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. 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.

Payroll and Tax Considerations in Singapore

  • There is no set minimum wage for workers. The law states employers should pay their employees based on their skills and capabilities
  • Employers must pay 1.5 times the hourly rate for overtime work, and payment must be provided within 14 days after the last day of the salary period
  • Employers are not required to pay severance, but must give eligible employees notice or payment in lieu of notice and pay all unused annual leave on the last day of work
  • Resident tax rates range from 2-22%, while non-residents pay flat tax rates which vary based on type of income 

HR and Statutory Requirements

  • Employees are entitled to paid leave if they have worked for at least 3 months
  • The length of annual leave depends on employee years of service, ranging from 7 days in the first year to 14 days in the 8th year
  • Employers are entitled to sick leave if they have worked at least 3 months for a specific employer and the sick leave has been certified by the company’s doctor
  • The amount of sick leave depends on the employee length of service
  • Every employee is entitled to take maternity leave 4 weeks prior to the birth of the child and 8 weeks after. The 12-week minimum must be paid by the employer
  • A working father is entitled to 2 weeks of paternity leave for all births if the child is a Singaporean citizen, the employee is or has been married to the child’s mother, and the employee has worked for at least 3 continuous months
  • Singapore’s Central Provident Fund (CPF) is a mandatory social security savings scheme where both employee and employer contribute. By contributing to the CPF employees can meet their retirement, housing, and healthcare needs. The funding goes into 3 accounts
  • 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

Holidays in Singapore

  • January 1 – New Year’s Day
  • February 1 – Chinese Lunar New Year’s Day
  • February 2 – Second Day of Chinese Lunar New Year
  • April 15 – Good Friday
  • May 1 – Labour Day
  • May 3 – Hari Raya Puasa
  • May 3 – Day off for Labour Day
  • May 15 – Vesak Day
  • May 16 – Day off for Vesak Day
  • July 9 – Hari Raya Haji
  • August 9 – National Day
  • October 24 – Diwali/Deepavali
  • December 25 – Christmas Day
  • December 26 – Day off for Christmas Day

Blue Marble has created a cloud-based payroll platform to manage your employees across 150+ countries. With  customized, aggregated reporting you have real-time access to your payroll costs across all countries and currencies. We have a unique hybrid service model with a dedicated US-based team and in-country experts to help when questions come up. Talk to us today about simplifying your payroll in Singapore.