Contract Staffing HR News

Employment Guidelines for Freelancers & Contract Staffing Singapore.

Since 2018, more than 200,000 Singaporeans and permanent residents were employed on term contracts, making up 11 per cent of the resident workforce – a rate that has mostly held steady in the last 10 years but is expected to raise in the future post pandemic as more companies evaluate the future of work and adopts more work from home and flexible work arrangements. With the ongoing COVID 19 pandemic and economic restructuring within the local and global economies, many HR consultants have observed that contract staffing Singapore employment arrangements are likely to see an increasing trend. 

Many of these contract staffing Singapore arrangement are also being done via an outsourced contract staff arrangement with third party contractors or employment agencies. These agencies are also known as professional employer organization (PEO) and the candidates are placed with these agencies as Employer on Record (EOR).

In Singapore, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), and the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF), have jointly developed a set of Tripartite Guidelines on the Employment of Term Contract Employees The intention is to provide some form of employee protection amongst the resident workers working as contract staff or freelancers in Singapore.

Amongst some of the provisions in the guidelines, contract staffing in Singapore who have worked in the same firm for three months or more are entitled to statutory leave and other employment benefits. This change will make the employment benefits for contract staff closer and similar to permanent staff.

Some contract workers working for the same employer for a long time do not currently enjoy benefits such as annual leave, sick leave or childcare leave, as they are on separate contracts shorter than three months and renewed with a break in between, according to the Ministry of Manpower.

“Hopefully, these guidelines can help close the loophole where fixed- term employees can be short-changed by unscrupulous employers who deliberately break their contracts to deny them their statutory employment benefits,” said National Trades Union Congress assistant secretary-general Zainal Sapari.

Under the contract staffing term guidelines, employers are encouraged to treat contracts renewed within a month as continuous, and grant leave benefits based on the cumulative term of contracts, for those of 14 days or more. Employers could pro-rate leave based on the cumulative duration of the contract.

For instance, an employee working for the same firm on three consecutive month-long contracts is entitled in his fourth month to benefits like two days of paid annual leave, based on seven days of paid annual leave a year. He qualifies as long as he does not take a combined break of a month or longer in the three months. The breaks do not count towards his length of service.

Employers should keep to the notice period for early termination in the contract, according to the guidelines. If the clause was not included, employers can check the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) website on what they should do.

Notwithstanding the above, these are only “guidelines” and many employers or service buyers are not obliged to follow or comply. It is not enforceable or applicable on freelancers, or contractors working under “contract for service” arrangements. It is hope that in the future, the Singapore authorities may wish to enhance this guidelines with laws and regulations which can be enforced across all employers and service buyers.

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Are You Being Paid Fairly At Work?

You’ve probably been working loyally at this company for a while now. Perhaps, you’ve also been thinking of taking on additional duties too. But, are you all of a sudden wondering if you’re being paid fairly at work? Don’t worry. We’ll be sharing some useful tips that can help you figure out if you’re being compensated rightfully for your time, experience as well as skill set.

No matter how productive and efficient employees can be at work, everyone gets the jitters when it comes to asking for a salary increment. It’s natural. The need to work yourself up to the conversation with your superior can be nerve-wrecking.

And if a bump in salary is not possible, perhaps it’s now time to consider switching to a position that may offer a pay raise. In this article, we’ll be providing you with some useful tips that can help you reach your salary goals sooner than later!

Read on to find out some of the tips we have that can help you figure out what to do if you’re not being paid fairly at work!

A word of caution before we delve into the article: this written piece aims to function as a guide and should not be read as a comprehensive or exhaustive list of advice when it comes to ensuring that you’re being compensated for your work fairly. The best way to find out what may work for your success would be by conducting ample research.

Browsing through this article could function as the first step you take into exploring different ways as to how you can make sure that you are indeed being paid fairly at work.

Without further ado, let’s get right into the article!

What to do if you’re not being paid fairly at work

  1. Highlight a key achievement and ask politely
    So, what can you do if you’re not being paid fairly at work? Is there a good time to ask for a better pay? Will it ever come by? Of course, it will! But when exactly should you initiate this conversation so it works out favourably for you?

    Be sure to ask about being paid fairly right after achieving a key accomplishment that was directed through your efforts and from your own end. Most of the time, individuals who successfully manage to lock in a pay increment asked for one after hitting a successful work accomplishment.

    Do so especially, if you’ve spearheaded any project(s) that have worked out phenomenally. That would be the perfect time to ask!In order to clinch that salary increment though, you’d most likely need to prove that your hard work has been benefiting the organisation. Whether that’s through your ideas to improve the internal departments or whether it’s cheering your clients up, take note of timing!

    Be sure to avoid stressful work periods when asking for money matters too. You don’t want to step on your superior’s toes when they’re busy and focused on a different or complicated project.

    When everyone’s in a cheerier mood and is aware of your contributions to the company, that would make the perfect time for you to put in a request for a pay raise.

    That said, it’s also just as important to voice out your opinion on fair pay. If you’ve been putting in extra hours or going way out of your job scope to deliver projects, it’s definitely time to ask for a pay raise.

  2. Speak in person
    A mistake that many individuals tend to make when asking for fair pay at work: emailing or worse, texting your superiors about it.

