Employ Candidates Compliantly in Singapore

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  1. Overview: Singapore
  2. Global HR Compliance
  3. Global PEO and payroll
  4. Work permit for hiring expats via PEO
  5. Contractor vs. employee: which is better?
  6. Expand without a company set up
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Global HR Compliance in Singapore

If you hire international workforce, or plan to hire, then Hiring and Firing Workforce in Singapore Guide below will help you understand the nuances of labor legislation in the country.

There are two main reasons for companies hiring foreign workforce:

  • Expanding into foreign markets to sell company product or products there. In this case, companies hire sales representatives who would exclusively represent their product in the target market and sell it to their local client base.
  • Hiring the right foreign talent with a unique expertise, often related to IT sphere that cannot be found in the home country or that costs less compared to local specialist with similar skills.

After you have found the right candidate, the question is how to hire and provide compensation to this person so you as a business remain 100% compliant when working with global workforce. Another thing to consider is whether you want to keep the talent long-term and how you can do that.

If you need to hire foreign workforce in Singapore so you can expand there, then our Global Employer of Record solution may be of help. We help you legally hire and reward your foreign workforce by making them employees via a global employment outsourcing service. This is simple as employ your in-house workforce with the only difference that workers can live anywhere in the world and Acumen International would be their legal employer on your behalf. This means we would bear all employment risks, not you. Also, we manage bonuses, vacations, sick leave and can rent the office and a car for your foreign sales representatives if that is what you need.

With our solution, you can test new foreign markets before deciding whether you are going to get established there. You gain flexibility and expand with reduced costs, and easily withdraw from the unattractive countries.

We are experts in global workforce employment in Singapore, and our goal is to become your single provider. Instead of working with numerous local staffing agencies and legal advisors, Acumen International can solve your global business challenges and save you time, costs, and resources.

Our team of English-speaking professionals frees you from working through language nuances. Acumen International works 24/7 and can assist you whenever you need, regardless of time zones. Our goal is to create tailored labor solutions for you that are managed legally and in full compliance with the local employment laws.

With our knowledge and deep understanding of local nuances, you easily satisfy your need for skilled professionals in your global industry. With our qualified local partners, you can trust that your global workforce satisfies all local tax, social security, and immigration requirements in Singapore.

See the guide below for a general overview of labor rules and regulations in Singapore. Or contact us if you need to employ workers in Singapore or would like to get more details.

Hiring and Firing Workforce in Singapore Guide

# Employment Contracts

It is a standard practice in Singapore for employers to provide their employees with a written contract of employment, otherwise known as offer letter, employment agreement or letter of appointment. Contracts of employment should include the basic terms of employment relationship such as description of employee’s position, commencement date and total duration of contract (where necessary), hours of work, probation period (if applicable), remuneration and fringe benefits, code of practice and terms of termination.

# Minimum statutory employment rights

# Hours of work
Employees whose monthly wage is less than SGD 2000 are entitled to a maximum of 8-hour workday and 44-hour workweek. Other employees such as those who hold managerial/executive positions or earn more than SGD 2000 per month may work up to 40-50 hours per week, subject to contracts of employment. Employees are required to take few minutes break after every 6 hours of work per day and are entitled to at least one day of unpaid rest period per week.

# Probation period
There is no time limit on probationary period under the Employment Act. It is a normal practice for employers to place their new employees on probation for 3-6 months period.

# Annual leave
Employees are eligible for paid annual leave after they have completed 3 months of service with the company. Employees who are in their first year of employment are entitled to a minimum of 7 days of paid annual leave. Employees are entitled to additional one-day leave up to 14 days for every completed year of service with the company.

# Parental leave
Working mothers are provided with annual leave benefits for childbearing if they have worked with their employers continuously for not less than 3 months. In addition, such employees must be given 6 days of childcare leave yearly until their children become 7 years of age. Employees’ contracts cannot be terminated while they are on maternity leave.

The maternity leave benefit is 16 weeks of government-paid maternity leave. Since July 1st, 2017, wives may share up to 4 weeks of maternity leave with husbands. Fathers are also eligible for two weeks of paid paternity leave, funded by the government.

# Sick leave
Sick employees are eligible for sick leave benefits if they have worked in a company for no fewer than 3 months. Such employees are entitled to 5 days’ sick leave and 15 days’ hospitalization leave per year. Employees who have worked for a minimum of 4 months in a company are entitled to 8 days of sick leave and 30 days of hospitalization leave, while those with at least 5 months of service are entitled to 11 days of sick leave and 45 days of hospitalization leave. Employees must be provided with 14 days of sick leave and 60 days of hospitalization leave if they have served their employers for at least 6 months.
Sick leave should be certified by a company doctor, a company-approved doctor or government doctor.

# Overtime
The maximum hours of work, including overtime that employees may work are 12 hours per day or 72 hours per month. Employees may work more than the daily overtime limit on certain grounds specified in the Employment Act such as of accident, national security/defense, etc. Employees must be paid time and a half for every hour of overtime they work.

# State minimum salary
The Employment Act does not provide any national minimum wage. Effective January 2014, the minimum wage for cleaners is $1,000 per month. The minimum wage for security guards is set at $1,100 per month effective from 2016. Remuneration must be paid at least once every month and no later than 7 days after the payment period has ended.

# Employment termination
Provision of a written notification (or a payment instead) is a prerequisite for contract termination. The length of a notice period is subject to the terms of an employment contract; therefore, employers and employees are required to negotiate and define the acceptable period of notice in their employment contracts. As a common practice, notice period is given 2 weeks ahead during probation period or one month ahead after probation period. Employees have the right to use their accumulated annual leave to balance out their notification requirement. Either of the parties of employment can legally terminate a contract of employment without notice only if it is for breach of contract.

Acumen International can help you fast-track your possibilities of entering and expanding your business in Singapore by providing you with our Employer of Record services. Our unique mix of PEO/EOR solutions will enable you to jumpstart your global operations almost immediately, cost-effectively and compliantly without any need to set up a legal entity first or afterwards.

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