Hiring of Students
Students who are PRs or Singapore citizens: These students can be employed full-time or part-time without any restrictions. They are also entitled to the Central Provident Fund contributions unless they are exempted. If the students are part of an internship program, then there is no need to contribute to CPF as students are undergoing training in the company as a part of their curriculum. In such cases, they are to be paid a monthly allowance.
Foreign students: They are not allowed to work during their term or vacation time unless they possess a work pass exemption, as specified in the Employment Act. Employers who are willing to accept foreign students as interns or under an industrial attachment program must obtain a training work permit or training employment pass on the students’ behalf. They will not be paid a foreign work levy as they are just undergoing training in the industry as part of the curriculum. They are to be paid a monthly allowance.
The Hiring of Part-Time or Contractual Employees
- Part-time employees are those who work for less than 35 hours a week.
- Contractual employees are those who are on a fixed-term employment contract as well as those who are on casual or on-call employment. They are employed on an ad-hoc basis when the company needs an additional workforce. The job contract is only for a specific period and ends when a particular task or job is completed.
- Unlike in other countries, in Singapore, part-time employees and contractual staff members are protected in the same ways as full-time employees. Employers and employees may negotiate regarding certain topics such as:
- Annual leave
- Pro-rating of employment benefits
- Rest days
- There are certain exceptions to the benefits that are provided to part-time and contractual employees. These include:
- Medical coverage for employees
- Payment of bonuses
- Perks normally reserved for other employees
The legal working age in Singapore is 17. However, certain businesses can employ people between the ages of 13 and 16. It is worth noting that there is a government-mandated restriction on the type of work that young people and children can carry out. The retirement age in Singapore is 62.
How do I employ a foreigner in Singapore?
To supplement their existing workforce, most Singapore companies employ foreign staff members. The reasons for hiring foreigners include the following:
- A decline in the birth rate
- Aging population
- Shortage of local talent in certain job sectors
- Unprecedented economic growth
Industries such as R&D, IT, and finance have a shortage of local human resources, so they resort to hiring employees from foreign countries.
Furthermore, jobs such as those of domestic help and construction worker are not preferred by the Singaporean citizens, so the foreigners need to be employed. Overall, the country attracts foreign professionals in massive numbers due to its liberal immigration policies. There are adequate provisions for foreigners living in Singapore.
Foreigners can only be hired if they have the appropriate work visa as specified in the Singapore Employment Act. Companies can only hire foreign employees if they apply for a valid work visa or work permit on the employee’s behalf. However, certain work passes to restrict the number of foreign employees that a company can hire.
The following are the categories of foreign workers in Singapore.
- Skilled Professionals: Includes doctors, software engineers, R&D specialists, and the like. They are eligible for the Personalized Employment Pass or Employment Pass.
- Semi-Skilled Employees: Includes chefs, administrative professionals, technicians, and the like. They are eligible for the S Pass.
- Unskilled Workforce: Includes domestic help, construction workers, and the like. They are eligible for the R Pass.
Tax Issues Related to Foreign Employees
The tax issues are related to foreign employees are as follows:
- Going to another foreign country for a job-related posting
- Getting fired
- Leaving the job on their own terms
- Not being in Singapore for at least three months
Tax clearance is required for employees to whom any of these apply. Employers need to inform the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) and withhold any further payments to these foreign employees. IRAS will go through the records and assess the proper amount of tax that the employees must pay. After this, IRAS will issue the tax clearance certificate which confirms the payment of all the due taxes against the foreign employees. The payment due can be revealed to the employee after the employer receives clearance from IRAS.
Paying the Foreign Levy to Workers
Singapore companies can hire low-skill foreign workers. If such is the case, the government will collect the foreign worker levy (FWL) from the company. The FWL is a price control mechanism that is imposed by the government against the companies in Singapore to regulate the demand for foreign workers in the country. Companies that want to know how much FWL the government will accept can refer to the Ministry of Manpower’s website.
What is the minimum salary for a work permit in Singapore?
If you are Hiring Employees in Singapore, then you need to keep yourself abreast of the regulations that are concerned with the work permits. Below is the tabular representation of the employees passes the employers need to apply for depending on the foreign talent category. Let us take a sneak peek:
Note: The employers need to pay their Work Permit holders the fixed monthly salary that is declared in the application form of the Work Permit or during the later revisions. They must be paid even if there is no work for them. The only times the employers are not required to pay these workers are when they are on non-paid leave outside Singapore. For more information, refer to the Singapore Ministry of Manpower’s website.
General Recruitment Procedures
The Singaporean workforce is comprised of people of different races, genders, ages, and sexualities. This means the employers are to follow fair HR practices that are directly related to the recruitment of foreign or local employees. To abide by the rules and regulations, the Singapore Ministry of Manpower has issued some guidelines on fair employment practices. These general guidelines are provided below:
- Employers need to follow a merit-based system when recruiting or hiring candidates
- Job applicants must know every relevant aspect of the selection criteria
- The employee’s skills, ability to do the job and experience must be considered without regard for race, age, gender, family status, disability, or religion
- The job advertisements of your company must refrain from listing features such as age, race, gender, marital status, language, and religion unless required for the job
- Only tests and job interviews that involve the company’s job requirements only can be conducted
- Job applications must only ask for general information from the applicant that is required for the job; if there is any personal data requested, it may only be for administrative purposes
These are the steps and guidelines involved in the hiring of employees in Singapore, whether they be Singapore citizens, PRs, or foreigners. Recruitment of employees can be done via employment agencies, online websites, classified advertisements in newspapers, campus recruitment, or even job or career fairs. Employers also need to use the right employment policies by utilizing the services from lawyers or HR consultants from reputed agencies such as Paul Hype Page & Co. We have a team of qualified and trained professionals that will help you from incorporation into policy-making. We always follow the rules specified in the Singapore Employment Act. We also offer affordable corporate packages for both foreign and local companies in Singapore.