Practical Guide to the Employment Act (2nd Edition)

Practical Guide to The Employment Act for Good HR PracticesWhat is this?

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has just amended the Employment Act wef
1st April 2014 which fundamentally altered the coverage of the Employment Act to include Professionals, Managers and Executives (PMEs).
What are the implications for employers, employees, PMEs and Human Resource practitioners resulting from these changes?

If you want to know more, the Practical Guide to the Employment Act for
Good HR Practices (2nd Edition) will offer you all the answers. The book offers readers some never-before-explained insights of the Act based on over 40 years of experience of the authors in the field of human resource management and development.

Who needs this book?

Human Resource experts describe this as a “must have, must read and must refer” guide book.

What is in this book?


Chapter 1 – Coverage and Interpretation of the Employment Act
Chapter 2 – Employment Terms
Chapter 3 – Salary
Chapter 4 – Working Hours and Shift Work
Chapter 5 – Statutory Leave: Annual Leave/Child-care Leave
Chapter 6 – Statutory Leave: Sick Leave & Hospitalization Leave
Chapter 7 – Statutory Leave: Maternity Leave & Paternity Leave
Chapter 8 – Statutory Leave: Public Holiday
Chapter 9 – Change of Employer
Chapter 10 – Other Provisions
Chapter 11 – Termination and Dismissal
Chapter 12 – Calculations and Formulas
Chapter 13 – Part-Time Employment
Appendix – The Employment Act (Cap 91)
                  – Employment of Part-Time Employees Regulations
                  – Employment (Female Workmen) Regulations
                  – Employment (Children and Young Persons) Regulations
                  – The Child Development Co-Saving Act
                  – Employment, Parental Leave and Other Measures Act (2013)


Here is an excerpt from Chapter 6 – Statutory Leave: Sick Leave & Hospitalization Leave

Returning to work while on sick leave

Question: Are workers allowed to return to work if they are on sick leave?
Answer:  No, an employer should advise the worker to take the sick leave and return home to rest. However, if the worker insists that he is well and would therefore like to work, then the employer should request the worker to get the doctor to cancel the medical leave so that the employer cannot be accused of allowing them to work while on medical leave.

Excess sick leave taken

Question: If the worker has exhausted all his sick leave entitlement, how is the excess sick leave treated thereafter?
Answer: The subsequent sick leave will be treated as unpaid leave.

No pro-rating of sick/hospitalization leave with more than 6 months’ service

Question: The worker has served only 7 months. Can the employer pro-rate the sick leave entitlement of 14 days and hospitalization leave of 60 days?
Answer: There is no pro-rating of sick leave if the worker has completed 6 months of service. However, sick leave and hospitalization leave can be pro-rated if a worker has completed more than 3 months but less than 6 months of service.

Beyond statutory limit

Question: If a worker continues to require extended sick leave, what can the employer do?
Answer: If a worker still requires sick leave, the employer may require the worker to undergo a medical review and if the doctor certifies that he is unfit for employment, the employer may terminate the contract by medically boarding out the worker.

Corrective action against workers for taking excessive sick leave

Question: Can corrective action be taken against a worker who utilises all his sick leave entitlement to the maximum every year?
Answer: An employer cannot discipline a worker for consuming his legal limit of sick leave every year. However, employers can institute incentive or disincentive schemes. For example, some employers have introduced “no-sick” leave bonus to reward workers who maintain a clean record while some employers link the taking of sick leave to a productivity bonus. Under such a productivity scheme, the more sick leave taken, the less productivity bonus the worker will receive.

Taking sick leave while on notice of termination

Question: Can an employer extend the worker’s notice period if he falls sick during the notice period?
Answer: If a worker is entitled to sick leave, the employer cannot deny him the sick leave nor extend the notice period given by the worker.


What did other HR professionals say about this book?

"An excellent reference manual for any would-be HR manager as well as IR Practitioner. This is a very well laid-out guide book with all the relevant sections of the Act organized by subject headings for easy reference. Boon Cher has drawn from his vast experience to provide practical answers on the “how to” aspects of managing those difficult FAQ issues. His tips on good HR policies and practices can only raise the standard of HR management and encourage the adoption of fair employment practices among his readers."
- Mrs Cheong-Law Swee Hong, Deputy Secretary-General, SMMWU

"… one of the most comprehensive and easy to read manuals that I have ever come across. It outlines an otherwise confusing Act and puts it in layman terms that can be understood by both the HR practitioner and the front line manager."
- Rodney Smoczyk, Corporate Recruiting Manager, EDG Inc, Houston, Texas, USA

"This handbook answers many pertinent questions which both line managers & HR practitioners have in mind. More importantly, it explains the principles and rationale of the recommended practices."
- JD Tan, Vice President, Corporate Services, CapitaLand China Holdings Pte Ltd

"A very practical book on employment that every employer and worker must have."
- Hsu Li Ren, Deputy Director, Human Resource Development, Tan Tock Seng Hospital

"The book lives up to its title of being a Practical Guide to the Employment Act. Mr Chia injects his rich wealth of experience in HRM and labour law with relevant cases to help the reader understand the background and intent of the various sections of the Act. The Q & A format anticipates questions of readers and provides answers that are practical and to the point making the book a very efficient reference for busy professionals."
- Jeanny Lau, Director, HR, Singapore National Eyes Centre

"A must have, must read, and must refer guide for all HR rookies, practitioners and gurus."
- Nelson Lee, Regional Human Resource Head, Sime Darby Management Services (S) Pte Ltd

"This Book gives us a good insight on the Employment Act. It makes me understand the Act better and it is definitely a 5 star must-buy for HR Practitioners."
- Cheryl Leong, Assistant Manager, Unicast Engineering & Trading Pte Ltd

"A practical and useful reference for HR practitioners."
- Irene Chan, Senior Associate Director, Office of the Human Resource, NUS

"The book not only highlights sensitive and complicated issues which can become potential grievances, but also offers solutions on good HR practices to avoid conflicts. It is definitely a must have HR tools."
- Jeannie Ho, Director, Human Resource, Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS)

About the Author

Chia Boon CherChia Boon Cher

With over 3 decades of experience, Virtual HR inhouse consultant Mr Chia Boon Cher had over 16 years of experience in the Ministry of Manpower before he joined the private sector in 1990. At the Ministry, he held various appointments including Enforcement Officer (Labour Inspectorate), Assistant Director (Conciliation) and the Registrar of Trade Unions.

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