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MOM to review areas of Employment Act, seeks public feedback

THE Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is seeking public feedback on areas of the Employment Act under review.

Since the Act was last reviewed in 2012, with amendments coming into effect in 2015, the ministry is looking to revise the Act to ensure its relevance and to enhance its coverage.

Among the areas under review, the ministry is inviting feedback on whether core provisions stipulated under the Act such as public holiday and sick leave entitlements, salary payment, allowable deductions and redress for wrongful dismissal should be extended to all employees. These provisions cover all employees except managers and executives earning more than S$4,500 monthly, as well as domestic workers, public servants and seafarers (see amendment note).

The MOM is also inviting views on revising the salary thresholds related to non-workmen earning monthly salaries of up to S$2,500, and workmen earning up to S$4,500. Such worker classes are considered more vulnerable, and aside from the core provisions, receive additional protection related to time-based provisions such as annual leave, hours of work, overtime pay and rest days.

"Non-workmen" are defined by the Employment Act as employees engaged in white collar occupations, such as clerks and retail assistants, while "workmen" refers to employees engaged in manual labour, such as labourers and machine operators.

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Additionally, the MOM is looking to streamline the dispute resolution process for both employers and employees, and is inviting views on how it can do so.

Statutory and contractual salary-related disputes are heard by the Employment Claims Tribunals, while wrongful dismissal claims are heard by the MOM. If the dismissal-related claim is linked to salary issues, both parties must be involved to resolve the issue, adding strain on the employee.

The public can view the areas of the proposed review on the REACH website, from Jan 18 to Feb 15, and provide feedback by emailing with the subject heading "Consultation on EA review".

Amendment note: The story has been corrected to reflect that domestic workers, public servants and seafarers are also not covered under the core provisions. In addition, it is MOM itself seeking public feedback on areas of the Employment Act under review, and not together with the National Trades Union Congress and the Singapore National Employers Federation, as previously reported.

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