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Singapore - Minimum Wages - 2011


LAST UPDATE

17 October 2011

SOURCES


Name of Act

Industrial Relations Act, CAP 136, as amended up to Act No. 36 of 2010. Published by the Attorney General’s Chambers at http://statutes.agc.gov.sg and accessed 13 October 2011.

Name of Act

Employment Act as amended up to Act 36 of 2010. Published by the Attorney General’s Chambers’ Singapore Statutes Online at http://statutes.agc.gov.sg and accessed 17 October 2011.

Other source used

National Wages Council Guidelines 2011/2012 as published by the Ministry of Manpower at http://www.mom.gov.sg/newsroom/Pages/PressReleasesDetail.aspx?listid=361 and accessed 14 October 2011.

LEGAL DEFINITIONS


Employee/worker

’Employee’ means a person who has entered into or works under a contract of service with an employer and includes a workman, and any officer or employee of the Government included in a prescribed category, class or description of such officers or employees, but does not include:
(a) any seaman;
(b) any domestic worker;
(c) any person employed in a managerial or an executive position; and
(d) any person belonging to any other class of persons whom the Minister may, from time to time by notification in the Gazette, declare not to be employees for the purposes of this Act.
Employment Act §2, First Schedule
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Employer

Means any person who employs another person under a contract of service and includes:
(a) the Government in respect of such categories, classes or descriptions of officers or servants of the Government as from time to time are declared by the President of Singapore to be employees for the purposes of this Act;
(b) a statutory authority;
(c) a duly authorised agent or manager of an employer; and
(d) a person who owns, or is carrying on, or for the time being responsible for the management or control of a profession, business, trade or work in which an employee is engaged.
Employment Act §2
Industrial Relations Act §2

Wage

’Wages’ means the basic wages payable to an employee in respect of work done under his contract of service but does not include any commission, overtime allowance or other allowances payable to an employee.

’Basic rate of pay’ means the total amount of money (including wage adjustments and increments) to which an employee is entitled under his contract of service either for working or a period of time, that is, for one hour, one day, one week, one month or for such other period as may be stated or implied in his contract of service, or for each completed piece or task of work but does not include:
(a) additional payments by way of overtime payments;
(b) additional payments by way of bonus payments or annual wage supplements;
(c) any sum paid to the employee to reimburse him for special expenses incurred by him in the course of his employment;
(d) productivity incentive payments; and
(e) any allowance however described.
Employment Act §§2, 50(2)

MINIMUM WAGE FIXING


MINIMUM WAGE FIXING


Procedure


Procedure in general

There is no national minimum wage in Singapore. However, the Minister may, from time to time, make recommendations for wage adjustment. These recommendations are based on guidelines proposed by the National Wages Council.

Upon the publication of such recommendations in the Gazette, the employer and his employees or a trade union representing his employees may negotiate based on such recommendations.
Employment Act §49
National Wages Council Guidelines 2011/2012

Criteria


Level of wages and incomes in the country

The National Wages Council takes account of movements in the total and basic wage rates when making its recommendations.
National Wages Council Guidelines 2011/2012 Paragraph 4

Economic development

The National Wages Council considers the recent and forecast growth in the national economy when making recommendations.
National Wages Council Guidelines 2011/2012 Paragraphs 1, 6, 10

Productivity

The National Wages Council considers recent and anticipated national productivity levels when making its recommendations.
National Wages Council Guidelines 2011/2012 Paragraphs 3, 6, 8, 9, 15-20

Capacity of employers to pay

The National Wages Council recommends that companies grant higher total wage increases that reflect the performance and prospects of the company.
National Wages Council Guidelines 2011/2012 Paragraph 10

Inflation rate

The National Wages Council relies heavily on recent and anticipated movements in the Consumer Price Index when making its recommendations with respect to wage increases.
National Wages Council Guidelines 2011/2012 Paragraphs 6, 7, 10, 13, 14

Other provisions

The National Wages Council recommends that companies pay greater attention to low wage workers when revising or negotiating wage levels.
National Wages Council Guidelines 2011/2012 Paragraphs 11-12

Coverage


Scope

The National Wages Council Guidelines are intended to be applied by all employers and employees as defined by the Employment Act.
Employment Act §§2, 49

Excluded categories


» Workers

The National Wages Council Guidelines are not intended to cover the following categories of workers:
(a) seamen;
(b) domestic workers;
(c) any person employed in a managerial or an executive position; and
(d) any person belonging to any other class of persons whom the Minister may, from time to time by notification in the Gazette, declare not to be employees for the purposes of the Employment Act.
Employment Act §§2, 49

Level


Minimum wage level(s) in national currency

There is no statutorily-prescribed minimum wage level in Singapore.

