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Employee Benefits in Singapore

The welfare and well-being of an employee is something that Singapore takes seriously. In accordance with the Singapore Employment Act, common practices are applied to employment contracts, wages, and benefit plans that reward and recognize the best company employees. If applied properly, employee benefits can successfully raise the productivity levels of an employee and retain the employee for a long period of time in the company, which in turn would have a positive outcome when it comes to the bottom line.

Of course, bigger companies are capable of offering more benefits than small to medium sized companies, and therefore should not be compared on an equal playing field. Rather, SMEs and companies should strive to offer competitive employee benefits packages that are on par with the industry level they are involved in.

Employee benefits play a large part in keeping the employees of a company happy and fulfilled. When a company’s benefits are lacking, the employees are not motivated to perform at their best and will eventually leave the company for better options elsewhere.

Is an Employment Contract Important?

Yes, it is. A contact is the binding agreement between an employee and their employer, and this document is what defines what the terms, conditions and benefits are for the employee. Employment contracts should include and cover the following aspects:

  • Position employee is appointed to
  • Duration of employment (if the employee is on a contract)
  • The start date of the employee
  • Hours of work involved
  • The remuneration package
  • Employee benefits
  • Probation period
  • Code of conduct
  • Notice period for termination

The terms and conditions stipulated in a contract should be favorable with what has been determined in the Employment Act. 

Who is Covered by the Singapore Employment Act?

The Singapore Employment Act does come with its limitation, one of which is that it does not cover all employees. The groups of employees which are not covered by the Employment Act include the following:

  • Managers and Executives
  • Domestic workers
  • Seamen
  • Most government staff

Employees whose wages are below SGD2,000 per month are given extra protection under Part IV of the Employment Act. The areas of protection include rest days, hours of work, overtime, annual leave, sick leave, public holidays, retirement and retrenchment benefits, annual wage supplements and other variable payments that may be applicable.

Are There Any Non-Statutory Benefits & Perks?

Yes, there are. A lot of companies in Singapore do provide certain types of non-statutory benefits for their employees so that the employees are well looked after by the company. Some of these non-statutory benefits include:

  • Relocation Package – If an employee is required to relocate in some instances, some companies will cover the cost of the relocation including paying for shipping of personal effects, air fare, free or subsidized housing, and utility bills among other things
  • Healthcare Benefits – Many companies in Singapore offer their employees medical insurance plans, some of which even cover dependents of those employees.
  • Stock Purchase Plans – Some companies provide employees with stock purchase options.
  • Per Diem – In the case of travel related jobs, many companies provide travel allowances or reimbursement of expenses incurred while travelling.