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Labour law changes to protect more employees

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Amendments to the Employment Act (EA) and raised employment standards will now cover 450,000 more employees.

Action has been taken by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) since multiple reports of dubious employment practices this year.

Changes to the EA, passed in Parliament yesterday, will benefit up to 150,000 rank-and-file workers as the salary threshold of non-workmen was raised from S$2,000 to S$2,500, granting them working hours-related protection.

The overtime rate payable to non-workmen would be capped at the salary level of S$2,250.

Additionally, around 300,000 more professionals, managers and executives (PMEs) earning up to S$45,000 annually would be protected under the general provisions of the EA, which covers unfair dismissal and for sick leave benefits.

A qualifying service period of one year, however, would be set for employers to assess the eligibility of their employees for protection against unfair dismissal.

New measures to raise employment standards would also include the mandating of payslips and detailed employment records, introducing sub-caps to prevent excessive salary deductions and shorter qualifying periods for retrenchment benefits.

Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin said: “I would like to thank all stakeholders and members of the public who had taken the time and effort to share your valuable views with us.”

“They have also helped us hone policy changes which ultimately strike a balance between protecting workers and addressing employer’s concerns, even as we achieve better outcomes for Singaporeans.”

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