Singapore - HR & HR Software Guide

Country Overview:

Singapore is the third most globalized economy of the world. The World Bank has ranked the country as the most business-friendly destination for 10 consecutive years. Singapore’s highly developed free-market economy, corruption-free business environment, practical monetary/fiscal policies, and a transparent legal framework have been instrumental in the country’s success.

The current GDP of Singapore is $527.0 billion (PPP), and the annual growth rate is 3.6%. The country is part of the 21 free trade agreements (FTAs) that have been put in place for regional and bilateral agreements. Current foreign direct investments to Singapore is $62.0 billion.


Singapore Dollar

Principal Language:

English, Malay, Mandarin Chinese


Unitary State, Parliamentary Republic, Constitutional Republic

Capital City: 


The standard work schedule in Singapore comprises 9 hours per day for a 5-day workweek. The standard workweek consists of 44 hours. Employees are not required to work more than 6 consecutive hours without a break. Employees are entitled to a day off every week without pay, which is either Sunday or any other day.

Employers must provide break times of at least 45 minutes every day after 6 to 8 consecutive hours of work along with a day off every week.


Employees working more than 8 hours per day or 44 hours per week must receive overtime at a rate of time-and-one-half. Employees must not work more than 72 hours as overtime in a month.


The Employment Act in Singapore lists the following 11 paid holidays:

  • Jan. 1: New Year’s Day
  • The Chinese New Year: For 2 days
  • Hari Raya Puasa
  • Hari Raya Haji
  • Good Friday
  • May 1: Labor Day
  • Vesak Day
  • Aug. 9: National Day
  • Deepavali
  • Dec. 25: Christmas

When holidays fall on a Sunday, the next day is observed as a holiday.

Annual Leave

Employees, who earn less than SGD 2,000 per month get statutory annual leaves as stated in the Employment Act. To qualify for annual leave, employees must work for a minimum of 3 months. The number of annual leave that employees receive will depend on the contractual agreement between the employer and the employee.

Sick Leave

For employees earning less than SGD 2,000 per month, the clauses related to statutory sick leave are different. For example, employees who have worked for a minimum of 6 months, are eligible to get 14 days of annual sick leave, and 60 days of hospitalization leave (including 14 days). Similarly, there are different clauses for the minimum employment period of 5 months, 4 months, and 3 months.

Maternity Leave

Female employees who work for more than 3 months may be eligible for paid maternity leave benefits. Eligible female employees are entitled to receive a total of 16 weeks of leave. The law prevents employers from dismissing any female employee during maternity leave. Women employees are entitled to get full payment during maternity leave.

Retirement Plans

Employers need to enroll employees in retirement and savings plans covered under the Central Provident Fund (CPF). Citizens and foreign workers can also contribute to a Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS).

Health Insurance

Providing health insurance to employees is not a statutory requirement in Singapore. However, working professionals who are local citizens or permanent residents automatically qualify for a low-cost medical insurance called “Medishield” that offers basic insurance protection.

Accident and Hospitalization Benefits

Many organizations in Singapore offer medical insurance plans that provide extended benefits to dependents. These benefits typically cover personal accident and hospitalization.

Per Diem

Many organizations provide their employees a per-day allowance, transportation allowance or reimbursement of expenses for travel-related jobs. The per diem amount depends on the places employees are traveling for business purpose.

Relocation Package

Most organizations in Singapore provide a relocation allowance to employees who need to move with their family from their country of origin to Singapore. An expatriate compensation package typically includes paid airfare, paid shipping of personal effects, free or subsidized accommodation, payment of utility bills, paid childcare, and school fees for children.

Employee Stock Option Plan (ESOP)

Many organizations provide employee stock purchase plans, especially to senior employees. There may be specific eligibility criteria for employees to receive stock option benefits.

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  • Ensured compliance with in-country employment and labor laws
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