Top employment law firm in Singapore.
Experiencing job insecurity? Have a contractual dispute? Speak to one of our employment lawyers today.
Whether you are an employer or employee, we at I.R.B. Law understand that occupation-related issues can be frequent and troublesome. Whether you are dealing with a contractual dispute, maternity leave, wage benefits and workers’ compensation, termination of employment, or any other work-related issues, our lawyers are here to understand your case and support you in court.
Our lawyers are well-versed with Singapore’s various labor-related legislation, such as the:
- Employment Act
- Retirement and Reemployment Act
- Central Provident Fund Act
- Employment of Foreign Manpower Act
They are also skilled in certain areas, such as:
- Terms and Conditions of Employment
- Employee Representation
- Maternity and Family Leave Rights
- Termination of Employment
- Protecting Business Interests Following Termination
- Data Protection and Employee Privacy
Termination is when your employment ends. It can happen for a variety of reasons: you want to quit your job, your employer is unhappy with your work – basically any situation that would cause you to lose your job.
If you decide to leave your job, you’ll need to end your contract of service that you have with your employer. Contracts of service set the agreements employees have with their employers, defining the specific clauses that establish the scope of the job. The contract must include certain terms, including how many hours an employee must work, and what tasks the employee should do, within the guidelines of the Employment Act.
Termination starts when you give your employer advance notice in writing, stating you want to resign. Your contract should indicate a notice period where you have to remain working before you actually quit, agreed upon by you and your employer. You can also decide to terminate your contract without notice, but you will have to pay compensation to your employer. This is called pay in lieu of notice.
If, as an employee, you have suddenly been fired, and feel that the termination was unfair, you can file an appeal to the Ministry of Manpower for reinstatement. The MOM has to receive your appeal within a month of the date of your firing, so make sure to submit it on time. The MOM will decide whether or not your appeal is valid; if they do, they can either order your employer to reinstate you in your former job, or give you compensation.
A restrictive covenant is a clause in a contract that forbids an employee from competing with his former employer for a certain amount of time after the employee has left the company, or prevents the ex-employee from soliciting or dealing with clients or customers of the business by using knowledge about them. An employer will add this into a contract to protect his business interests from departing employees.
Employers can use various kinds of restrictive covenants, like non-solicitation clauses and non-competition covenants.
A non-solicitation clause is a kind of restrictive covenant. Specifically, it is a form an employee may have to sign, stating that he will not confront any current clients or customers of the company, and solicit them for his own benefit or for that of a competitor. If an employee quits, his company would not want him taking any business away. Having employees sign such clauses, factoring them into their contracts, can safeguard companies from dealing with additional competition. Non-solicitation clauses, however, can last a very long time, and employers can utilize them to severely hamper workers’ rights. If you find yourself having to sign one, or have already, contacting I.R.B. Law is a good idea, so you can understand how much authority your company can truly wield.
The difference between a non-competition clause and a non-solicitation clause is that a non-competition clause will prevent an ex-employee from engaging in any form of competition, while a non-solicitation clause will only restrict the former employee from actively contacting clients to attain business opportunities that are competitive with those of the former employer.
A nondisclosure agreement (or an NDA) is a legally binding contract that takes place between two individuals. In the agreement, they both decide to keep secret any certain information included in the contract. There are two kinds of NDAs: unilateral, and mutual.
In a unilateral NDA, only one party is required to keep a secret for the other. This is common amongst employees, required to keep trade secrets to themselves throughout their employment.
In a mutual NDA, both parties make an agreement to not share one another’s information. In this exchange of knowledge, they establish a joint arrangement to maintain confidentiality.
Work permits (or WP’s) in Singapore are issued to foreigners engaging in skilled or semi-skilled work here. On average, they last for up to two years; this, however, depends on the type of permit, as well as the validity of the worker’s passport, security bond, and employment period. Passes, in addition, are renewable. There are various different kinds of them, all necessary for different situations, so make sure you understand which one will work the best for you should you work in Singapore.
Different kinds of workers can expect to get different kinds of permits. Foreign professionals making a salary of at least $3,600, for instance, can choose to get an Employment Pass, which would allow you to work in Singapore for up to two years, with renewals for three years at a time. Mid-skilled technical employees can choose to get an S-Pass, which would also provide you a two-year stay, and is renewable. Students and graduates can obtain a Work Holiday Pass, which lets 18-25 year-olds work in Singapore for up to six months.
Should a Work Permit not be eligible for renewal, and you want to continue employing your worker, you can make a Work Permit Appeal to the Ministry of Manpower. You can do it through their website, and processing times should take no less than 3 weeks.
The Employment Act does not require that interns receive a salary, but does give them certain protections. Interns, for instance, should not be required to work more than 8 hours a day, or 44 hours a week. While they can choose to work overtime, total overtime hours for interns cannot exceed 72 hours a month. Should they face any employment issues, interns are encouraged to contact the MOM, or meet with a lawyer.
I.R.B. Law is recognised as a team of leading Singapore corporate lawyers with a track record of success in resolving employment matters. Our lawyers have over a century of a combined experience as litigators and are ready to assist you with your issue.
We firmly believe that everyone should be entitled to legal representation and be allowed the opportunity to turn over a new leaf and live life anew. Should you be in a position where you may need our assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.