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The Republic of Singapore is an island nation in southern Asia. More than 60 satellite islands and islets comprise Singapore. There are four official languages: English, Malay, Chinese and Tamil. Singapore is the recipient of a wealth of foreign investment due in part to its strategic location in Asia. It has a reputation for having one of the most open, pro-business, and least corrupt economies in the world.

Singapore allows parties to negotiate terms and enter into an employment contract, callled a contract of service, provided that it does not contain illegal terms. A contract of service can be written or verbal, express or implied. The agreement can be in the form of an appointment letter or employment or apprenticeship agreement. However, employers must provide key employment terms in writing within 14 days of the start of employment to employees covered under the Employment Act.

The standard work period in Singapore is eight hours a day and 44 hours per week, over 5.5 days.

Employees in Singapore receive paid sick leave after three months of service, with full benefits vesting after six months of service. Employees with six months of service receive 60 days of paid hospitalization leave, which includes 14 days of paid outpatient leave. Employees with between three and six months of service receive sick leave on a pro-rated basis.

Female employees receive either 12 or 16 weeks of maternity leave in Singapore depending upon whether the child is a citizen of Singapore. If the mother has worked for the employer for at least three continuous months before the birth of the child and the child is a citizen of Singapore, the mother receives 16 weeks of maternity leave. Married women can share up to four weeks of maternity leave with their spouse. Fathers receive two weeks of paid paternity leave if they meet certain conditions.

In Singapore, bonuses are not required.

Employees in Singapore receive seven days of annual leave after 12 months of continuous service and are granted an additional day of leave for every year of service until they reach 14 days of leave after eight years of service. However, it is common practice in Singapore for employers to provide 14 days of leave at the time of hire. Employees with between three and 12 months of continuous service are entitled to annual leave on a pro-rated basis.

In Singapore, the public holidays are:

  • New Year’s Day

  • Chinese New Year

  • Good Friday

  • Labor Day

  • Vesak Day

  • Hari Raya Puasa

  • National Day

  • Hari Raya Haji

  • Deepavali

  • Christmas Day

Singapore has universal healthcare that is funded through a mix of financing systems, including government subsidies and mandatory contributions by employers and employees. Citizens and residents must enroll in universal basic health care insurance, called MediShield Life, which covers large hospitalization and some outpatient costs. Employers and employees are also required to contribute to a national medical savings account, called MediSave.

The notice period for employment contract termination in Singapore is between one day and four weeks. There is no requirement to provide severance unless specified in the employment contract.

  • Local Laws & Regulations

    We understand that local laws and regulations change and sourcing an accurate reference guide is not easy. Our data is researched and verified by our team of local international Employment Attorneys, HR and Benefit Professionals and Tax Accountants through our Atlas team and consultants, to ensure information up-to-date and accurate.

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