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    12 Laws Every Payroll Firm in Singapore Should Follow

    Navigating the regulatory landscape of payroll in Singapore can be daunting for businesses and payroll firms alike. Understanding and adhering to the relevant laws is crucial to ensuring compliance, avoiding penalties, and maintaining a reputable standing. Here’s an in-depth look at the 12 essential laws every payroll firm Singapore must follow.

    1. Employment Act

    The cornerstone of employment law in Singapore, the Employment Act, covers all employees, local and foreign, who are under a contract of service with an employer. It outlines provisions for salary payment, working hours, overtime, rest days, and annual leave. Payroll firms must ensure accurate computation and timely payment of salaries in accordance with this Act.

    Key Points:

    • Salary must be paid at least once a month.
    • Overtime pay must be at least 1.5 times the hourly basic rate of pay.
    • Employees are entitled to one rest day per week.

    2. Central Provident Fund (CPF) Act

    The CPF Act mandates contributions to the Central Provident Fund for both employers and employees. Payroll firms must calculate and deduct the correct CPF contributions based on employees’ wages and ensure timely submission and payment to the CPF Board.

    Key Points:

    • CPF contributions are required for Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents.
    • Contribution rates vary based on employee age and wages.
    • Contributions should be paid by the 14th of each month.

    3. Income Tax Act

    Payroll firms must comply with the Income Tax Act by accurately calculating and withholding the necessary income tax from employees’ salaries. This includes understanding tax reliefs, benefits-in-kind, and other taxable components.

    Key Points:

    • Employers must issue Form IR8A to employees by March 1st each year.
    • Employers are responsible for withholding taxes for non-resident employees.
    • Accurate reporting of employee income to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) is mandatory.

    4. Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA)

    The PDPA governs the collection, use, and disclosure of personal data in Singapore. Payroll firms handle sensitive employee information, making it essential to ensure compliance with data protection principles.

    Key Points:

    • Obtain consent before collecting personal data.
    • Implement measures to protect personal data from unauthorized access.
    • Ensure data accuracy and provide access to individuals upon request.

    5. Employment of Foreign Manpower Act (EFMA)

    The EFMA regulates the employment of foreign workers in Singapore. Payroll firms must ensure that foreign employees possess the necessary work passes and adhere to the conditions stipulated by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

    Key Points:

    • Verify the validity of work passes for foreign employees.
    • Adhere to the stipulated quota and levy requirements.
    • Ensure compliance with the conditions of work pass issuance.

    6. Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA)

    WICA provides compensation for employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. Payroll firms must maintain accurate records and ensure timely reporting of any work-related incidents.

    Key Points:

    • Employers are required to insure employees against work injuries.
    • Compensation covers medical expenses, lost wages, and permanent incapacity.
    • Incident reporting must be done within 10 days of the accident.

    7. Retirement and Re-employment Act (RRA)

    The RRA mandates the re-employment of eligible employees up to the age of 67. Payroll firms must ensure compliance with salary adjustments and re-employment terms.

    Key Points:

    • Offer re-employment to eligible employees who reach the retirement age of 62.
    • Provide a written re-employment contract.
    • Ensure fair and reasonable re-employment terms.

    8. Child Development Co-Savings Act (CDCA)

    This Act governs maternity and childcare leave entitlements in Singapore. Payroll firms must accurately calculate and administer leave benefits as stipulated by the CDCA.

    Key Points:

    • Maternity leave entitlement is 16 weeks for eligible employees.
    • Childcare leave entitlement is 6 days per year for parents of children under 7.
    • Ensure timely submission of claims to the government for reimbursement.

    9. Employment (Part-Time Employees) Regulations

    These regulations set out the specific rights and entitlements of part-time employees. Payroll firms must ensure compliance with these regulations to avoid any discrepancies.

    Key Points:

    • Part-time employees are entitled to pro-rated leave benefits.
    • Overtime pay applies to part-time employees working beyond their normal hours.
    • Ensure clear communication of part-time employment terms.

    10. Workplace Safety and Health Act (WSHA)

    The WSHA mandates the provision of a safe working environment for all employees. Payroll firms, while not directly involved in safety measures, must support compliance through accurate record-keeping of work hours and employee status.

    Key Points:

    • Maintain accurate records of employee hours and workplace attendance.
    • Support the implementation of workplace safety policies.
    • Report any workplace incidents in collaboration with safety officers.

    11. Employment Claims Act (ECA)

    The ECA provides a framework for resolving salary-related disputes between employers and employees. Payroll firms must ensure accurate documentation and timely payment of salaries to avoid claims.

    Key Points:

    • Provide clear and accurate salary statements to employees.
    • Maintain comprehensive records of salary payments and deductions.
    • Support employees in resolving any salary disputes amicably.

    12. Fair Consideration Framework (FCF)

    The FCF promotes fair employment practices and consideration for Singaporean employees. Payroll firms must ensure non-discriminatory practices in hiring and salary administration.

    Key Points:

    • Advertise job vacancies fairly and provide equal opportunities for Singaporeans.
    • Ensure fair salary practices and avoid discriminatory pay scales.
    • Comply with MOM guidelines on fair employment practices.


    Compliance with these 12 laws is essential for payroll firms in Singapore. By adhering to these regulations, payroll firms can ensure smooth operations, avoid legal complications, and build trust with their clients.

