Debunking 5 Employment Myths Which You Believe

June 21, 2018 2:57 pm

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Understanding the minute details encompassing human resource (HR) is hardly a walk in a park. There are so many rules and regulations surrounding employment in Singapore that employers often bear misconceptions when navigating its murky waters.

In the scenario where a company still utilises manual human resource management methods, minor oversights in this field can warrant heavy penalties from the authorities. In this article today, we will be covering the five most significant employment fallacies commonly made by employers.


  1. The Employment Act applies to ALL employees

The Employment Act, though seemingly self-explanatory, only applies to employees earning up to $4500/- monthly regardless of their employment type (full-time, freelance, part-time etc.). This inclusion, however, excludes sailors, domestic workers and civil servants.

As for foreign employees who possess work passes, they are covered by the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act. It details the responsibilities and obligations which the employer is bound to when employing foreigners.

  1. All employees can claim overtime (OT)

Only employees within a pre-determined salary range are allowed to claim overtime for working beyond regular working hours daily. They are:

  • Manual Workers (workman) earning up to $4500/- monthly. Manual workers are essentially workmen who do partake in blue-collar jobs such as, but not limited to, construction workers and mechanics.
  • Office Workers (non-workman), otherwise referring to non-manual workers, who are covered by the Employment Act, and earns up to $2500/- monthly.

It should be noted that managers or executives are not allowed to claim overtime as well.

  1. There is no limit to both hours of work and overtime (OT)

Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it), there are laws within Singapore which minimise the possibility of overworking in overzealous employees.

Employees who are bound by the Employment Act are only allowed to work an average of 44 hours weekly over a 3 week period.

For overtime work, they are only permitted a maximum of 72 overtime work hours per month.

  1. CPF is only payable for full-time employees

CPF is payable for all workers who are Singapore Citizens or  Permanent Residents. This includes part-timers, contract workers and freelance workers.

Here is a handy CPF calculator which can help you calculate the amount payable for your employees if you happen to be an employer.

  1. Childcare Leave is only claimable by mothers

We live in a progressive world where the privilege of caring for and nurturing children is the responsibility of both parents.

With that said, both parents are entitled to this leave. For each child who is a Singaporean citizen until he or she turns 7, each parent is accorded 6 days of leave per year.


From these five facts, it would not be a stretch for one to extrapolate and conclude that the regulations surrounding human resource management make the topic a potential minefield.

There are methods which forward-thinking firms employ to avert such legislative disasters.

  • Liaising with established law firms who are experts in their domain has been one of the mainstays of any profit driven firm. By engaging their professional help, circumnavigating these regulatory minefields becomes a given. The inherent benefits of collaborating with such law firms immensely outweigh the monetary costs involved and successful businesses routinely recognise this fact.
  • Increasingly popular, automating HR functions have proven to be an effective solution to the frustrating and detrimental nuances of manual HR management.

The notion that HR efforts are exceedingly labour intensive when done manually inevitably creates a time bomb waiting to explode in the form of regulatory penalties. It would be wise for you to take action for your business, before actions are taken upon you.

This post was written by Payboy