Work regulation

The Singapore work regulation, employer friendly and flexible, is based on the 1968 Employment Act, inspired by the British Common Law.

The Employment Act concerns all employees with the notable exception of:

  • Executives and managers
  • Sailors
  • Home workers
  • persons with a status assimilated to Public Service

Dispositions on vacations and work hours apply only to (manual) workers with a growth monthly salary not exceeding 4800 SGD and to employees with a growth monthly salary not exceeding 2000 SGD


Parties to the contract are free to organize their contractual relations according to they wish. In principle, dispositions relatives to the employee should not be less favorable than the applicable lawc(Employment Act).
The work contract is written and comprehends the following clauses:

  • definition of the parties
  • job description
  • Employee mission and responsibilities
  • Starting date
  • Trial period (from 1 to 6 months depending on the employee's level of qualification).
  • Number of vacation days
  • Termination of the work contract


The Central Provident Fund (CPF) is a social coverage savings based system which includes health insurance, disability, pension and housing for the member and his beneficiaries, as well as a saving plan invested in stocks.
Contribution to the CPF are restricted to foreigners with the Permanent Resident status.

At the end of their stay in Singapore, foreign workers can withdraw the money they have invested in the CPF. But if they want to come back, they will have to refund the whole original capital before being allowed to resume contribution to the CPF.
Foreign workers who do no contribute to CPF must subscribe a private insurance. Be aware of hospital costs that can be very high in Singapore.


A fiscal resident in Singapore must pay taxes on all revenues originating from Singapore or that have been transfered in Singapore.
The income tax rate is amongst the world's lowest. It can vary from 2% on the first 7 500$S part of the revenue to 28% for the part exceeding 400.000 $. Fiscal deductions are allowed in various situations (beneficiaries, training fees, life insurance premium).

Work hours

Work hours are limited to 44 hours a week, split on 5 days 1/2, with daily schedules from 8:30 to 17:00 and from 8:30 to 13:00 on saturdays. International companies are usually organized on a 5 days week, with daily schedules from 9:00 to 17:00.

Vacation and hollidays

Workers in Singapore are legally provided with 7 days of vacation from the first year, and 14 Days when they reach 8 years of seniority. In practice most companies are giving a 14 days vacation to their employees.
There are 11 hollidays each year.
Sick leaves should not exceed 14 days per Year. There are allowed only to employees with a 6 month seniority and upon presentation of a health certificate.
Maternity leave lasts 8 weeks. A 3 days paternity leave is granted by some companies.
Exceptional leaves are granted in case of wedding or decease.

Trade unions

Singapore allows Trade unions in all sectors but : police,  civil defense, Defense ministry,..


(MOM- 2009)


  • Local: 1.936.000 (65%)
  • Foreign: 1.053.000 (35%)

Employment by industry (%)

  • Manufacturing: 18,1
  • Construction: 12,9
  • Others: 0,7
  • Services: 68,3


  • wholesale & retail trade: 13,6
  • Transport @ storage: 6,5
  • Hotels & Restaurants: 6
  • Information & Communications: 2,9
  • Financial services: 5,5
  • Business services: 12,9
  • Community, social & personal services: 20,8


Hours worked

  • Weekly paid hours worked: 46
  • Weekly paid overtime hours: 3,4

Labour turnover

  • Monthly recruitment rate: 2,2
  • Monthly resignation rate: 1,8

Labour Relations

  • Employers Trade Unions: 3 (2571 members)
  • Employees Trade Unions: 65 (526 000 members)


  • Workplace fatal accident: 70
  • Accident frequency rate: 1,8


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