    For payroll firms looking to streamline compliance and enhance their service offerings, adopting advanced payroll software and keeping abreast of legislative changes is crucial. Stay informed, stay compliant, and ensure your payroll services remain top-notch.

    By following these guidelines, payroll firms can provide exceptional service, drive business growth, and contribute to the overall success of their clients’ businesses.

    More Facts to Consider

    Managing payroll is a critical function for businesses, and adhering to the regulations governing this process is paramount. For payroll firms operating in Singapore, compliance with local laws is not optional—it’s a must. This blog post will outline the 12 essential laws every payroll firm in Singapore should follow to ensure compliance, avoid penalties, and maintain their reputation.

    1. Employment Act Compliance

    The Employment Act is Singapore’s primary labor law, covering all local and international employees, with certain exceptions. Payroll firms must ensure they’re familiar with the provisions of this act, including:

    • Basic terms of employment (e.g., salary, working hours, overtime)
    • Payment of salaries (including deadlines and allowable deductions)
    • Rest days and annual leave entitlements
    • Public holidays and sick leave policies

    Non-compliance can result in severe penalties and legal actions.

    2. Central Provident Fund (CPF) Contributions

    One of the critical responsibilities of payroll firms is to ensure accurate CPF contributions. The CPF is a mandatory social security savings scheme funded by both employers and employees. Key requirements include:

    • Calculating CPF contributions accurately based on employee wages
    • Ensuring timely submission to the CPF Board
    • Keeping up-to-date with the latest CPF contribution rates and policies

    Failure to comply can lead to substantial fines and interest charges on overdue contributions.

    3. Skills Development Levy (SDL)

    The Skills Development Levy is another mandatory contribution that firms must deduct and pay. It funds skills development and training programs for the workforce. Payroll firms need to:

    • Calculate the SDL based on employee wages
    • Submit the levy to the SkillsFuture SG Agency

    Accurate calculation and timely submission are necessary to avoid penalties.

    4. Foreign Worker Levy (FWL)

    For companies employing foreign workers, the Foreign Worker Levy applies. Payroll firms must:

    • Determine which employees are subject to the FWL
    • Calculate the levy according to the Ministry of Manpower guidelines
    • Ensure prompt payment to avoid penalties and work pass revocations

    5. Income Tax Withholding

    Payroll firms must comply with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore’s (IRAS) requirements for withholding income tax from employees’ salaries. This involves:

    • Determining applicable tax rates based on employee status (resident vs. non-resident)
    • Issuing Form IR8A and other relevant tax forms to employees annually
    • Filing the employer’s return by March 1 each year

    Failure to comply can result in hefty fines and legal repercussions.

    6. Annual Wage Supplement (AWS)

    The AWS, commonly known as the 13th-month bonus, is a key component of employee remuneration in Singapore, though it’s not mandated by law. However, if it is stipulated in the employment contract, payroll firms must:

    • Ensure accurate calculation of the AWS
    • Ensure its timely distribution, typically at the end of the year

    7. Work Injury Compensation Insurance

    Under the Work Injury Compensation Act, employers are required to provide insurance coverage for their employees against work-related injuries. Payroll firms need to:

    • Verify that all eligible employees are covered under the insurance policy
    • Ensure accurate premium deductions if any

    Non-compliance can lead to legal claims and penalties.

    8. Retrenchment Benefits

    If a company decides to retrench employees, certain guidelines and benefits must be provided as per the Ministry of Manpower’s regulations. Payroll firms must:

    • Calculate and disburse retrenchment benefits accurately
    • Ensure compliance with notice period requirements

    9. Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA)

    Protecting employee data is crucial. Under the PDPA, payroll firms must:

    • Implement stringent data protection measures
    • Obtain consent before collecting or using employee personal data
    • Ensure data is used only for legitimate payroll purposes

    Violations can lead to heavy fines and damage to the firm’s reputation.

    10. Employment Pass and S Pass Regulations

    For companies employing foreign professionals and mid-level skilled staff, adherence to Employment Pass and S Pass regulations is crucial. Payroll firms must:

    • Track the validity of work passes
    • Ensure compliance with salary thresholds and job requirements
    • Maintain accurate records of foreign employees

    Non-compliance can jeopardize the employer’s ability to hire foreign talent.

    11. Public Holidays and Leave Entitlements

    Singapore law mandates specific public holidays and leave entitlements, including annual leave, maternity leave, and childcare leave. Payroll firms must:

    • Accurately track and manage leave entitlements
    • Ensure compliance with holiday pay regulations

    Failing to adhere to these regulations can lead to disputes and legal claims.

    12. Employment Claims and Dispute Resolution

    Payroll firms should be aware of the Employment Claims Act, which provides a framework for resolving employment disputes. They must:

    • Implement fair and transparent payroll practices
    • Keep accurate records to support dispute resolutions

    Ensuring compliance helps maintain a positive employer-employee relationship and reduces the risk of litigation.


    Compliance with Singapore’s payroll laws is not just about avoiding penalties; it’s about fostering a trustworthy and reliable business environment. By adhering to these 12 laws, payroll firms can ensure they’re providing accurate, lawful, and efficient payroll services to their clients.

    Are you ready to streamline your payroll processes and ensure compliance with all applicable laws? Contact us today to learn how our innovative payroll solutions can help your business thrive.


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