How to hire and pay EMPLOYEES IN

Singapore

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Before hiring

EMPLOYEES IN
Singapore

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

CURRENCY

SGD

OFFICIAL LANGUAGE

English, Chinese (simplified), Tamil, Malay

PAYROLL FREQUENCY

MONTHLY

PUBLIC HOLIDAYS

11

(based on region;
see here
)

EMPLOYER TAXES

17.25%

of gross salary

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.

Employment in

Singapore

Working hours and overtime

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.

Employment contracts

Employees in Singapore receive their salary payment on the 28th of each month.

Probationary period

The probation period in Singapore is optional, but three to six months is common practice.

Pensions
Notice period

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.

IP protection and non-compete agreements

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.

Employment cost calculator

Holidays

01 Jan

New Year's Day

26 May

Vesak Day

12 Feb

Chinese New Year

20 Jul

Hari Raya Haji

13 Feb

Chinese New Year Holiday

09 Aug

National Day

2 Apr

Good Friday

04 Nov

Deepavali

01 May

Labour Day

25 Dec

Christmas Day

13 May

Hari Raya Puasa

01 Jan

New Year's Day

12 Feb

Chinese New Year

13 Feb

Chinese New Year Holiday

2 Apr

Good Friday

01 May

Labour Day

13 May

Hari Raya Puasa

26 May

Vesak Day

20 Jul

Hari Raya Haji

09 Aug

National Day

04 Nov

Deepavali

25 Dec

Christmas Day

Employer tax

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

Individual tax

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

Singapore

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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wherever they work in the world.

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