Last minimum wage update

The National Wages Council Guidelines 2011/2012 were accepted and published by the Government of Singapore on 29 April 2011.

In-kind allowances

Except where otherwise expressly permitted by the Employment Act, the entire amount of the salary earned by, or payable to, any workman in respect of any work done by him shall be actually paid to him in legal tender, and every payment of, or on account of, any such salary made in any other form shall be illegal, null and void. Every workman shall be entitled to recover so much of his salary exclusive of sums lawfully deducted in accordance with the provisions of the Employment Act as has not been actually paid to him in legal tender.
Employment Act §§56, 57
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Rate of payment


» Monthly

An employer may fix periods in respect of which salary earned shall be payable. No salary period shall exceed one month and, where no salary period is fixed, it shall be deemed to be one month.
Employment Act §54

Scheduled frequency of adjustment

The Employment Act anticipates that wage negotiations or reviews shall take place upon the publication in the Gazette of the National Wage Council guidelines. Although the Employment Act does not stipulate the frequency at which these will be issued (stating instead that recommendations will be made ’from time to time’), wage guidelines have been published annually since at least 2007.
Employment Act §49
National Wages Council Guidelines 2011/2012 See also National Wages Council Guidelines 2010/2011, 2009/2010, 2008/2009 (plus revised version January 2009), and 2007/2008, available at http://www.mom.gov.sg/newsroom/Pages/PressRelease.aspx

Enforcement mechanisms


Enforcement mechanisms


Labour inspection

The Commissioner and inspecting officers have certain enumerated powers, of which the following are relevant to enforcing provisions concerning salary payments:
(a) to enter and search, by day or by night, any premises or part thereof when he has reasonable cause to believe that evidence of the commission of an offence under the Employment Act can be found therein;
(b) to examine orally any person reasonably believed to be acquainted with the facts and circumstances relevant to the carrying out of the provisions of the Act, and to reduce into writing the answer given or statement made by that person;
(c) to require any person whom the Commissioner or inspecting officer has reason to believe has any document, including documents of identity or documents containing information relevant to the carrying out of the provisions of the Act, to produce any such document and to answer such questions relating thereto as he may think proper to ask;
(d) to examine notices and all documents which are required to be kept under the provisions of the Act or any regulations made thereunder and any document required to be produced under paragraph (c); and
(e) to make copies of or retain any notice or document referred to in paragraph (d).

For the purposes of inspecting wage-related compliance, every employer shall prepare and keep a register showing the name, address, the basic rate of pay and allowances, the amount earned, and the amount of deductions made from the earnings of each employee employed by him and such other particulars as may be prescribed from time to time.

Further, every employer of workmen shall keep at the place of employment a form of record on which, in respect of each salary period, shall be shown:
(a) the basic rate of pay and allowances, whether by day, hour, piece task or otherwise of each workman;
(b) the amount earned, including overtime earnings by each workman; and
(c) the amount of any deductions made from the earnings of each workman.
Employment Act §§95, 96, 103

Fines in national currency for non-respect of legislation

Any employer will be guilty of an offence if he or she:
(a) fails to pay salary in accordance with the provisions of Part III of the Employment Act;
(b) fails to furnish accurate information required by the Commission under ss95-99 of the Employment Act;
(c) without reasonable excuse, neglects or refuses to produce any document or article as required under section 103 of the Employment Act;
(d) makes to the Commissioner or an inspecting officer exercising the powers under section 103 a statement either orally or in writing which is false in a material particular;
(e) otherwise hinders or obstructs the Commissioner or an inspecting officer in the exercise of the powers under section 103.

The above offences are punishable by a fine not exceeding $5,000.

Where the employer commits a second offence as set out in (a) above, the employer will be liable for a fine not exceeding $10,000.

In the case of a continuing offence as set out in (b) above, the employer will be liable for a further fine not exceeding $500 for every day during which the offence continues.
Employment Act §§34, 53, 101, 107, 112
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Other penalties

The court is also empowered to order 6 months’ imprisonment for an employer found guilty of the salary-related offences listed above.

Where an employer is found to have failed to pay salary in accordance with Part IV of the Employment Act (including the obligation to negotiate wages in accordance with recommendations published by Minister) for a second time, the employer may be ordered to serve up to 12 months’ imprisonment.

The prison term may be instead of or as well as the fines outlined above.
Employment Act §§34, 53, 101, 107, 112
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Results generated on: 24th April 2014 at 02:44:33.
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