Social rights and labour law in Singapore

Singapore has established a social protection system and labour laws, based on the level of remuneration and the nationality (Singaporean or not) of the employees. Those who are not represented in these texts are in a so-called "Common Law" system and will have to rely on a strictly drafted employment contract to establish a framework.

The Employment Act and the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act are the reference texts for the majority of employees. Other texts also govern Singapore's labour law:

  • the Central Provident Fund Act (social contributions for Singaporeans or PRs - Permanent Residents)
  • the Work Injury Compensation Act
  • the Trade Union Act
  • the Children Development Co-Savings Act (maternity and parental leave, sick child leave)
  • the Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices (on fair recruitment practices and work environment and priority for Singaporean)
  • the Workplace Safety and Health Act


Employment contracts

  • In practice, most contracts are not limited in time
  • Either the company or the employee, can terminate the employment contract at any point of time and without justification, by respecting the notice period agreed upon at the recruitment (from 1 day to 4 weeks in the law, up to 3 months in practice)
  • For employees with an employment period of more than 2 weeks, an employment contract and monthly pay slips must be given
  • Benefits such as 13th month, variable share, annual salary increase, etc., are not compulsory unless they are specified in the employee's work contract or in the company's collective agreement


Working time

  • In general, on the basis of a 5-day working week, working time is 9 hours per day, or 44 hours per week (excluding overtime)
  • The total working day, including overtime, may not exceed 12 hours
  • The law grants a minimum of one rest day per week, in practice often on Sundays
  • Each year, Singapore publishes the calendar of its 11 paid public holidays


Leave (after 3 months in the company)

  • The minimum legal paid leave in force is 7 days. In general, international companies offer between 14 to 30 days off per year
  • The number of paid leave days, granted to the employee, varies, depending on his seniority in the company or his contract
  • The law grants 14 days of sick leave per year, paid by the company, and up to 60 days in the event of hospitalisation


Social Welfare

  • In Singapore, there is neither "employer" nor "employee" social contribution to pay for foreign employees (except for PRs), only a small but mandatory financial contribution to a vocational training fund, called SDL (Skills Development Fund Levy) has to be paid
  • For French expatriates or “détachés”, the conditions of social protection (health, retirement, unemployment) must be defined in the expatriation contract under the French law
  • The French citizens under a local contract in Singapore, wishing to retain their social rights in France, can contribute directly to the Caisse des Français à l’Etranger (CFE)
  • If the employee is Singaporean or Permanent Resident, the employer and the employee are subject to mandatory contributions to the Central Provident Fund (CPF). This fund is used to cover expenses related to retirement, permanent disability, property and government approved financial and insurance investments and health care
  • Retirement benefits (from age 62) are possible for Singaporeans or Permanent Residents provided the person has joined the company before the age of 55


Since 2011, the French Chamber of Commerce in Singapore has a license from Employment Agency (Licence No. 10C4756) and all our agents are certified to accompany you in your recruitment and visa applications.

For more information, please contact us bizsupport(@)



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