Singapore Employment Act - New requirements for payslips, key employment terms and employment records

By Susan de Silva, Goh Seow Hui


The Singapore Employment Act (EA) was amended on 17 August 2015 to require employers to provide their EA employees with itemised payslips and written Key Employment Terms. Employers must also keep more detailed employee records than previously required. These changes take effect on 1 April 2016. Employers should now review their employment contracts, payslip forms and employee records to ensure that they will be ready to comply with these requirements.

Starting 1 April 2016, employers will be required to:

(1)    provide itemised payslips;

(2)    provide written KETs; and

(3)    keep detailed employment records,

for employees covered by the EA.

Employees covered by the EA generally refer to non-managerial/non-executive employees regardless of salary level; and managerial/executive employees earning up to S$4,500 a month (EA Employees).

(1)    Itemised Payslips

Itemised payslips must be given at least once a month together with the salary payment or within 3 days of the salary payment at the latest.

There is no prescribed format for itemised payslips, and they can be in soft or hardcopy. Itemised payslips must contain the following:

  • Full name of employer;
  • Full name of employee;
  • Date of payment/s;
  • Net salary for that salary period;
  • Basic salary for that salary period;
  • Start and end date of that salary period;
  • All allowances paid for that salary period (fixed and ad-hoc);
  • Any other additional payment for that salary period (e.g. bonus);
  • Any deductions made for that salary period (e.g. CPF Contribution);

and if applicable,

  • Number of overtime hours worked;
  • Total amount of overtime pay for that overtime payment period; and
  • Start and end date of that overtime payment period.

(Source: ANNEX A - REQUIREMENTS FOR ITEMISED PAYSLIPS, Employment (Amendment) Bill 2015)

Itemised payslips records must be retained by employers for at least 2 years.

(2) Written Key Employment Terms

Employers are required to issue KETs to EA Employees who are hired after 1 April 2016 and who will be employed for a continuous period of 14 days or more. KETs must be issued within 14 days of the EA Employee starting employment.

There is no prescribed format for KETs, and they can be in soft or hardcopy. KETs must include the following:

  • Full name of employer;
  • Full name of employee;
  • Start date of employment;
  • Job title, and main duties & responsibilities;
  • Duration of employment (if applicable);
  • Probation period;
  • Working hours and days;
  • Salary periods;
  • Basic Salary;
  • All fixed allowances;
  • Any other additional incentives (e.g. bonus);
  • Any fixed deductions (e.g. CPF Contribution);
  • Any medical benefits;
  • Leave entitlements;
  • Notice periods;

and if applicable,

  • Overtime; and
  • Overtime rates.

(Source: ANNEX B - REQUIREMENTS FOR KEY EMPLOYMENT TERMS, Employment (Amendment) Bill 2015)

KETs which are not specific to individual employees, such as leave entitlements, can be set out in an employee handbook or company intranet instead of individual written KETs.

(3) Employment Records

Employers must maintain detailed employment records of their current EA Employees as well as EA Employees who have left employment after 1 April 2016. This is an expansion of the previous requirement to only maintain a register showing prescribed particulars of current EA Employees.

The employment records should contain the details required by the Employment (Register of Employees) Regulations, which are similar to details required under the new KETs requirements.

There is no fixed prescribed period for the retention period of the employment records.


Under a new framework which classifies less severe breaches of the EA as “civil breaches” instead of criminal offences, a failure to comply with the requirements on itemised payslips, written KETs and employment records will be penalised a "civil breach" and attract administrative penalties.

Penalties for civil breaches can result in MOM issuing an order to the employer to rectify the breach or in financial penalties of $100 to $200 per employee or occurrence, depending on the type of breach. A failure to comply with MOM's order will constitute a criminal offence, which attracts more severe penalties of fines up to S$5,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 6 months.