PROFESSIONALS, managers and executives (PMEs) earning more than S$4,500 a month may soon be legally entitled to basic rights such as public holiday and sick leave entitlements, receiving their salary on time, and redress for wrongful dismissals.
The Manpower Ministry (MOM) is reviewing the Employment Act - Singapore's main labour law - and wants the public to provide feedback on its proposed changes. The consultation period lasts a month, starting Thursday.
The Act was last reviewed in 2012.
Currently, it only covers PMEs earning up to S$4,500 a month, though many of those not covered already have access to many of the provisions, said the ministry in a statement. "We would like to invite views on whether such core provisions should be extended to all employees," it said.
Another change being considered is to extend additional provisions such as overtime pay and annual leave to more vulnerable employees.
Currently, these cover rank-and-file employees in white collar occupations - such as clerks, receptionists and retail sales assistants - earning up to S$2,500 a month, and manual workers earning up to S$4,500 a month.
MOM is asking the public what they think are appropriate levels for these salary thresholds.
Finally, the ministry is reviewing the way employment disputes are settled.
Currently, even though dismissal claims and salary issues usually come together, workers have to go to two different parties to have their cases resolved. This is because statutory and contractual salary-related disputes are heard by the Employment Claims Tribunals, while wrongful dismissal claims are heard by the ministry. "We are reviewing this process to make it more streamlined for employees and employers," said MOM.
The key areas of the proposed review will be available on the Reach website (www.reach.gov.sg) from Jan 18 to Feb 15. The public can provide feedback via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) with the subject heading "Consultation on EA review".
MOM requested that people identify themselves and any organisation they represent, identify the specific proposals they are commenting on and try to explain their points with illustrations and examples.
After the last review of the Act, PMEs earning S$4,500 and below received more protection. They previously were covered in just one aspect: salary payments.