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Singapore employee benefits

Employee benefits are a good way to attract and retain talents to the company. Especially if you are a foreign business owner looking to open a branch or an office in Singapore, it is important to understand the different kinds of benefits being offered in Singapore to remain on top of your competitors and attract world-class talents.

Who Is Covered Under the Employment Act?

In Singapore, the employment contract governs the relationship between employers and employees, allowing both parties to negotiate and agree on the terms while adhering to the Employment Act.

It's important to note that the Employment Act's coverage is limited to specific groups of "employees" as defined under the Act. 

Those not covered include:

  1. Managerial & Executive Positions: This category includes employees with significant authority over hiring, firing, promotions, transfers, discipline, and rewards of other employees, as well as professionals with specialized tertiary education, such as lawyers, doctors, and accountants.
  2. Domestic Workers: Employees engaged in domestic roles, such as household helpers or maids, fall outside the provisions of the Employment Act.
  3. Seamen: Employees working in seafaring roles are also exempt from the regulations of the Employment Act.
  4. Most Government Employees: Many government employees are not covered by the Employment Act and are governed by separate regulations.

Furthermore, employees earning below SGD $2,600 per month receive additional protection under Part IV of the Employment Act.

This protection covers regulated rest days, working hours, overtime, public holidays, retirement benefits, annual wage supplements, and other variable payments.

What Are Some Common Employee Benefits in Singapore?

Here are some employee benefits in Singapore commonly provided to employees:

  1. Central Provident Fund (CPF): It is mandatory for companies operating in Singapore to contribute a percentage of the employee's salary to their CPF account. Do note that this only applies to employees who are Singapore citizens or Singapore permanent residents.
  2. Annual Leave: Employees typically receive paid annual leave, and the number of days may vary based on the length of service and company policy. Minimally according to the Employment Act, employees will be required to receive at least 7 days of annual leave. However, common practice usually starts with 14 days of annual leave.
  3. Medical Insurance Benefits: Employers often provide medical coverage or health insurance for their employees, which may include outpatient and inpatient medical expenses. This is not mandatory under the Employment Act.
  4. Dental Benefits: Some companies offer their employees dental benefits or dental insurance coverage.
  5. Maternity and Paternity Leave: Female employees are entitled to maternity leave, while male employees may receive paternity leave.
  6. Public Holidays: Singapore has several public holidays, and employees are entitled to paid time off.
  7. Sick Leave: Paid sick leave is typically provided to employees to cover absences due to illness or injury.
  8. Annual Wage Supplement (AWS): Often referred to as a 13th-month bonus, the AWS is an extra payment given to employees, usually around the end of the year.
  9. Variable Bonus: Apart from AWS, some companies provide variable bonuses based on performance and company profits.
  10. Insurance Coverage: Some companies offer additional benefits such as life or personal accident insurance.
  11. Flexible Work Arrangements: Certain employers may provide flexible work options, such as remote work or flexible hours.
  12. Employee Assistance Programs (EAP): EAPs may offer counseling or support services to employees dealing with personal or work-related issues.

It's important to note that the specific benefits and entitlements may vary from company to company and can be subject to changes in government regulations. It's always best to check with the employer for the most up-to-date information on their employee benefits.

💡 Tip: Check out our Singapore Employment Act guide for a more detailed table of statutory requirements versus common practice.

Foreign Employees Benefits in Singapore

Generally, foreign employees in Singapore receive the same benefits as Singaporean or Singapore Permanent Residents employees in Singapore.

The only difference is the need for CPF contribution. Besides that, most benefits are the same and will receive little to no difference.

What Are The Main Types of Leaves in Singapore?

