Who is covered under the Employment Act?

Knowing your rights under the Employment Act.

While most non-salary related employment disputes are governed by contract, it is nonetheless pertinent for employees to know whether they are protected under the Employment Act (and for employers (and their relevant human resource personnel) to know what rights different employees are entitled to).

The Employment Act excludes “any person employed in a managerial or an executive position”. Although there is no definition of “managerial and executive position” in the Employment Act, guidance from the Ministry of Manpower has been to the effect that “managers and executives” are employees with executive and supervisory functions, whose duties would usually include one or more of the following:-

1. Influencing or making decisions on issues such as recruitment, discipline, termination of employment, performance assessment and rewards;

2. Formulating strategies and policies of the enterprise; or

3. Managing and running the business.

An exception to the above is that a person employed in a managerial or an executive position earning S$4,500/month or less, will be regarded as an employee covered under the Employment Act save for Part IV of the Employment Act. Part IV of the Employment Act sets various minimum standards, including:

    • A maximum of 8 hours a day or 44 hours a week of contractual working hours for non-shift workers;
    • Overtime allowance for work done over these contractual working hours;
    • 1 rest day per week; and
    • Annual leave of up to 14 days.

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