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back to index backGLOBALtalk July,  2014


Singapore: New Implications on Overtime Work

On December 31, 2013, the Singapore High Court passed a judgment (Monteverde Darvin Cynthia v. VGO Corp Ltd, [2013] SGHC 280), which clarifies the Employment Act’s (Cap.91) (EA”) effect on contractual clauses when dealing with overtime hours worked by employees who fall under Part IV of the EA (Part IV Employee”).

The classes of persons likely to be significantly affected by these clarifications include, but are not limited to:

-        organizations which employ a sizeable number of workmen” as defined in Section 2(1) of the EA with a basic monthly salary of up to  SGD4,500 (i.e non-clerical staff engaged in manual labour); and

-        organizations which have a sizable number of employees (other than "workmen”) with a basic monthly salary of up to SGD2,000 (this salary threshold will increase to SGD2,500 come April 1, 2014).

The key clarifications to highlight are the following:

-        Employers cannot contractually set the hours of work at a figure higher than 44 hours a week by stipulating the maximum number of hours worked;

-        Employers would always have to pay Part IV Employees overtime at the rate stipulated in the EA (1.5 times of the employee’s hourly basic rate of pay) once the Part IV Employee has exceeded the limit of the number of hours (more than eight hours in one day or more than 44 hours in one week); and

-       Terms in the employment contract that do not comply with the EA will not be legally binding.

Source: Baker & McKenzie - GAI




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