New guidelines for employers on issuing key employment terms in writing

Employers were given new guidelines on Tuesday on how to issue key employment terms in writing, ahead of this becoming compulsory by the first half of 2016. -- ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
Employers were given new guidelines on Tuesday on how to issue key employment terms in writing, ahead of this becoming compulsory by the first half of 2016. -- ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

SINGAPORE - Employers were given new guidelines on Tuesday on how to issue key employment terms in writing, ahead of this becoming compulsory by the first half of 2016.

The guidelines were developed by the Manpower Ministry (MOM), the labour movement and the Singapore National Employers Federation, and advise employers to provide information such as daily working hours, overtime rate of pay, and leave entitlements within 14 days of theemployee starting work.

They should provide these to staff who have been employed continuously for at least 14 days. The terms can be in hard or soft copy form, as long as employees can keep a copy of it.

"This assures employees of their regular income and main employment benefits, and helps to prevent or resolve employment disputes that may arise," MOM said in a statement.

The Ministry also said some small and medium enterprises may face challenges in issuing written terms, so the guidelines aim to help them progressively change their human resource practices before written key employment terms and itemised payslips become mandatory.

The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) said in a statement that it has lobbied for such protection to be legislated for migrant workers and was encouraged by the guidelines.

"Having seen several migrant workers fall victim to vague employment contracts and being unaware of their contractual employment terms before starting work, the Migrant Workers' Centre has advocated hard for the legislation of written employment terms issued to employees prior to commencement of employment," said NTUC assistant secretary-general Yeo Guat Kwang, who is also the chairman of the Migrant Workers' Centre.

The guidelines can be found at:

http://www.mom.gov.sg/Documents/employment-practices/Tripartite%20Guidel....