Job In Singapore
Working in Singapore
Thanks to a pro-business government, modern infrastructure and an industrious culture, Singapore offers an ideal work environment for those driven to rise to the top of their careers
A wealth of opportunity abounds for experienced professionals in both rising and established industries in Singapore, including biomedical sciences, R&D, healthcare, infocomm technology, and financial services.
Most companies in Singapore operate on a five-day work week, based on the legal standard of 44 hours a week. Vacation leave varies from seven to 14 days, usually increasing with length of service and seniority. Contracts often include two to three weeks of paid sick leave and hospitalization leave.
Salaries are very competitive in Singapore and you may enjoy additional perks such as housing, transport and education allowances, as well as stock options. A fixed bonus is given at the end of the year, equivalent to one month’s salary. In addition, variable bonuses are sometimes declared, depending on the company and individual’s performance.
Many companies provide their employees with other incentives such as recreational facilities and holiday subsidies.
One of the main attractions for global talent is Singapore’s personal income tax rates, which are among the lowest in the world. If you have been working in Singapore for at least 183 days in a calendar year, you are considered a tax resident and will be taxed on all income that is incidental to employment in Singapore. Non-residents, who are in Singapore for less than 183 days a year, will be taxed only on income earned in Singapore. To find out more information and tax rates, visit the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore website.
Work Permit conditions
As an employer of foreign workers, you must comply with a set of Work Permit conditions during their employment.
A Work Permit (WP) is generally issued to foreign unskilled and semi-skilled workers.
The duration of a Work Permit is generally 2 years, subject to the validity of the worker’s passport, the security bond and the worker’s employment period, whichever is shorter.
The worker is only allowed to work for the employer and in the specified occupation.
Work Permit conditions
Employers and Work Permit holders must comply with the Conditions of Work Permits.
As an employer of foreign workers, you must meet the following requirements:
- Only employ foreign workers who have a valid work pass.
- Pay your workers the fixed monthly salary you declare to us.
- Pay workers their salaries and the cost of their upkeep and maintenance, including the cost of medical treatment.
- Provide workers with acceptable housing.
- Buy and maintain medical insurance for each worker to cover in-patient care and surgery costs.
- Send your workers for a medical examination by a Singapore-registered doctor. If they are certified medically unfit, their Work Permit will be revoked.
- Pay the monthly foreign worker levy for each worker.
- Buy a security bond for each non-Malaysian worker.
- Not demand or receive any sum or other benefit from an employment agency or any other person in connection with the employment or change in employment of a foreign worker.
Foreign workers must comply with the following:
- Work only in the occupation and for the employer specified in the Work Permit card.
- Not take part in any other business or start their own business.
- Reside only at the address set by the employer at the start of employment. They must inform you if they are to change their address.
- Carry their original Work Permit at all times and produce it for inspection on demand by any public officer.
- Not marry a Singapore citizen or permanent resident in or outside Singapore without approval from MOM. This applies even after their Work Permit is expired, cancelled or revoked.
- Not get pregnant or deliver a child in Singapore during the validity of their Work Permit unless they are already married to a Singapore citizen or permanent resident with the approval of MOM. This applies even after their Work Permit is expired, cancelled or revoked.
When employment ends
If the employment is completed or terminated, or if the worker resigns, you must:
- Cancel the work permit within 7 days of termination of employment.
- Bear the cost of repatriation, including buying an air ticket with check-in luggage allowance.
- Clear all outstanding salaries or payments.
- Death of a worker in Singapore
Should your foreign worker pass away in Singapore, you need to:
- Cancel the Work Permit within 12 hours of knowing about the death.
- Bear the costs of burial, cremation or the return of the body to the country of origin.
- Bear the costs of returning the worker’s belongings to their families.
- Pay any outstanding salaries or payments to the worker’s estate.
Work Permit for foreign worker FAQs
- 1. Am I responsible for the cost of my Work Permit or S Pass holder’s dental treatment?
Yes. As an employer, you are responsible for your Work Permit or S Pass holder’s medical treatment.
You’ll have to bear the cost of dental treatment as long as it’s deemed necessary for their health by a Singapore-registered medical or dental professional. This applies regardless of whether the condition is work-related.
- 2. Are there any ward class restrictions for the compulsory medical insurance?
No, there are no ward class restrictions.
- 3. Are Work Permit construction workers allowed to drive?
Construction Work Permit holders are allowed to drive within the construction site.
They are only allowed to drive the company vehicle on public roads during working hours if they hold driving-related occupations such as ‘Lorry/Truck Driver’ or ‘Driver’ and have a valid driving licence.
In general, you should not deploy your workers to occupations other than the one specified on the Work Permit.
Q.4. Are Work Permit holders allowed to drive on public roads for work?
Work Permit holders are allowed to drive a company vehicle on Singapore roads during working hours if they hold driving-related occupations such as ‘Lorry/Truck Driver’ or ‘Driver’ and have a valid driving licence.
As part of the Job Flexibility Scheme, Work Permit holders who are in the Services sector and hold other occupations can also drive during work. Employers are reminded to use job flexibility sensibly and reasonably.
- 5. Are Work Permit holders covered under the Employment Act?
Yes, they are. The Employment Act does not make any distinction between local or foreign employees. It covers every employee under a contract of service, except for executives making more than $4,500 a month, domestic workers, seamen and government employees.
- 6. Are Work Permit holders eligible for paid sick leave?
Yes. All employees, including Work Permit holders are entitled to pay sick leave, as long as they are covered under the Employment Act.
The number of days of paid sick leave an employee is entitled to depend on how long they’ve served their employer for.
- 7. As an employer, am I obligated to pay treatment costs that are not deemed medically necessary, such as cosmetic treatment?
No. You are not liable for the costs of procedures that aren’t medically necessary for your employee’s health.
This must be determined by a Singapore-based doctor.
- 8. Can a company not registered in Singapore apply for Work Permits for foreigners to work here?
No, a company applying for Work Permits to recruit foreigners in Singapore must be registered with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) in Singapore.
- 9. As a Work Permit holder, how do I apply for approval to marry a Singaporean or permanent resident?
If you are a current or former Work Permit holder who wishes to marry a Singapore citizen or permanent resident (PR), you must seek approval from MOM.
However, you do not have to apply for approval if you:
Do not hold a Work Permit (e.g. you are an S Pass or Employment Pass holder).
Are a former Work Permit holder whose last held work pass was upgraded to Employment Pass or S Pass.
Are a former Work Permit holder who is now a Singapore citizen or Singapore PR.