New guidelines on leave, benefits and notice periods for fixed-term contract employees in Singapore

Author: PM editorial | Date: 22 Jun 2016

Changes mean more non-permanent workers may be eligible for annual and maternity leave

Singapore’s ministry of manpower (MOM) has released new guidelines on leave, benefits and notice period for fixed-term contract workers.
The guidelines provide greater clarity for non-permanent employees who have been working for the same organisation for a long time but do not get the same benefits as those in permanent employment.
Benefits such as annual leave, sick pay and maternity leave currently only apply to those who have been in continuous employment for at least three months. But there are many fixed-term staff employed for a month at a time with short breaks in between who should also be eligible, according to the MOM.
"There were 202,400 term contract employees last year and this formed 11.3 per cent of the resident workforce. Employers value these workers for their flexibility and contributions to their short-term requirements. The guidelines will provide employers with the framework to offer term contracts which can better attract such workers,” said Koh Juan Kiat, executive director of the Singapore National Employers Federation.
Now employers are asked to treat short-term contracts (14 days or more) renewed within a month as continuous employment and provide benefits accordingly. Clearer guidelines are also provided for the notice period that employers should provide if they are not going to renew an employee’s contract.
“The guidelines will benefit both employers and employees,” said Alvin Lim, divisional director of workplace policy and strategy at the ministry of manpower. “On one hand, the guidelines will provide employers with greater clarity on the employment terms they should be providing to their term contract employees. Term contract employees will also benefit from the good employment practices outlined in the guidelines.”