Singapore Employment Act amendments and rules on employing foreigners

On 5 March 2018, the Ministry of Manpower ("MOM") announced sweeping changes to the Employment Act (Cap. 91) (the "EA"). Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say stated that "as professionals, managers and executives (PMEs) make up 56% of the workforce – going up to 65% by around 2030 – it is timely to make a fundamental change to the coverage of the Employment Act".

In addition, in an effort to raise the quality and productivity of foreign workers in Singapore (whilst ensuring local Singaporeans receive access to highly-skilled jobs), the MOM has introduced stricter rules on employing foreigners. The MOM believes these rules will send a clear message: "We are pro-business, but only to those who are pro-worker".

This briefing summarises the key issues arising from the MOM's announcement.

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