Hire employees and contractors in Singapore

Remote’s guide to employing in Singapore.

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  • Capital city

    Singapore

  • Currency

    Singapore dollar
    (S$, SGD)

  • Population size

    5,850,342
    (Est. Dec 2020)

  • Languages spoken

    English, Malay, Mandarin, & Tamil

  • Availability

    Remote-Owned Local Entity

    We own our own entity in the countries where we operate to shield your company from risk and provide you and your employees with the signature Remote experience.

Facts & Stats

Singapore, officially the Republic of Singapore, is a sovereign island city-state in maritime Southeast Asia. According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2019, Singapore is the world's most competitive economy, having overtaken the United States. Singapore also ranks highly on the United Nations’ Human Development Index (HDI) and finds a place among the top 10 countries in per capita nominal GDP, as estimated by the International Monetary Fund.

  • Capital city

    Singapore

  • Currency

    Singapore dollar
    (S$, SGD)

  • Languages spoken

    English, Malay, Mandarin, & Tamil

  • Population size

    5,850,342 (Est. Dec 2020)

  • Ease of doing business

    Very easy

  • Cost of living index

    $$$$ (11 of 139 nations)

  • Payroll frequency

    Monthly

  • VAT - standard rate

    7%

  • GDP - real growth rate

    3.1% (2018)

Grow your team in Singapore with Remote

Employing in Singapore requires employers to own a legal entity in the country and manage payroll, tax, benefits and compliance through their own in-country resources. The nitty-gritty of employment regulations in Singapore makes full compliance with employment laws an onerous process.

Through Remote’s global employment and global payroll solutions, your team is employed by our local legal entity in Singapore. We take care of payroll, tax, benefits and compliance so you can focus on what matters most: your people.

Risks
of misclassification

Singapore, like many other countries, treats self-employed individuals or contractors and full-time employees differently. Misclassification of contractors in Singapore may lead to fines and penalties for the offending company.

Employing in Singapore

The primary sources of employment law in Singapore are the Employment Act and common law. Other sources of employment law include the Child Development Co-Savings Act, the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act, the Work Injury Compensation Act, and the Workplace Safety and Health Act.

Singapore’s employment law provides strong labor conditions and protections for employees, so employing workers in the country is an important investment and commitment. Temporary agencies are popular options in certain industries.

To employ workers in Singapore, contact Remote to learn more about your options.

Public holidays

Below are national public holidays applicable for all regions in this country. Remote customers have access to a detailed list of regional public holidays within the Remote platform. Sign up now to access all public holiday information.

Minimum Wage

There is no statutory minimum wage in Singapore, with two exceptions. Cleaners employed in the cleaning sector must have a minimum wage of SGD 1,200 per month, and security guards must have a minimum wage of SGD 1,100 per month.

Payroll Cycle

For customers of Remote, all employee payments will be made in equal monthly installments on or before the last working day of each calendar month, payable in arrears.

Onboarding Time

We can help you get a new employee started in Singapore fast. The minimum onboarding time we need is only 9 working days.

Our team ensures your employees are onboarded and paid as quickly as possible while keeping your business compliant with all local employment legislation. The minimum onboarding time begins after the employee submits all required information onto the Remote platform. The onboarding timeline is also dependent upon registration with local authorities.

For all non-nationals of the country of employment, the Right to Work assessment (if applicable) will add three extra days to the total time to onboard. There may be extra time required if we need to follow-up on the right to work assessment.

Please note, payroll cut-off dates can impact the actual first day of employment. Remote has a payroll cut-off date of the 10th of the month unless otherwise specified.

Competitive benefits package in Singapore

Remote supports our clients by offering competitive benefits packages that will help you attract and retain the best talent across the globe! Our benefits specialists have done the research on norms and requirements in each local market and have crafted packages that will allow your employees to thrive, no matter what country they live in. 

Our benefits packages in Singapore are tailored to fulfil the local needs of your employees. Typically, our packages contain some or all of the following benefits:

  • Health Insurance
  • Dental Insurance
  • Vision Insurance
  • Mental Health Support
  • Pension or 401(K)
  • Life and Disability Insurance

Local market insights

  • In Singapore, 90%* of employers offer supplemental health insurance to their workforce. (*based on 3rd-party market research from our partners)
  • Although the country has a public health system, supplemental health insurance provides employees with access to a wider range of options for providers and specialists, as well as significantly shorter wait times. Our plans also offer global coverage (excluding the US) to protect your employees when they are traveling outside their home country.

