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Before you hire employees in Singapore, there are some key things you’ll need to know. Firstly, some employers in Singapore offer a "13th month payment”, called Annual Wage Supplement (AWS), which is a single annual payment on top of an employee’s total annual wage.
Employers should be aware that in Singapore, white-collar workers ("non-workmen") are entitled to overtime pay only if they earn less than $2,600.
We know keeping track of all this might sound overwhelming—but it doesn’t have to be. A solution like Oyster eliminates the barriers for you. With Oyster, you can automate compliance across 180+ countries, easily managing HR and payroll—all in one, easy-to-use platform.
Get an overview of what you need to know when hiring in Singapore below.
At a Glance
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13th / 14th SALARY
Not mandatory, but some employers offer an Annual Wage Supplement (AWS).
Good to know
- Some employers in Singapore offer a 13th month payment called Annual Wage Supplement (AWS), which is a single annual payment on top of an employee’s total annual wage.
- Employees are entitled to a minimum of seven days of annual leave after working at a company for three consecutive months. However, fourteen days are customarily offered. Afterward, one additional day is added per each year, capped at 14 days.
- White-collar workers (known as "non-workmen") in Singapore are entitled to overtime pay only if they earn less than $2,600.
Employees in Singapore typically work 44 hours a week (for a five-day workweek) or 48 (for a six-day workweek).
Employees can opt out of these provisions provided that they don’t work overtime for more than 72 hours in a month and they don’t work for more than 12 hours in any one day.
Employees in Singapore receive their salary payment on the 28th of each month.
The probation period in Singapore is optional, but three to six months is common practice.
The minimum notice periods depend on the employee's length of service and range from one day to four weeks.
Either party can terminate the employment immediately by paying the other party a sum equal to the salary which would have accrued during the period of the notice.
Non-compete agreements must be reasonable in scope and limited in duration. There are no specific statutory requirements in Singapore for an employer to continue paying a former employee for adhering to the agreement.
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Paid time off
Employees are entitled to a minimum of seven days of annual leave after working at a company for three consecutive months. Afterward, one additional day is added per each year, capped at 14 days.
It is common to provide 14-20 days of leave for employees.
The duration of sick leave entitlement provided to employees in Singapore is dependent on how long they have been employed by their employer. The breakdown is as follows:
- Three months of service: Five non-hospitalized days or 15 hospitalized days
- Four months of service: Eight non-hospitalised or 30 hospitalised days
- Five months of service: 11 non-hospitalised days or 45 hospitalised days
- Six months of service: 14 non-hospitalised days or 60 hospitalised days
Employees are only entitled to paid sick leave if they have worked for at least three months with the employer.
Employees will be reimbursed for medical consultation fees if it results in paid sick leave.
Employees in Singapore are entitled to 16 weeks of paid maternity leave if they have worked for more than three months prior to giving birth, and if the child is a Singaporean citizen. The employee must also provide at least one week's notice before going on maternity leave, and inform the employer as soon as possible of the delivery. If the child is not a Singapore citizen, maternity leave is 12 weeks.
Paternity leave in Singapore is two weeks. However, to meet the requirements of Government-Paid Paternity Leave (GPPL), the child must be a Singaporean citizen and the employee must have been legally married to the mother between the conception and birth of the child. The employee must also have served the employer for a period of at least three months before birth of the child.
In the case of adoption, the employee is also eligible for paternity leave if the child is a Singapore citizen.
There is also up to an additional six days of childcare leave dependent on certain conditions.
In Singapore, social contributions for employers are up to 17.25% of an employee’s salary. This includes:
- CPF (Pension): 7.5% to 17%
- Skills Development Levy (SDL): Up to 0.25% for up to the first SGD $4,500 in salary
Employees in Singapore are taxed between 0% and 22% depending on their income bracket. Employees also make social security contributions of 20%.
Termination of employment
In Singapore, either the employer or employee may terminate the employment relationship in accordance with the employment contract and applicable notice period (and payment in lieu of such notice).
Valid grounds for dismissal include misconduct, poor performance, and redundancy.
There is no legal requirement for employers in Singapore to pay severance. Severance payment must be included in the contract, and include all the salaries and benefits due at the last day of employment.
In case of dismissal due to redundancies, if the employee has been employed for at least two years, they are entitled to receive “retrenchment benefits” upon dismissal. The amount given to the employee depends on what is agreed upon in the employment contract or collective agreement.
In general, retrenchment benefits are usually between two weeks to one month for every year the employee has served at the company.
Start hiring employees in
Setting up a business entity everywhere you want to hire a new employee isn’t scalable—it takes too long and the legal fees are high. At the same time, understanding and adhering to the local labor laws and employee expectations can be complex and time consuming. And it’s hard to find reliable information on up-to-date employment information for all the countries where you’re considering hiring. Not to mention tracking down invoices and managing employee contracts over email and spreadsheets—that gets messy fast.
We can’t afford to take risks when it comes to compliance—we need to make sure we follow the local guidelines, especially when it comes to taxes and legalities.
With Oyster, you can manage HR and payroll, and automate compliance across 180+ countries—all in one, easy-to-use platform.
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