Employment Law changes announced by Ministry of Manpower on March 2018 to take effect by April 2019

  1. Widening the scope of employees and afford protection to all employees:

Current position is that EA applies to 1) all non-managerial and non-executive employees (regardless of salary); and 2) managerial and executive earning not more than $4,500.

Proposed changes by MOM: to extend the coverage to senior managers and executives (regardless of salary and position). Hence, no salary cap. So those that were not covered previously would now have minimum standards in the EA [eg annual leave, paid public holidays, paid sick leave and hospitalisation entitlement, maternity and childcare leave, wrongful dismissal claim, and overtime pay].

2. Wrongful dismissal claims:

Current position: MOM hears the claim for wrongful dismissal

Proposed changes: Employment Claim Tribunal to hear claims of wrongful dismissal which will be heard together with salary related disputes.

3. Salary cap under s. 35(b) EA to be increased from $2,500 to $2,600

4. Salary cap for overtime pay for non-workmen to increase from $2,250 to $2,600

 

Hasan Shofiqul v China Civil (Singapore) Pte Ltd [2018] SGHC 128 – HC provide clarification on the undefined “executive position” in s. 2(2) of EA

This case involve a Bangladeshi foreign worker working as a site supervisor claiming for overtime pay from his employer. The HC disagreed with the Assistant Commissioner for Labour (ACL) in his finding that the Claimant held an executive position, thus excluding him from claiming pay for work done on rest days and public holidays. The fact that he was in charge of his team, making many decisions on a daily basis and had influence over appraisals and recommendations to promote and dismiss were not sufficient to place him in the category of an executive. Even though Complainant had a supervisory role, he still came within the legal definition of a workman. Court emphasised that it will look into the facts and circumstances of each case to determine if one falls under that category. It depends on the actual nature of the work and level of supervisory powers given.