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Hire Employees in Singapore

Updated on:
16 Jan, 2024
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Employ contractors and employees in 160+ countries

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Monthly
best value
Annually
Pay monthly at a discounted rate with a 12-month commitment
(Save upto 15%)
$
199
/month
(billed monthly)
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Employ contractors and employees in 160+ countries

G2 badge
EOR in 
Singapore
Monthly
$
249
/month
(billed annually)
Annually
Pay monthly at a discounted rate with a 12-month commitment
$
199
/month
(billed monthly)
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Table of Content

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Building a remote team?

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Hiring employees in Singapore is a strategic move for global businesses looking to expand in the Asia-Pacific region. The maritime country offers a well-developed infrastructure and business-friendly opportunities for companies to tap into the growing markets of Southeast Asia. 

The primary work language is English. Further, the island nation is receptive to skilled immigration. Thus, global companies enjoy a demographic advantage in addition to geography. 

Hiring in Singapore involves compliance with specific regulations governing employment, work passes, and labor practices. It is essential to familiarize yourself with such regulations to avoid legal issues.

Singapore’s Labor Laws

The Employment Act forms the basis of Singapore’s labor laws. It sets out minimum employment requirements, including working hours, overtime pay, rest days, and other entitlements. 

Employers may extend these benefits to employees whose annual salary is USD 2,600 or less. However, they are not obliged to extend such conditions of service when employing managers, executives, or professionals. Let’s elaborate on it further. 

Working hours in Singapore

  • The restrictions on working hours in Singapore enforce no work more than eight hours a day or more than 44 hours a week.
  • Employers must refrain from setting working hours beyond six without a rest break. 
  • Employers must provide rest breaks of at least 45 minutes long. 

Overtime Pay

  • Employers can enforce overtime work up to 12 hours a day or 72 hours a week. 
  • Further, employers in Singapore must pay employees for overtime hours at 1.5 times their usual pay. 

Termination of employment in Singapore

  • Employers must serve a notice of termination in writing. 
  • Singapore’s labor law determines a notice period based on years of service, up to four weeks for five years or more. However, employers may specify the required notice period in the employment contract.

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Payroll and Taxes in Singapore

Payroll in Singapore involves calculating and paying employee salaries alongside tax deductions and other contributions. Here is an overview of the payroll process for employers to follow in Singapore:

Minimum Wage:

  • There are no statutory minimum wages in Singapore. 
  • However, employers are encouraged to pay according to the job role. 

Tax deductions & contributions: 

  • Employers cannot exceed 50% deductions from payable salary. 
  • This includes withholding personal income tax (progressive tax rate of 0% for annual income below SGD 20,000 and highest 22% for annual income above SGD 320,001), Central Provident Fund (CPF) premium (employer contribution varies depending on employee age and salary). 
  • There are no further social security schemes in Singapore. 

Payroll frequency: 

  • Payroll frequency in Singapore can be monthly, bi-weekly, or bi-monthly. You can pay salaries through direct deposit, cheque, or cash. All salaries must be credited within seven days after the end of the monthly salary period.

We recommend payroll software solutions like Skuad to help you manage your payroll in Singapore better. 

Employee Benefits in Singapore

Public Holiday 

Employers in Singapore must grant eleven paid holidays, including 

  • New Year's Day
  • Chinese New Year (two days)
  • Hari Raya Puasa
  • Hari Raya Haji
  • Good Friday
  • Labor Day
  • Vesak Day
  • National Day
  • Deepavali
  • Christmas Day

Further, employers must compensate with an extra day’s salary if employees work on a public holiday. 

Paid Vacation 

  • Employers must provide seven days of paid annual leave, subject to a maximum of 14 days
  • Employers may extend vacation benefits in Singapore only to those employed more than three months. Furthermore, for every 12 months of continuous service, employers must provide an additional day of paid vacation leave.     

Leave policy

Employers must pass on the following leave benefits in Singapore to their employees: 

Sick leave: 

  • Employers may provide 14 days of paid sick leave, including 60 days of paid hospitalization leave. 
  • Employers may transfer such benefits to those employed for at least three months. 

