Substantive requirements for dismissals (justified and prohibited grounds) - Singapore - 2013
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Obligation to provide reasons to the employee
- The Employment Act (Cap. 91) [EA] of 8 June 1968, as last amended by Act No. 12 of 2013 of 8 April 2013, effective since May 1st, 2013
Date: 08 Apr 2013 (view in NATLEX »)
Valid grounds (justified dismissal)
- The EA does not require the employer to provide the reasons for termination with notice: Sec. 10 (1) EA provides that either party may at any time give to the other party notice of his intention to terminate the contract.
In addition, the EA does not expressly stipulate any obligation to provide the reasons when dismissing without notice (on the grounds of misconduct: sec. 14 EA), for continuous absence from work (sec. 13 (2)), or willful breach of a condition of the contract (sec. 11 (2) EA).
- - No valid grounds are listed for termination with notice.
According to sec. 10 (1) EA, either party to a contract of employment may at any time give to the other party notice of his/her intention to terminate the contract of employment.
This does not result in a total freedom to terminate the contract: it must be understood in light of the existence of prohibited grounds.
For summary dismissal, specific grounds are listed:
See sec. 13 (2) EA (summary dismissal for unjustified absence from work) and sec. 14 EA (summary dismissal for misconduct).
Sec. 14 (2) EA provides that dismissal on the grounds of misconduct shall be based on a just cause or excuse.
Economic reasons: not listed as such as a valid ground for dismissal. They are mentioned in two provisions related to benefits arising from "dismissal on the grounds of redundancy or by reason of any reorganization of the employer's profession, business, trade or work": see sec. 45 EA (payment of retrenchment benefit) and 84A EA (maternity and right to benefit in case of dismissal for economic reasons).
: pregnancy; maternity leave; age; trade union membership and activities
Workers enjoying special protection
- * Age: sec. 4 (2) of Retirement Age Act 1993 (No. 14 of 1993) as amended by Act No. 49 of 1998 stipulates that "no employer shall dismiss on the ground of age any employee who is below 60 years of age or the prescribed retirement age".
* Pregnancy and maternity leave: sec. 81, 84 and 84 EA.
* Trade union activities: sec. 82 of the Industrial Relations Act (chap. 136) of 1960 as subsequently amended.
: pregnant women and/or women on maternity leave
- See sec. 81, 84 and 84A EA.
Notes / Remarks
Under the Employment Act, either party to a contract of employment may at any time give to the other party notice of his/her intention to terminate the contract of employment (sec. 10 (1), EA).
In addition, summary dismissal (without notice) by the employer is possible when:
- the employee willfully breaches a condition of the employment contract (sec. 11 (2), EA);
- the employee is continuously absent from work, without leave or reasonable excuse, for more than two days (sec. 13 (2), EA); or
- the employee is found, after due inquiry, to be guilty of misconduct (sec. 14, EA).