job Description 
  • Policy No. 003: Probationary and Confirmation
  • Policy No. 004: Retirement and Re-employment
  • Policy No. 005: Working Hours:- Office Hours/Flexi Hours /Shift Hours                           


  • Policy No. 006: Employee Classification
  • Policy No. 007: Exit Interview
  • Policy No. 008: Manpower Utilisation
  • Policy No. 009: Recruitment and Selection of Employees  


Part 3A: Employee Remuneration and Allowances
  • Policy No. 010: Performance Review, Annual Increment and Performance Bonus
  • Policy No. 011: Annual Wage Supplement
  • Policy No. 012: Compensation Program:
    1. Policy statement
    2. Pay Structure
    3. Salary Payment
    4. Pay rates for new hires
    5. Classification of new positions
    6. Annual Salary Review
    7. Promotion
    8. Upgrading
    9. Demotion
    10. Merit Increment
    11. Redesignation
    12. Pay Adjustment
    13. Transfers  
  • Policy No. 013: Transport Allowance/Reimbursement  
  • Policy No. 014: Handphone Allowance/Reimbursement
  • Policy No. 015: Modes of Payment and Compensating Time (OT, Rest Day and Public Holiday)  
Part 3B: Employee Leave Benefits
  • Policy No. 016: Annual Leave
  • Policy No. 017: Childcare Leave
  • Policy No. 018: Compassionate Leave
  • Policy No. 019: Examination Leave
  • Policy No. 020: Extended Medical Leave
  • Policy No. 021: Marriage Leave
  • Policy No. 022: Maternity Leave
  • Policy No. 023: Medical Leave
  • Policy No. 024: No Pay Leave
  • Policy No. 025: Paternity Leave
  • Policy No. 026: Public Holidays In-Lieu
  • Policy No. 027: Reservist Leave
  • Policy No. 028: Shared Parental Leave
  • Policy No. 029: Unpaid Infant Care Leave  
Part 3C  : Employee Medical Benefits and Insurance Plans
  • Policy No. 030: Employee Medical Benefits and Group Insurance:
    1. Outpatient Clinics
    2. Specialist Clinics
    3. Health Screening
    4. Group Hospital and Surgical Insurance
    5. Group Major Medical Insurance
    6. Group Term Life Insurance
    7. Group Personal Accident Insurance
    8. Work Injury Compensation Insurance  
  • Policy No. 031: Flexi Benefits  
Part 3D: Employee Welfare Benefits
  • Policy No. 032: Condolence
  • Policy No. 033: Hospitalisation Gifts
  • Policy No. 034: Long Service Awards
  • Policy No. 035: New Born/Gifts of Joy
  • Policy No. 036: Overseas Business Travel
  • Policy No. 037: Professional Membership


  • Policy No. 038: Training Application and Course Sponsorship


  • Policy No. 039: Employee Code of Conduct

    • List of Codes
    • Disciplinary Actions
    • Guide to Disciplinary Actions
    • Policy on Employee Relations, Grievance Handling
  • Policy No. 040: Employee Grievance Handling

    • Definitions
    • Grievance Handling by Company
  • Policy No. 041: Employee Work-Place Harassment

  • Policy No. 042: Employee Communications
    • Suggestions/Feedback
    • Town Hall Meetings
    • On-line Suggestion Scheme
    • Email/Internet Postings
    • Employee/Department Meeting


  • Policy No. 043: Employee Identification Badge
  • Policy No. 044: Email and Internet Usage
  • Policy No. 045: Orientation Program
  • Policy No. 046: Payroll Administration

Lecture and case study.

  • Human Resource Practitioners
  • Industrial Relations Practitioners
  • Lawyers
  • In-House Legal Counsels
  • Line Managers/Executives
  • Any other persons interested in grasping a good understanding of the Employment Act.

Please visit this page to register.