Maternity leave: 

  • Employees’ nationality determines the statutory duration of maternity leave in Singapore. 
  • Employers may provide 16 weeks of paid Maternity Leave. If an employee adopts a child, employers can provide mothers with 12 weeks of paid maternity leave. 
  • Further, employers may claim reimbursement for the salary paid to employees under the Government-Paid Maternity Leave (GPML) scheme

Paternity leave: 

  • Employers must extend two weeks of paid paternity leave in Singapore. 
  • From 1 January 2024 onwards, employers may grant two more weeks of government-paid paternity leave to eligible employees.  

Shared parental leave: 

  • Employers may draft a shared parental leave arrangement where eligible fathers can utilize four weeks of paid leave within the 16 weeks of statutory maternity leave in Singapore. 

Childcare leave: 

  • Employers can offer up to six days of paid childcare leave in a year for children aged below seven years, based on employees’ nationality
  • Employers may grant additional childcare leave for children aged 7-12 years. 
  • Each parent is limited to 42 days of childcare leave. 

Cost of Hiring an Employee in Singapore

The cost of hiring an employee in Singapore can vary significantly based on whether you establish a subsidiary or use an Employer of Record (EOR) service in Singapore. Here's a breakdown of the costs associated with each approach:

Establishing a Subsidiary vs. Employer of Record (EOR) in Singapore

Criteria Establishing a subsidiary Partnering with Skuad
Direct setup cost Admin, legal, and professional fees may be higher for company registration, compliance risks, and office establishment in Singapore. You can use Skuad’s EOR service in Singapore for hiring and managing employees, all at a nominal fee.
Time for setup Businesses may take a few days to several months to establish and operationalize in Singapore. Skuad’s established infrastructure in Singapore enables hiring within days.
Operating costs HR, payroll compliance, and office overheads constitute a portion of operating costs in Singapore. All your HR, payroll, and compliance risks while hiring in Singapore are managed by Skuad’s EOR solution.
Employment liabilities The subsidiary and the parent company are at direct risk while hiring in Singapore. Skuad’s EOR platform manages compliance risk while hiring in Singapore.
Criteria Partnering with Skuad Establishing a subsidiary
Direct setup cost You can use Skuad’s EOR service in Singapore for hiring and managing employees, all at a nominal fee. Admin, legal, and professional fees may be higher for company registration, compliance risks, and office establishment in Singapore.
Time for setup Skuad’s established infrastructure in Singapore enables hiring within days. Businesses may take a few days to several months to establish and operationalize in Singapore.
Operating costs All your HR, payroll, and compliance risks while hiring in Singapore are managed by Skuad’s EOR solution. HR, payroll compliance, and office overheads constitute a portion of operating costs in Singapore.
Employment liabilities Skuad’s EOR platform manages compliance risk while hiring in Singapore. The subsidiary and the parent company are at direct risk while hiring in Singapore.

Compliance Risks of Hiring Employees in Singapore

When hiring employees in Singapore, you must be aware of and mitigate compliance risks to ensure that your business operates legally and smoothly. Here are some key compliance risks associated with employing workers in Singapore:

  • Work Visas in Singapore: Employers must have foreign employees hold valid work passes, such as Employment Passes, S Passes, and Dependent Passes while employers hold necessary work permits in Singapore. Failure to do so can result in fines, the revocation of passes, and potential deportation.
  • Record Keeping: Ensure that you keep precise and current records of employment-related paperwork, including employment contracts, payslips, and time and attendance records for at least two years. Refer to this link for a complete list of required items. 
  • Employee Rights and Benefits: Comply with employee benefits in Singapore such as statutory working hours, minimum wage, annual leave, sick leave, maternity and paternity leave, and public holiday entitlements. Otherwise, the Ministry of Manpower publishes a list of convicted employers for offenses under the Singapore Employment Act. 

How to Hire Talent in Singapore

You may hire employees in Singapore using internal resources or choose to outsource your hiring requirements. Here are the most recommended ways of hiring in Singapore and expanding business operations in maritime Southeast Asia: 

Option 1: Set Up a Subsidiary

  • Establishing a subsidiary in Singapore gives you complete control over hiring employees and daily business activities. 
  • It is a proven strategy for long-term relationships and creates the best employer value proposition. 
  • However, setting up a local business entity incurs high legal, financial, and administrative costs. Moreover, you may run into misclassification and other compliance risks per the Employment Act. 

