Recent Changes to Singapore Employment Act
Work, employment and the associated toils, troubles and remuneration constitute a crucial part of the lives of the modern worker today. Indeed, this spans a complex issue that comprises something of a conflict of interest between the employer and the employee. While the average employer might not be so outwardly calculating, employers would love it if a situation existed where employees would work hard and at a high level of productivity while expecting little remuneration in return. On the flipside, the average employee wishes for the opposite – to have as much remuneration, rights, bonuses, extra benefits and the like while only having to put in the merest sliver of effort. The ideal, as with many things, lies close to the middle of two extremes. Here, we will go through the issues with the Singapore employment pass and work pass application.
The reality as to the situation concerning the realm of manpower
Ideals are one thing and reality is another. Reality cannot match the ideal in the scenario due to the preexisting power differential between the employer and the employee. The employer is oftentimes a massive corporation or, in many other cases, a smaller group of individuals. Among other things, the employer’s sponsorship is necessary for certain processes like the employee’s work pass application. The employee, in contrast, is one individual applying for the Singapore employment pass and work pass application. This power differential becomes especially salient in the context of the interview, employment, and work pass application process. The employee has limited capability to negotiate his pay and benefits. The employer may incorporate one-sided or even onerous terms against the employee by means of the employment contract, and the employee may take it or lose the job opportunity entirely.
Parliament’s intervention on the part of the employee
It is against this backdrop that Parliament recently introduced a new change in early 2018. Certain employees will now get increased rights under the Employment Act, correcting precisely the injustice plaguing the employer-employee interaction. The specific change concerns a limitation in the Employment Act wherein particular benefits to employees, as of right, were confined to workers drawing a salary below S$4,500. In the future, this restriction as to salary will now be removed, extending such benefits even towards workers drawing a salary exceeding that. The Employment Act has been reviewed and the changes will be implemented by April 2019. For more details refer to https://www.straitstimes.com/politics/parliament-employment-act-will-be-widened-to-cover-workers-earning-more-than-4500?xtor=CS3-18
The implications of Parliament’s shift instance
This bodes well for many higher-paid workers in Singapore. On one level, they stand to obtain significant quality-of-life improvements which they rightfully should have been entitled to. These include paid sick leave and protection against wrongful dismissal, among others. On another level, it is yet another step towards righting the unfair advantage employers have over employees.
The relevance of Parliament’s decision on the common man
Singapore is increasingly becoming more progressive and thereby a more pleasant place to work in. Prospective foreign employees should easily see the appeal therein and may wish to consider residing and working in Singapore – perhaps embarking on their singapore employment pass and work pass application and getting their Singapore employment pass application process and envisioning a life in Singapore.