Our core benefits (which often include things like healthcare) are required in most countries where we hire. Because Remote is the employer of record, it’s important for us to offer the same core benefits to all employees in a country to ensure fair equity and non-discriminatory hiring practices, which protects your business and ours. Note that we do not add a markup on any benefits premiums or administration costs.

If you'd like specific information about our benefits packages in Singapore, start onboarding your first employee with Remote today.

For more insight into fair equity and benefits best practices, download our Global Benefits Guide and share with the rest of your hiring team.

Calculate the cost to hire an employee
in Singapore

Taxes in Singapore

Learn how employment taxes and statutory fees affect your payroll and your employees’ paychecks in Singapore.

  • Employer

    • Up to 0.25% - Skills Development Levy (SDL)

    • 9% - 17% - CPF (Pension)

    • Up to 17.25% Total Employment Cost

  • Employee Payroll taxes

    • 7.5 - 20% - CPF (Pension)

    • 7.5 - 20% Total Employee Cost

  • Employee Income Tax

    • 0 - (Up to 20000)

    • 2.0% - (20000-30000)

    • 3.5% - (30000-40000)

    • 7% - (40000-80000)

    • 11.5% - (80000-120000)

    • 15.0% - (120000-160000)

    • 18% - (160000-200000)

    • 19% - (200000-240000)

    • 19.5% - (240000-280000)

    • 20% - (280000-320000)

    • 22% - (320000 and above)

Singapore Central Provident Fund (CPF)

The Singapore Central Provident Fund, or CPF, is a mandatory pension scheme for workers in Singapore. Funds from the CPF help provide for social security programs including retirement, healthcare, home ownership, family protection, and more. Employees and employers both contribute to the CPF at the rates outlined below.

Age rangeEmployer contributionEmployee contributionTotal contribution
Ages 55 and below17%20%37%
Ages 55-6013%13%26%
Ages 60-659%7.5%16.5%

Types of leave

Statutory leave

All full-time workers are legally entitled to a minimum of seven days of annual leave after completing three consecutive months at a company. After that, one additional day must be added per year until reaching 14 days after completing seven years at the company. However, it is common for employees to receive 14 to 20 days of annual leave. Additionally, full-time employees receive 11 paid public holidays every year.

Pregnancy and maternity leave

Expecting mothers are entitled to 16 weeks of pregnancy leave as long as they have been employed for more than 3 months prior to giving birth and the child is a Singapore citizen. Companies are not allowed to terminate employment during this period.

For the first two children, the compensation for the first 8 weeks is paid by the employer and the remaining balance can be reimbursed by the government. For the third child onward, all 16 weeks of maternity leave is reimbursed by the government.

Maternity leave is 12 weeks if the child is not a citizen of Singapore.

Paternity leave

Fathers are entitled to a paternity leave of two weeks in Singapore. In order to meet the requirements of government-paid paternity leave, the child must be a Singapore citizen and the father must have been legally married to the mother between the conception and birth of the child. Paternity leave is applicable even when the child is adopted, as long as the child is a Singapore citizen. Managers earning more than SGD 4,500 per month are covered by specific terms of the employment contract.

Other leave

Work-Related Injury Leave: The employer covers costs for all work-related injuries that an employee suffers, either directly or through insurance. As per the Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA or WIC), the employee must receive 100% of their average monthly earnings in the 12 months prior to the disability for 14 days, if not hospitalized. After 14 days, they shall receive 66.7% of this average monthly compensation. From September 1, 2020, there is a mandate from the government that all work-related medical leave must be reported to the Ministry of Manpower. Note: As of January 1, 2021, all WIC insurance policies must be issued by a designated insurer and must comply with the Ministry of Manpower’s compulsory terms.

Employment termination

Termination process

As per the employment act in Singapore, either party can give the other a notice to terminate the contract of employment. In the event of a termination of a local employee, the employee’s salary must be paid on the last day of employment.

In case the employee resigns without notice and no notice period is served, the employee’s salary for the period he or she worked must be settled within 7 days of the last day of employment. In case of termination due to misconduct, the employee’s salary must be settled on the last day of employment. However, if this is not possible, the employee must be paid within 3 business days.

Notice period

The statutory notice period in Singapore depends on the duration of employment.

  • One day of notice for less than 26 weeks of employment
  • One week of notice for employees who have worked with the company for more than 26 weeks and less than 2 years
  • Two weeks of notice for employment of over two years and less than five years
  • Four weeks of notice for over five years of employment

Probation periods

In Singapore, probation periods are not mandatory, but common practice is from three to six months.

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