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The Employment Claims Act (Act 21 of 2016) (the "Employment Claims Act") sets up the new
Employment Claims Tribunals ("ECT"), which provide employees and employers with an expeditious and affordable avenue to resolve salary-related disputes and wrongful dismissal disputes. The Employment Claims Act also aims to facilitate the resolution of salary-related employment disputes for more employees.
The ECT came into operation on 1 April 2017.
The Employment Claims Tribunals (ECT) hears:
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Statutory salary-related disputes are disputes over employee entitlements under the Employment Act (EA), Retirement and Re-employment Act (RRA) and Child Development Co-Savings Act (CDCA), such as unpaid salary, overtime pay, salary in lieu of notice, employment assistance payment and maternity benefits etc.
Contractual salary-related disputes are disputes over employee entitlements under the employee's contract of service, including payment of allowances, bonuses, commissions, salary in lieu of notice and retrenchment benefits, as long as these are provided in monetary terms in the contract.
Note that public servants, domestic workers and seafarers may not bring contractual salary-related claims to the ECT. However, they can still bring limited statutory salary-related claims for employment assistant payments and maternity benefits to the ECT.
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Wrongful dismissal occurs when an employee is dismissed without just cause or excuse. For more information on what could amount to wrongful dismissal, please refer to the Tripartite Guidelines on Wrongful Dismissal available
If you believe you have been wrongfully dismissed, you may file a claim for:
For more information on computing the compensation claimable under (b), please refer to the Employment Claims Regulations 2017 available
This is because there are other avenues for these employees to resolve their employment disputes. Public servants continue to have recourse through the Public Service's internal processes. Domestic workers can approach their employment agencies and MOM to resolve employment disputes. Likewise for seafarers, they can continue to settle disputes, including salary-related disputes, under the Merchant Shipping (Maritime Labour Convention) Act.
However, public servants, domestic workers and seafarers may bring certain statutory salary-related and wrongful dismissal claims to TADM and the ECT, such as claims for employment assistance payments and maternity benefits.
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Interns who are engaged under a contract of service, i.e. the intern agrees to serve the employer as an employee, will be covered under the Employment Claims Act and may bring their claims before the ECT.
No, employers can only bring contractual and statutory claims relating to salary in lieu of notice of termination to the ECT.
Non-payment of CPF contributions is not a salary claim, but an offence under the CPF Act. Employees may inform the CPF Board of such issues for appropriate action to be taken.
Information on CPF contributions can be found on the CPF website at
Click on the "Employers" tab on the top bar, and select "Employer Guide". You can also email the CPF Board at
firstname.lastname@example.org if you require any help.
You may wish to seek advice from Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management ("TADM") before submitting your mediation request to them.
The ECT will take over the Labour Court's function on resolving salary disputes, but the Labour Court will continue to hear claims relating to the transfer of employment under section 18A of the Employment Act, claims for workmen's compensation, claims for non-salary related disputes and claims related to the recovery of salary not paid in legal tender, among other things.
The SCT mainly hears disputes between consumers and suppliers, and does not cover salary-related disputes or wrongful dismissal disputes. However, the SCT may hear cases involving independent contractors bound by contracts for services (e.g. self-employed persons, freelancers), which are excluded from the ECT.
As the State Courts must remain neutral and independent in adjudicating matters that are filed in the Courts, the State Courts staff are not in the position to provide advice for any matter that is or may come within our court system. If you require legal advice, you may find this list of organisations and their websites useful:
Migrant Workers' Centre (MWC)
Head Office: 60 Paya Lebar Road, #13-45, Paya Lebar Square (Lobby 2), Singapore 409051
Telephone: (+65) 6290 7633
Address: 1 Havelock Square, Level 1 State Courts building, Singapore 059724
Telephone: (+65) 6557 4100
The Law Society of Singapore's Pro Bono Services Office
Address: 50 Market Street, #10-04, Golden Shoe Car Park, Singapore 048940
Telephone: (+65) 6536 0650
(Office in State Courts is only for Criminal Legal Aid Scheme matters)
Address: 1 Supreme Court Lane, Level 5M, Singapore 178879
Telephone: (+65) 6332 4388
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