The Employment Act is the labour law for Singapore, covering basic terms and conditions for local and foreign employees working under a contract of service.

This includes employees who work full-time, part-time, on a temporary or contract basis, where the rate of pay can be hourly, daily, monthly or piece-rated.

An employee is excluded from the Employment Act if he/she is a:

  • seafarer,
  • domestic worker,
  • civil servant or statutory board employee

OR

  • executive or manager earning more than $4,500/month in basic salary.

An executive or manager is generally understood as having both executive and supervisory duties. This includes professionals with tertiary education, possessing specialised skills or knowledge, who are on similar employment terms.

Part IV of the Employment Act regulates specific working conditions but applies only to:

  • an employee earning up to $2,500/month in basic salary (and is not a manager or executive)

OR

  • a workman earning up to $4,500/month in basic salary.

A workman is generally understood as a person who primarily does manual work.

Examples of workman jobs:

  • artisan and apprentice
  • cleaner
  • construction worker
  • labourer
  • machine operator and assembler
  • metal and machinery worker
  • train, bus, lorry and van driver
  • train and bus inspector

This includes a person who:

  • is employed at piece rates at an employer's premises
  • operates or maintains commercial vehicles with passengers
  • supervises manual workers but spends more than half their work time on manual work
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