Option 2: Hire as a Contractor

  • Singapore’s labor laws allow companies to hire local or foreign professionals (including freelancers and remote workers) on a contractual basis. It can help companies adjust their workforce to project needs and save costs. 
  • To hire in Singapore, you must negotiate contractual arrangements that reflect the actual classification of the employee per the Employment Act. Otherwise, there may be legal repercussions. 
  • However, hiring on a contractual basis will give companies less control over day-to-day employee activities. 

Option 3: Use an Employer of Record

  • Most companies opt for EOR solutions and offset their cost of hiring in Singapore. 
  • EOR solutions are popular, easy to use, and efficient ways to hire and manage employees in Singapore without establishing a subsidiary. 
  • EOR companies like Skuad act as the legal employer for your employees, handling payroll, compliance, and administrative tasks. It is particularly beneficial if you want to test the market briefly before establishing a subsidiary in Singapore.

Top Job Listing Sites in Singapore

With Skuad, you can scout for the best talent in Singapore. If you are a skilled employee, our team of talent specialists can help you link with the right people. 

Furthermore, Skuad's comprehensive EOR services in Singapore empower you to effortlessly onboard employees and manage payroll compliance through a unified platform.

Other platforms that can help you in acquiring talent in Singapore are: 

  • JobStreet: one of the largest and most popular job portals.
  • Indeed: global job search engine to reach a wide audience of job seekers.
  • MyCareersFuture: government-supported job portal. 
  • STJobs: online job portal of The Straits Times, one of Singapore's leading newspapers.
  • JobsDB: another established job portal in the region.

Global employers should choose job boards that are most relevant to their industry. They may consider features such as free job posting, candidate search by keyword, location, and experience, and creating a company profile to hire in Singapore.

Recent Hiring Trends in Singapore in 2024

Global employers are increasingly hiring in Singapore for its resilient economy, dynamic workforce, and maritime location in Asia. Global employers are particularly interested in hiring tech workers, data scientists and analysts, and professionals with strong soft skills. Furthermore, employers must offer additional employee benefits in Singapore, such as uncapped annual leave, hybrid work arrangements, and competitive salaries to retain the best talents. 

Singapore remains a preferred hub for regional offices and support functions, generating employment prospects in technical product support, procurement/sourcing assistance, field service engineering, and commercial positions.

Hire in Singapore with Confidence using Skuad

Hiring employees in Singapore can be a highly rewarding endeavor, given the country's business-friendly reputation and access to a skilled workforce. However, it's essential to embrace the local labor laws, market conditions, and best employment practices to navigate the hiring process and build a strong team successfully.

Skuad streamlines the hiring and onboarding process for your business in Singapore. With Skuad, you can easily manage local contracts, payroll, benefits, taxes, and more for your team members in Singapore. 

Book a demo with Skuad for hassle-free hiring in Singapore today! 

FAQs  

Q1. How do you employ employees in Singapore?

A1. To hire employees in Singapore, you can either set up a legal entity in Singapore or partner with an employer of record (EOR) provider. If hiring through an EOR provider like Skuad, you can avoid compliance with hiring, work pass eligibility, employee classification per the Employment Act, employment contracts, payroll requirements, tax and deductions reporting, and much more.  

Q2. How much does it cost to hire foreign workers in Singapore?

A2. The cost of hiring foreign workers in Singapore varies depending on the type of work passes, industry and sector, employee salary, and the corresponding employer contributions. An EOR service like Skuad can help offset hiring and payroll compliance costs. 

Employ contractors and employees in 160+ countries

G2 badge
limited-offer-banner
EOR in 
Singapore
Monthly
best value
Annually
Pay monthly at a discounted rate with a 12-month commitment
$
199
/month
(billed annually)
G2 badge

Employ contractors and employees in 160+ countries

G2 badge
limited-offer-banner
EOR in 
Singapore
Monthly
$
249
/month
(billed annually)
Annually
Pay monthly at a discounted rate with a 12-month commitment
$
199
/month
(billed monthly)
G2 badge

Table of Content

Building a remote team?

Employ exceptional talent, anywhere, anytime!

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Looking to hire employees and contractors in Singapore? Skuad's EOR platform can help!

Talk to our EOR experts
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