Hiring in Singapore
After registering your company in Singapore, you need to source high-calibre employees who are qualified to work for you in Singapore. Strict guidelines must be followed to ensure you adhere to relevant legal protocols and the Singapore Employment Act for getting work passes in Singapore.
The Employment Act contains the terms and conditions for employment in Singapore as well as an outline of the duties you need to follow as an employer. It applies to all employees across all industries, except for:
- Managers and executives who have the power to hire, fire, promote or discipline other employees, and those with specialist skills such as lawyers, doctors and accountants
- Domestic workers
- Selected government staff
Employees earning less than S$2,600 qualify for additional protection concerning rest days, annual leave, sick leave, overtime, retirement benefits and more under Part IV of the Employment Act.
As an employer, you need to consider where your employees fall under the Employment Act. You may also need to consider additional labour laws that affect your employees, as well as any restrictions on the number of foreign employees and costs incurred for work pass applications.
Employment Pass and Personalised Employment Pass
The Singapore Employment Pass is designed for managers, executives, specialists and skilled professionals. Entrepreneurs who incorporate company in Singapore may also apply for an EP if they wish to relocate for the management of operations. There is no limit on the number of EPs one business can apply for, but individual candidates must earn at least S$4,500 (effective 1 Sept 2020). The qualifying salaries for EP candidates in their 40s should be around double the minimum qualifying salary for the youngest applicants.
From 1 December 2020 onwards, the minimum qualifying salary for EPs in the Financial Services sector is further raised to $5,000 for new applicants.
The Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) is only issued to candidates at the highest level. Pass holders will enjoy the freedom to switch between jobs and pursue new opportunities, as long as their minimum salary is at least S$144,000 per annum.
The EntrePass qualifies entrepreneurs to incorporate new private limited companies in Singapore. It is specifically aimed towards entrepreneurs who wish to build innovative technology, R&D and biotech businesses in Singapore. To qualify, entrepreneurs must meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Have funding from a government accredited VC or business angel
- Hold an intellectual property
- Hold significant business experience/network and promising entrepreneurial track record
- Has exceptional technical/domain expertise in an area related to proposed business
- Hold good track record of investing in businesses and want to grow new or existing businesses in Singapore
- Has research collaboration with A*STAR or a university
- Is an incubatee at a government-supported incubator
S Pass & Work Permit
The S Pass is designed for mid-level foreign workers with a minimum salary of $S2,500 (from 1 October 2020). Applicants are judged on a point-based system that considers salary, education level, relevant skills, job type and work experience. The number of S Pass holders your company can employ is determined by your industry’s Dependency Ratio Ceiling (DRC).
For basic-skilled workers earning $2,500 or less, employers may apply for a Work Permit (WP) with a maximum duration of two years, subject to the employee’s passport validity and a Banker’s Guarantee. Employees may only be selected from approved source countries.
Dependant’s Pass & Letter of Consent
Employers may apply for a Dependant’s Pass (DP) to permit their employee’s spouses and children to live in Singapore. The DP is connected to the validity of the employee’s work pass, and the employee must be earning at least S$6,000 a month.
Spouses of DP holders can apply for a Letter of Consent (LOC) to entitle them to work in Singapore. They must have secured a job offer from a Singapore employer first.
Multiple Journey Visa & Miscellaneous Work Pass
For executives planning to travel to and from Singapore on business, the Multiple Journey Business Visa is designed to allow for multiple visits that last up to 30 days each.
Non-residents attending one-off work assignments in the country, such as seminars, conferences, workshops or religious gatherings, must apply for a 60-day Miscellaneous Work Pass.
Training Employment Pass & Work Holiday Pass
The Training Employment Pass is designed for overseas students who are seeking professional work experience in Singapore. The experience must contribute towards their final degree mark and all applicants must come from an approved university.
If a student wishes to work freely in the country, they may apply for a Work Holiday Pass instead, which is valid for up to six months.