Basic Employment Terms all Jobseekers Must Know

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How many of you do not read the telco contract and simply sign blindly?

I do.

But when it comes to your employment contract, you better scrutinize it with a mine sweeper. Legality can be the most torturous stuff to read and remain awake by the 2nd paragraph.

Yet all your rights and bargaining chip in resolving future disputes with your employers rest in all those fine prints. Like it or not, you need to know.

It is also timely that NTUC recently announced a guidelines on key employment terms. They will become compulsory by the first half of 2016

The guidelines were developed jointly by the Manpower Ministry (MOM), the labour movement and the Singapore National Employers Federation, and advise employers to provide information such as daily working hours, overtime rate of pay, and leave entitlements within 14 days of theemployee starting work.

They should provide these to staff who have been employed continuously for at least 14 days. The terms can be in hard or soft copy form, as long as employees can keep a copy of it.

There had been far too many employment related disputes going around and many of them aren’t even reported. What you read is just the tip of the iceberg.

In 2008, Recruit Express was fined a total of $1,000 on Tuesday for giving different length of termination notice in contracts. A representative of Recruit Express admitted to two charges of entering into a contract with an employee, stipulating different length of notice of termination to be given by employer and employee.

So if you wish to quit, you might need to give 4 weeks notice. But if they don’t need you, it is a week.

It is not uncommon for intermediaries to pull such acts. More often than not it is according to the clients’ instructions. But since they have an agency fronting it, employers can always feign ignorance or deflect the ball to the agency

Although we would love to pin the blame on corporations, knowing your employment terms well might have prevented the whole thing. The knowledge assures employees of their regular income and main employment benefits, and helps to prevent or resolve employment disputes that may arise.

In your next employment contract, ensure these 17 items are listed down clearly:

  1. Name of employer
  2. Name of employee
  3.  Job title and main duties and responsibilities
  4. Date of commencing employment (Only for employees on fixed-term contract)
  5. Duration of employment
  6. Daily working hours, number of working days per week and rest day(s)
  7. Salary period
  8. Basic salary per salary period
  9. Fixed allowances per salary period
  10. Fixed deductions per salary period (Only if different from salary period)
  11. Overtime payment period
  12. Overtime rate of pay
  13. Other salary-related components (e.g. bonuses, incentives)
  14. Leave entitlements (e.g. annual leave, outpatient sick leave, hospitalization leave, maternity leave, childcare leave)
  15. Other medical benefits (e.g. insurance, medical, dental benefits)
  16. Probation period
  17. Notice period for termination of employment initiated by either party

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