MOM: Singapore's employment standards improve

This is attributed to drop of employment claims and appeals, as well as more recovery of owed salaries

MOM: Singapore's employment standards improve

Singapore's state of employment standards improved in 2021, according to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), as overall incidence of employment claims and appeals dropped.

In the latest Employment Standards Report 2021 released on Monday, the overall number of employment claims and appeals filed to MOM and the Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management (TADM) "fell significantly" from 2.59 in 2020 to 1.73 per 1,000 employees in 2021.

According to MOM, the drop was driven by the decline in salary claims among local and foreign employees, who made up most of the employment claims.

The decline among local employees was party driven in the drop of salary claims in the Services sector, explained MOM, while the drop among foreign employees was due to the plunge in salary claims in the Construction sector.

More workers received owed salaries

In addition, 95% of employees also fully recovered owed salaries in 2021, amounting to $8.6 million in total, according to the report, higher than the 92% in 2020.

"MOM also suspended the work pass privileges of employers who did not fully repay their employees. Less than one per cent of the salary claims lodged in 2021 involved wilful employers who refused to make full payment of the owed arrears, despite having the means to do so," said the ministry in a media release.

Read more: MOM vows to make leaders accountable for workplace hazards

Wrongful dismissal claims

The number of wrongful dismissal claims also decreased to 0.27 per 1,000 employees in 2021, down from the 0.39 the year before.

According to the report, 74% of the unsubstantiated wrongful dismissal claims stem from miscommunication between employer-employee on issues such as work performance.

"The employers had fulfilled their contractual or statutory obligations of employment termination with notice," said MOM.

There was also improvement when it comes to the conclusion of cases, with 92% of salary claims and 84% of wrongful dismissal claims concluded within two months.

"For salary claims, the improvement was largely due to a drop in the number of claims lodged in 2021," said MOM. "For dismissal claims, the improvement could be partly attributed to the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, which allowed parties to resolve their differences in person with the mediators’ assistance."

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