Your Ultimate Guide To Hiring Employees In Singapore – Part 1 (BRC)

When you decide to start your business, you would have to figure out a list of things. From budgeting, to business projections, where your office is going to be and most importantly, hiring employees that will help you run your business. It doesn’t matter if you’re a local company or a foreign company looking to spread your wings into the Singaporean market, you will face a time where you need to start hiring employees. Hiring someone isn’t easy because you need to ensure that they are the right people to work alongside you as a team. You can’t have someone who can’t play to your tune, you will face roadblocks in the future. However, that can all be prevented if you follow this guide!

So, before heading off and signing up for your first job seeking site to put up your advert for your new potential employee, there are a few things that you should keep an eye on and questions you should ask yourself before you put that job online. Here are some considerations you should take into account beforehand :

  1. Are you going to hire full-timers, part-timers or just hire them on a contract basis?
  2. Are you only going to hire local Singaporeans or try to get foreigners as well?
  3. What legal channels will you have to use to ensure you get your employees the right way?
  4. What labour laws apply to your potential employees?
  5. What are the additional visa requirements needed for foreign workers?
  6. What are the additional chargers for things like an approved fund scheme like CPF?
  7. What are the tax laws governing employees that you hire?
  8. What are the contractual obligations that go into hiring or firing employees?
  9. Do you have to provide medical benefits?
  10. Are there any recruitment guidelines that I need to follow to ensure I am doing everything the right way?

This might seem like a long list of questions to ask, but they are extremely important questions. In the long run, you would not want to be hunted down because you didn’t go by the book or be sued by an employee that got hurt on the clock.

Therefore, it is best if you ensure that you know anything and everything that goes into hiring employees for your new business to also allow for longevity for your company as well!

Our guide here today is to help you hire your employees according to the law but please note that this is just a simple guide and should not replace professional advice.


In this guide, the Singapore Employment Act is the key legislation that we will be using in this guide that will allow you to understand the legal standing to hiring employees in Singapore.

So what is it exactly?

  1. The Singapore Employment Act is a complete stature legislation that encompasses everything related to labour and employment issues here in Singapore.
  2. It states the regulations regarding the basics terms and conditions of employing workers all the rights and duties you as an employer have towards your employee.
  3. It also states the responsibilities of the employee and the duties they have towards you, the boss.
  4. You need to first determine if your potential employees are protected by the Employment Act.
  5. If they are, you need to ensure that whatever the terms are in your contract, they have to live up to the rights they have in the legislation. They cannot be given anything lower that what they are rightfully allowed to have in the legislation.
  6. If your potential employee isn’t protected by the act, then the terms and conditions of your contract is negotiable and can be talked through between both parties.


Another thing to note is just who exactly does the Employment Act covers. The Act usually covers all employees except the following types :


Individuals who hold Managerial or Executive Positions

  • This is someone who has the direct authority or last say in the whole hiring and firing process.
  • Someone who also has the main duties of that involve management and running of the business in general.
  • Examples include accountants, lawyers, and doctors.
Seamen (Men of the Sea)
Domestic Workers
Employees of the Government (Government Staff)

Another thing you should note is that the Employment Act also categorises employees into :


Employees earning less than SGD 2000 a month Employees earning more than SGD 2000 a month

Employees that earn less than SGD 2000 a month get access to multiple benefits and extra protection that involves overtime payments, public holidays, their annual leaves, benefits and sick leaves. (This falls under Part IV of the Act)

You’ve already read about the Employment Act but there is also another legislation that is important to this guide. This is the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act which is for work pass employees. The Employment Act is applicable for both local and foreign employees.

During the employing process, you will definitely start thinking about what kind of employees you should hire. There are multiple categories of workers that you can hire. These examples are full-time workers, part-timers, contract employees and even interns. So how do you decide on what type of employee you should hire?

Temporary employees and part timers are great if you have a project that you need done fast. It is also good for extra manpower for specific projects. Administrative procedures are lowered because there are no requirement to layoff the employee. This is easier to allow for  because there isn’t as much responsibility that is given towards temp workers compared to full timers.

On the flip side, full time employees are also great because they allow for long term attachment to the company. They will cost more in the long term thanks to medical benefits and the higher pay but it’s good for longevity for the company. You will allow for workers to become familiar with your company and always have the best interest for the company.

So it will depend at the type of people you need at that certain time for your company. You need to asses what kind of people you need at that given time for the advancement of your company’s needs.


Employee Contracts

The most important thing for a potential employee is the contract. This document will encompass all the terms and conditions of employment between you and your employee. Drafting one on your own is great if you have a smaller company. Although we do want to advise you to seek guidance from a professional like a lawyer or HR consultant that is familiar to the documentation creation.

Your employee will be covered under the Employment Act and you need to ensure that the minimum requirements are fulfilled to ensure you don’t break any rules. Some of the key points that need to be included in the contract are :

This is just part one of our extensive guide to hiring employees in Singapore. The next part will include the guide for foreign employees as well as a downloadable PDF document that will help you with all the employment guides for Singapore!

ThunderQuote is the most comprehensive business services portal in Singapore, Australia and ASEAN , where hundreds of thousands of dollars of procurement contracts are sourced every month by major companies like Singapore Press Holdings, National Trade Union Congress and more.





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