Industrial Relations

Workplace representation

We represent employees working in companies from the following sub-sectors:

  • Metal works, steel mills, metal containers, iron/steel casting and plating, radiators and oil coolers, grinding machines, ball bearings, metal furniture, mechanical engineering services, instrument services, bottle tops, spring, metrology, precision components, robotics & automation, optics
  • Manufacturing & assembly and/or testing of machines and equipment used in semiconductor, aerospace, precision engineering, medical and healthcare and related industries

Employment Act FAQs

The Employment Act is Singapore’s main labour law. It provides for the basic terms and conditions at work for employees covered by the Act.

You are covered if you are an employee working under a contract of service with an employer. It covers local and foreign employees.

An employee can be employed in the following terms:

  • Full-time
  • Part-time
  • Temporary
  • Contract

An employee can be paid on the following basis:

  • Hourly
  • Daily
  • Monthly
  • Piece-rated

However, you are not covered if you are employed as a:

  • Seafarer
  • Domestic worker
  • Statutory board employee or civil servant

If you are not covered by the Employment Act, your terms and conditions of employment will be according to your employment contract.

Part IV of the Employment Act, which provides for rest days, hours of work and other conditions of service, only applies to:

  • A workman (doing manual labour) earning a basic monthly salary of not more than $4,500.
  • An employee who is not a workman, but who is covered by the Employment Act and earns a monthly basic salary of not more than $2,600.

Part IV of the Act does not cover all managers or executives.

In general, managers and executives are employees with executive and supervisory functions.

Their duties and authority may include one or all of the following:

  • Making decisions on issues such as recruitment, discipline, termination of employment, performance assessment and reward.
  • Formulating strategies and policies of the enterprise.
  • Managing and running the business.

They also include professionals with tertiary education and specialised knowledge or skills whose employment terms are like those of managers or executives. For example:

  • Advocates and solicitors.
  • Chartered accountants.
  • Practising doctors and dentists.

Generally, workman is someone whose work involves mainly manual labour.

This includes someone who falls under any of these categories:

  • Does manual work (including artisans and apprentices, but not seafarers or domestic workers).
  • Operates or maintains commercial vehicles with passengers.
  • Supervises manual workers, but also performs manual work more than half their working time.
  • Has a job specified in the First Schedule of the Employment Act, namely:
    • Cleaner.
    • Construction worker.
    • Labourer.
    • Machine operator and assembler.
    • Metal and machinery worker.
    • Train, bus, lorry and van driver.
    • Train and bus inspector.
    • Workman employed at piece rates at an employer’s premises.

Retirement & Re-employment Act FAQs

In accordance with the Retirement and Re-employment Act (RRA), the minimum retirement age is 62 years. Employers are not allowed to dismiss any employee based on an employee’s age.

Employers must offer re-employment to eligible employees who turn 62, up to age 67, to continue their employment in the organisation. The re-employment age was raised from 65 to 67 on 1 July 2017 to help older workers who wish to continue working as long as you are willing and able.

You are eligible for re-employment if you:

  • Are a Singapore citizen or Singapore permanent resident.
  • Have served your current employer for at least 3 years before turning 62.
  • Have satisfactory work performance, as assessed by the employer.
  • Are medically fit to continue working.
  • Are born on or after 1 July 1952.

If you are eligible for re-employment but your employer is unable to offer you a position, then your employer must:

  • Transfer the re-employment obligation to another employer, with your agreement, OR
  • Offer you a one-off Employment Assistance Payment (EAP).

Your re-employment contract should be for at least 1 year, renewable every year up to age 67.

The first initial contract of re-employment should start on the same day you turn 62 years.

Your salary may be adjusted based on reasonable factors such as new duties or responsibilities. You should negotiate these changes with your employer when you finalise your new contract. A good reference is the Tripartite Guidelines on Re-employment of Older Employees.

To help employers and employees adjust to the new re-employment age that took effect on 1 July 2017, the tripartite partners have released a revised set of Tripartite Guidelines on Re-employment of Older Employees.

There are two key changes to the revised guidelines:

  • Employment Assistance Payment (EAP) amounts
  • Employers should consider all available re-employment options to identify suitable jobs for eligible employees. If employers are unable to offer re-employment, as a last resort, they must offer an EAP. The revised EAP amounts took into consideration rising wages and that employers’ re-employment obligations will be extended by two years.

Employers should use MediShield Life to provide medical benefits to re-employed employees. This can be done by providing additional MediSave contributions in place of in-patient medical benefits. This would make medical benefits more portable.

If your employer has considered all available re-employment options within the organisation and is still unable to identify a suitable job for you, the company may offer you an Employment Assistance Payment (EAP).

The EAP is:

  • Offered only after a thorough review, as a last resort.
  • Meant to help you tide over a period of time while you seek alternative employment.
  • A one-off payment equivalent to 3.5 months’ salary, subject to a minimum of $5,500 and maximum of $13,000.

You should work together with your employer (or union, if applicable) to resolve any differences amicably.

You can also approach the Commissioner for Labour (COL) or Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management (TADM) for help in the following situations:

  • Not offered re-employment
  • Unreasonable terms & conditions or EAP amount

Work Injury Compensation Act FAQs

The Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA) lets employees make claims for work-related injuries or diseases without having to file a civil suit under common law. It is a low-cost and quicker alternative to common law for settling compensation claims.

The Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA) covers any local or foreign employee who is under a contract of service or contract of apprenticeship, regardless of salary, age or nationality.

It doesn’t cover:

  • Independent contractors and the self-employed.
  • Domestic workers.
  • Uniformed personnel – members of the Singapore Armed Forces, Singapore Police Force, Singapore Civil Defence Force, Central Narcotics Bureau and Singapore Prison Service.


You can claim for compensation if you have been injured or contracted a disease as a result of work.

WICA covers accidents arising out of and in the course of employment. Unless there is evidence to prove otherwise, an accident in the course of employment is regarded as arising out of employment.

You remain eligible to claim for compensation even if:

  • You no longer work for the employer or your work pass is cancelled.
  • The accident happened while you were on an overseas assignment.
  • The accident happened while on a flexi-work arrangement that you agreed with your employer.

Dependents of an employee who died because of a workplace accident can also make a claim on behalf of the employee.

If you are covered by the Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA), you can claim for the following types of compensation benefits:

  • Medical leave wages for days you were issued with medical leave due to the work injury or disease.
  • Medical expenses, including your hospital bills, medication and other charges, due to the work injury.
  • Lump sum compensation for permanent incapacity or death. Non

Non-permanent work injuries refers to an injured employee being temporarily unable to perform work and earn his usual wages after being placed on medical leave. Compensation for such work injuries consists of:

  • Medical leave wages for working days covered by doctor granted MC or hospitalisation leave, up to one year from the date of the accident.
  • Medical expenses related to work accident for medical treatment received within one year from the date of the accident, or up to a maximum of $45,000, whichever is reached first.
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