Some small businesses still ignorant of new rules on payslips

Despite changes to the Employment Act kicking in today, requiring companies to provide workers with itemised payslips and key employment terms, some of the smallest businesses are still in the dark.

Out of 10 micro-sized enterprises such as heartland shops or hawker stalls The Straits Times spoke to, four were unaware of the changes, while two that knew said they had yet to make their payslips more detailed.

"Currently I give my employees a payslip every month and get them to sign on it," said Mr Daren Tan, 36, owner of heartland bakery Bread of Taste. "With the changes we will have to issue a more detailed payslip."

Four bosses said they were already issuing itemised payslips. "When you give employees money it is good to have a record. Otherwise... it may give rise to disputes," said chicken rice stall owner Hoo Soo Ten, 71.

Bosses have a one-year grace period to upgrade their payslip processing systems before Ministry of Manpower (MOM) enforcement is stepped up. To help employers get up to speed, guidelines developed by MOM, the National Trades Union Congress and the Singapore National Employers Federation were launched two years ago.

These provided templates of payslips that bosses could customise based on their own needs. Various associations and firms have also developed software to aid small businesses.

Software developer PayrollServe launched its cloud-based payroll software and service in 2013 and has seen over 2,500 firms - mostly small ones - sign up, said PayrollServe director Alice Ong.

United Overseas Bank started a new payroll service last December and has seen the number of inquiries for this service shoot up.

Other payslip-generating systems include SP-Pay, which is a free software developed by Singapore Polytechnic students; ePayslip Generator by the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology; and GPayroll.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 01, 2016, with the headline 'Some small businesses still ignorant of new rules on payslips'. Print Edition | Subscribe