Mandatory to issue payslips and written employment contracts
From 1 April 2016, all employers will be required to issue itemised payslips and key employment terms (KETs) to employees covered under the Employment Act. There will also be a new framework to treat less severe breaches of the Employment Act.
The amendments of the Employment Act enables employees to better understand how their salary is calculated and their employment terms and benefits. This also helps employers prevent misunderstandings and minimise disputes at the workplace.
In addition, from 1 April 2016, Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will set up a framework to treat less severe breaches of the EA as “civil breaches” which attract administrative penalties. For a start, the breaches are:
1. Failure to issue itemized payslips.
2. Failure to issue KETs in writing.
3. Failure to maintain detailed employment records.
4. Provision of inaccurate information to the Commissioner for Labour or inspecting officers without the intent to defraud and mislead.
Along with Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF), Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has also released Tripartite Guidelines asking employers to issue written Key Employment Terms (KETs) for all its employees respectively.
These guidelines have been set in place to regulate healthy HR practice across organizations, specifically the small and medium level enterprises (SMEs). The tripartite partners agree that issuing Key Employment Terms to employees in organizations in writing particularly will help in bringing in more equality and overall improve clarity of HR practices being followed across departments.
Especially for factors such as salary, job role and responsibilities, reporting structures and benefits, providing written key employment terms will ensure that disbursement and execution of HR policies is uniform across all cadres.
MOM urges SMEs and employment agencies in Singapore to progressively develop KETs for the betterment of their employees in the long run. In case they require clarifications, they may approach SNEF for guidance. The provisions of this practice would primarily mandate employers to issue KETs in written to employees within 14 days of joining the organization and also to issue to every employee who has been employed with them for more than 14 days. The latest updates to the KETs must also reach the employees on time.
Specifically, details such as salary, allowances, benefits, perquisites, working hours, overtime compensation and job responsibilities are some key elements that must be included in the written KETs.
Moreover the KETs must be issued in a language that the employees understand clearly and must be shared in hard copy or via email and other online sources.
A list of SME centers has also been provided to employers whom they can approach for clarifications.