There are a variety of leaves as part of employee benefits in Singapore. Here are some variations of them:

  1. Annual Leave: The most common type of leave that every company will be required to provide to their employees. However, the number of annual leave varies between companies. Annual leave, also known as paid leave or vacation leave, is provided to employees for rest and recreation. The number of annual leave days typically increases with the length of service in the company.
  2. Sick Leave: Sick leave allows employees to take time off work when ill or injured. It is usually paid and intended to provide employees sufficient time to recover from their illness. This type of leave requires proof of illness or injury, usually in the form of a Medical Certificate (MC) provided by a registered practitioner.
  3. Hospitalization Leave: Hospitalization leave is an extended form of sick leave that comes into effect when an employee is hospitalized due to illness or injury.
  4. Maternity Leave: Female employees are entitled to maternity leave when they are expecting a child. The duration of maternity leave varies depending on the company policy and the employee's number of children.
  5. Paternity Leave: Paternity leave is provided to male employees when their child is born, allowing them to spend time with their newborn and support their partner during the early stages of parenthood.
  6. Childcare Leave: Childcare leave is available to parents of young children to care for and bond with their preschool-age children.
  7. Family Care Leave: Family care leave allows employees to take time off to care for their immediate family members, such as parents, spouse, or children, who are ill or require medical attention.
  8. Marriage Leave: Marriage leave grants employees time off for their wedding day.
  9. Compassionate Leave: Compassionate leave is granted to employees in the event of the death of an immediate family member or close relative.
  10. Adoption Leave: Employees who adopt a child may be entitled to adoption leave to take care of the new addition to their family.
  11. National Service Leave: Male employees who are Singaporean citizens and have to undergo mandatory military service may be entitled to national service leave.

Offering Benefits to Singaporean Contract Workers and Part-Time Workers

Although employee benefits packages may differ from those of full-time employees, here are some common employee benefits in Singapore for contract and part-time workers:

  1. Salary or Hourly Wages: Contract and part-time workers receive payment based on the terms of their contract, which could be a fixed monthly salary or an hourly wage.
  2. CPF Contributions: Contract and part-time workers are entitled to their employers' Central Provident Fund (CPF) contributions.
  3. Annual Leave: Contract and part-time workers are entitled to paid annual leave, but the number of days may be prorated based on the duration of their contract or the number of hours they work per week.
  4. Sick Leave: Contract and part-time workers may be entitled to paid sick leave, which may be prorated based on their employment terms.
  5. Work Injury Compensation: Contract and part-time workers are covered under the Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA), which provides compensation for work-related injuries or illnesses.
  6. Training and Upskilling Opportunities: Some employers may offer training and upskilling opportunities to contract workers and part-time workers to enhance their skills and knowledge.

It's important to note that the specific benefits for contract and part-time workers can vary depending on the terms of their individual contracts and the practices of their employers.

It's advisable for contract workers and part-time workers to carefully review their employment contracts and discuss any benefits or entitlements with their employers to ensure clarity and understanding.

Benefits and Allowances for Remote Working

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of companies in Singapore adopted fully remote workstations. In recent times, as the COVID-19 pandemic situation has become better, companies in Singapore then transitioned from fully remote to a hybrid work model. As such, there are some benefits and allowances for remote working to enhance the employees' work-from-home equipment. Here are some employee benefits and allowances for remote working:

  1. Remote Work Allowance: Some employers provide a stipend or allowance to remote employees to help cover the costs associated with setting up a home office, including internet expenses, office supplies, and ergonomic equipment.
  2. Flexible Work Hours: Remote employees often have more flexibility in setting their work hours, allowing them to create a schedule that suits their personal needs and preferences.
  3. Technology and Equipment Support: Employers may provide remote workers with the necessary technology, such as laptops, software, and communication tools, to perform their tasks effectively.
  4. Wellness Benefits and Programs: Some employers offer wellness benefits and programs that cater to the needs of remote employees, such as online fitness classes or mental health support.
  5. Communication and Collaboration Tools: Employers may invest in advanced communication and collaboration tools to ensure seamless interactions between remote team members.
  6. Food Allowances: Some employers may provide allowances for lunch and even dinner.

Companies with well-defined remote work policies are more likely to offer comprehensive benefits and allowances to support their remote employees effectively.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, employee benefits for employers are crucial as they attract top talent and promote employee retention. Offering comprehensive benefits boosts productivity, morale, and loyalty among the workforce, leading to a positive work environment and improved company reputation, ultimately contributing to the organization's overall success.

As such, it is important to understand the benefits offered in Singapore and how to create a well-balanced employee benefits package to attract such talents.

A woman holding an ACRA Incorporation form for Singaporean companies.


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