    Don’t do that! You’re setting yourself for an easy ‘sorry, no/maybe/later’ response from your employers or hiring managers! Besides, setting the meeting in person will also express how serious you are about the matter at hand.

    Body language is also a key communication factor that you will be able to read and study when broaching the topic. This is a key benefit that can be better achieved if you hold the conversation in-person, rather than when you hold it over a phone call or video conversation.

    It is crucial that your request for a fair pay remains polite and humble. Your conversation should not come across as demanding by nature. That will automatically warrant a rejection of your request. Practice respect! It goes both ways, after all 😉

    Highlight your gratitude in being able to have served the company this far and express your keenness to continue doing so. Being polite and negotiating for a fair pay in person would definitely be the way to go!

  3. Don’t give them a number
    One of the best ways to ensure that you’re being paid fairly at work is by making sure that you don’t cite a figure for your employers or human resource manager to work around.

    Don’t give them a number as that will then set the bar. Instead, let them be the first to share a figure with you instead. If you are put in a position where you are being asked to share an approximate amount, block or bridge the question to a response relating to your responsibilities at the firm.

    Be clear that the amount may vary depending on how much extra responsibilities will be added to your existing workload. Right after mentioning that, be sure to mention how much workload you are also available and ready to take on.

    This will better allow your superiors to get a clearer idea of your expectations without actually having to spell it out for them! 😉

    In conclusion, there are numerous ways that you can tap on to help you chat about being paid fairly at work. If it’s been a while since your last salary increment, highlight the need to match your pay to your current responsibilities.

    Worst case scenario, maybe it’s time for you to bring your talents to another workspace where they’d be more willing to ensure that you’re being paid fairly! It’s entirely up to you.

    After all, each job will have its own perks and benefits to offer! With all that being said, we have to come to the end of this article. We hope this written piece has provided you with some insights as to what are some of the steps you can take to help you get a fair pay at work.

    We hope the above 3 pieces of advice on how to ensure that you’re being compensated fairly at work, is useful to you! And of course, while you’re at it, you can always hop around job sites to check out what positions are open too!

    In the meantime, if you’re on the lookout for fresh grad job opportunities or a side-hustle, visit GrabJobs.

Contract Staffing HR News


contract staff


Resident employees working as contract staff, freelancers or term contracts are on the rise. According to data from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), residents working as contract staff increased almost 9 per cent from 2010 to 2015, about 202,400, or 11 per cent of the resident workforce in 2015. In March 2017, Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say noted that there were 200,000 freelancers in Singapore, again reconfirming that they make up about 9 per cent of the workforce. Of these, about 167,000 workers were “primary” freelancers – workers who freelance as their main job. These include insurance agents, private-hire car drivers, hawkers or stallholders, and private tutors. The remainder were “secondary” freelancers, representing about 1.5 per cent of resident employment. These workers freelance part-time alongside other jobs and would include students, housewives or retirees who take on side jobs for additional income.

Freelancing or Contract Staffing has and will increasingly become a trend in the future workplace. Most of the contract staff arrangement are also being done via an outsourced contract staff arrangement with third party contractors or employment agencies. These agencies are also known as professional employer organization (PEO) and the candidates are placed with these agencies as Employer on Record (EOR). Industries such as IT, financial services, engineering, pharmaceuticals, and oil and gas, where businesses are structured heavily around projects, have the greatest propensity to use contract staff. But there is also increasing demand for contractors in blue collar professions as can be seen from the data above.

According to 2014 PwC survey, almost all employers expect that at least a fifth of their workforce will be made up of contractors or temporary workers by 2022. The COVID 19 pandemic in 2020 has accelerated this process further. The work from home experience during the pandemic over the past couple of years have shown that productivity is not necessarily affected when employees work from home. In fact, many employers are considering making work from home a permanent feature of the work arrangements.

While older employees may view working in the office as natural order of things, the younger employees view operating remotely as completely normal since the pandemic hit. For certain industries and job roles such as those in creative development and production, face-to-face collaboration is essential. In other industries such as technology and media, working flexibly and from home may be more acceptable.

As organisations become increasingly aware of the benefits of contracting, and candidates become more open to the concept of professional contract work, initiatives to protect the rights and benefits will become increasingly pertinent.

Generally, employees on term contracts miss out on benefits which permanent staff are entitled to, such as increment, insurance benefits, bonuses and union support. However, many employers do consider contract staff with the same status as their permanent counterparts. Many contract staff enjoy the same employment benefits as their permanent counterparts. Nevertheless, contract staffing arrangements are often seen or perceived as inferior compared to permanent arrangements. Unlike mature contract markets like in Europe or US, the pay for contract staff in Singapore is at most on par with permanent employees, making the employment arrangement a less attractive option.

Beyond material benefits and financial remuneration, contract and transient employees will be increasingly cognisant of professional development opportunities within these roles.

The biggest drawbacks from contracting, due to the shorter nature of the work, revolve around the lack of being able to influence big changes and ideas within the company and its business, something that could impact the strength of the candidate’s resume in the long run.

Supported by the technology and social media as well as the rise of the portfolio career, more and more workers come to realise that they could enjoy more flexibility and varied challenges by working freelance or as a contractor for multiple companies.


Category: HR News, Recruitment

Tags: Contract Staff, Contract Staffing, Freelancer, Temporary Staff , Professional Employer Organization (PEO) , Employer on Record(EOR)