Master the Minimum Wage in Singapore for 2024

Master the Minimum Wage in Singapore for 2024

Master the Minimum Wage in Singapore for 2024

January 15, 2024

SHARE

Facebook
Linkedin
Twitter
Picture of INS Global

Author

Date

Picture of INS Global

Author

Date

Share On :

window.onload = function() { var current_URL = window.location.href; document.getElementById("fb-social-share").onclick = function() { window.open(`https://www.facebook.com/sharer/sharer.php?u+${current_URL}`); }; document.getElementById("tw-social-share").onclick = function() { window.open(`http://www.twitter.com/share?url=+${current_URL}`); }; document.getElementById("in-social-share").onclick = function() { window.open(`https://linkedin.com/shareArticle?url=+${current_URL}`); }; };

Key Takeaways

  1. Unlike in many countries countries, Singapore does not have a national or regional statutory minimum wage
  2. Employees can and do hold their employers to account if they feel their salaries aren’t representative of their work
  3. In some cases, the government may help to establish a minimum wage in Singapore through a Progressive Wage Model (PWM) on an industry-by-industry basis
Summary

When venturing into international markets, having a comprehensive understanding of salary standards is paramount for a successful entry and sustained success. The usual complications hold especially true for Singapore, where navigating the landscape around a working minimum wage in Singapore and the right benefits is essential not only for effective workforce management but also for avoiding severe penalties and ensuring employee satisfaction.

 

How the Minimum Wage Operates in Singapore

 

Unlike in many countries countries, Singapore does not have a national or regional statutory minimum wage. Instead, wages are primarily determined through market forces, the cost of living, and collective agreements between employers and employees. The government aims to encourage fair wages through progressive human resource policies rather than implementing a fixed minimum wage.

For businesses expanding into Singapore, this means greater flexibility in negotiating salaries with employees. However, it also places responsibility on employers to maintain fair and competitive pay practices. Employees can and do hold their employers to account if they feel their salaries aren’t representative of their work, and in the last few years, salary claims against employers have risen dramatically, according to official figures.

 

 

Determining Wages in Singapore

 

In Singapore, employers and employees typically negotiate minimum wage rates as part of the hiring process, with some exceptions discussed below. The absence of a statutory minimum wage allows for a dynamic and market-driven approach to salary structures.

Throughout negotiations, employers are encouraged to adopt fair employment practices, offering competitive wages to attract and retain talent. The Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices are issued by what are called the “tripartite partners” – the Ministry of Manpower, the National Trades Union Congress, and the Singapore National Employers Federation.

These guidelines are meant to ensure fairness in employment practices, including pay.

 

Industry Minimums

 

The government may help to establish a minimum wage in Singapore through a Progressive Wage Model (PWM) on an industry-by-industry basis. These PWMs are made together with the union or tripartite representatives of the industry and help to fix salaries in historically complicated industries.

Currently, the sectors with PWMs in effect are:

–         Cleaning

–         Security

–         Landscaping

–         Lift and escalators

–         Retail

–         Foodservice

–         Administrators and drivers

–         Waste management

 

The exact minimums in each sector will depend on a number of factors, such as location and seniority.

 

Foreign Nationals

 

Employers looking to employ foreign nationals must meet specific minimums to meet Singapore’s work visa requirements. Many work passes require applicants to be paid a higher minimum wage in Singapore to encourage companies to hire locally.

Currently, the minimum wage in Singapore for work pass types includes:

 

–         The Employment Pass (EP) – Used for high-level skilled employees – SGD 5000 per month minimum

–         The S Pass – Used for skilled workers or mid-level technical workers – SGD 3150 er month

 

Additionally, when applying for a Work Permit for Migrant Workers (used for semi-skilled workers from selected countries), there is no specific minimum wage, but there are requirements to provide a living wage plus certain benefits like proper housing.

 

Exceptions and Adjustments to a Minimum Wage in Singapore

 

While there is no statutory minimum wage in Singapore, salaries may be affected by specific working hours or arrangements, just like in many other countries.

Employers in Singapore should be aware of these considerations and stay informed about sectoral guidelines to maintain compliance and foster positive employee relations.

 

Overtime

 

Overtime in Singapore is defined as any work done outside an employee’s normal hours of work as agreed upon in a work contract (normally 44-48 hours per week).

Unlike in many countries, employees must be below certain pay thresholds in order to claim overtime. These are:

 

–         SGD 2,600 or less for a non-manual laborer

–         SGD 4,500 or less for a manual laborer

 

Companies must then pay employees at 1.5X standard salary for any overtime hours worked.

 

Work on a Rest Day

 

Employers cannot demand that an employee work on a rest day, but if an employer requests it and if the employee agrees, the employer is required to pay an increased pay rate for that work.

Employees who work on a rest day at the employer’s request must be paid:

–         A day’s wages for less than half of the normal work hours performed

–         2 days’ wages for more than half of the normal work hours performed

–         2 days’ wages plus overtime for work performed beyond normal work hours

 

 

Wage Components and Benefits in Singapore

 

Apart from basic wages, employers in Singapore are encouraged to provide competitive benefits and bonuses to attract and retain talent. Performance-based incentives, annual bonuses, and employee benefits such as healthcare, leave entitlements, and retirement savings plans contribute to a strong work package.

Ensuring compliance with these practices aligns businesses with local standards and enhances employee happiness and engagement.

 

Tools for Navigating Wage Determination in Singapore

 

Local Labor Authorities

 

While there is no single minimum wage in Singapore, the Ministry of Manpower in Singapore is the government agency that provides guidelines on fair working practices. The official website includes a salary comparison tool that can be used to understand an expected minimum wage in Singapore that is fair and can meet employee needs.

Employers can refer to these guidelines for insights into wage levels and best practices.

 

Industry Associations

 

For businesses operating in specific industries, industry groups may provide valuable information on standard wage levels and best practices within the sector.