Singapore is a unique independent city-state with low tax rates, high incomes, and very low unemployment. Singapore has very few barriers to entry, and attracts companies from all over the world looking to expand. If you are considering expansion or growing your business in Asia, it’s a great time to look at Singapore.

As with any expansion, there are several challenges to managing payroll and operations in Singapore. Trading across borders and costs associated with exports, as well as registering property, setting up mandatory employee funds and procuring worker’s compensation insurance can be challenging.

The corporate tax rate in Singapore is 17%. The amount of taxable income varies is based on calendar year. Corporate tax filing deadlines are November 30th for paper filing and December 15th if filing electronically.

Payroll and statutory requirements include contributions to the Central Provident Fund (CFP) with monthly filing, tax and National Insurance payments, and specific regulations for expatriate employees. Each year annual payroll tax returns including employee benefits such as the housing reimbursement scheme must be filed with the Inland Revenue Department of Singapore.

There are several options for funding payroll in Singapore. If you use the Blue Marble money movement services, you can fund payroll in USD and settle in the local currency. If you have a local bank account, you can fund salary and statutory payments and pay employees directly. If you do not have a local bank account, you can send payroll funds to the in-country provider and they will make salary and statutory payments on your behalf.

The Singapore Employment Act provides statutory practices for employee contracts, pay, and benefits including:

  • 7-14 days of paid leave per year
  • Sick and holiday leave according to length of employment include:
    • 0-3 Months: 5 non-hospitalized/15 hospitalized days
    • 4th Month: 8 non-hospitalized/30 hospitalized days
    • 5th Month: 11 non-hospitalized/45 hospitalized days
    • After 6 Months: 14 days non-hospitalized/60 hospitalized days
    • The employee must inform their employer within 48 hours of inability to work and must provide a medical certificate upon return.
  • Salaries must be paid in timely fashion
  • Childcare leave
  • Safeguards against wrongful dismissal

Foreign workers require visas, with the type of visa based on:

  • Income level that will be earned
  • Type and Duration of work
  • Spousal and family connections

In recent years, Singapore has made it more difficult for employers to hire foreign workers in order to encourage hiring more Singaporean citizens. Companies offering a monthly salary below 15,000 SGD and employing 10 or more full-time employees must post the position on the National Jobs Bank for a 14 day minimum, giving citizens a chance to apply for the position.

Blue Marble has created revolutionary cloud-based payroll software with customized, aggregated reporting to provide real-time access to your payroll in Singapore and around the world. Blue Marble provides integrated HR and labor compliance solutions to stay compliant with the latest employment law and payroll changes. Our hybrid service model gives you a dedicated US-based team and in-country experts in Singapore to help when questions come up. Get started today and simplify your payroll in Singapore.