How to hire remote employees in

Singapore

Singapore’s a melting pot for some of the most talented people in the world. In the next five minutes, we’ll teach you how to hire there—without spending thousands of dollars on EOR fees and legal red tape:

Country snapshot

CURRENCY
Singapore Dollar (SGD)
EMPLOYER TAXES
Up to 17.25%
PAYROLL FREQUENCY
Monthly
OFFICIAL LANGUAGE
English, Malay, Tamil and Mandarin Chinese

What to know before you hire in 

Singapore

Laws about hiring are complicated, and the same is true in Singapore. But there are ways to sidestep the headaches—if your company hasn’t already established a physical presence in Singapore, you have two real options when it comes to hiring. We’ll detail both below.

If you want to successfully hire in 

Singapore

, you have two options:

Hire talent as contractors

Laws about hiring contractors are significantly more simple in 

Singapore

. Onboarding talent takes days, not weeks or months. Both you, the company, and your talent have more flexibility. And in many cases, since you’re remote, the talent you’re hiring is better classified as a contractor, anyway. Of course, it’s not possible in every case, but it’s what we built Panther for.

Hire talent as employees

This is the long route. You can either establish a physical presence with an entity and register as an employer, or you can use an Employer-of-Record (EOR) solution. Odds are, you’ll find using an EOR to be the easier route. Still, using an EOR in 

Singapore

 is expensive—it can often be $500 per month per employee—and sometimes prone to lengthy onboarding times.

Why hire independent contractors in 

Singapore

Hiring contractors is normally the easier, faster, more flexible choice—but don’t just take it from us. Below are the specific benefits and drawbacks to hiring contractors in 

Singapore

.

It’s the fastest way to hire globally

Hiring employees takes months, at the minimum. When you hire with Panther’s locally-generated contracts, it’s a matter of days or weeks. This means you can hire the best talent, fast, without losing them to a hellish procession of paperwork.

It’s a lot cheaper

It costs just $0 to sign up for Panther, then $49 per month to hire your contractors with Panther. If you hired employees manually (or did contracting on your own), you’d likely be on the hook for thousands of dollars each month. Setting up an entity alone can cost tens of thousands of dollars.

It’s more flexible for you & your team

Hiring contractors in 

Singapore

 means you’re generally not on the hook for things like health insurance and paid time off. This makes hiring flexible for you, and it gives your talent more options.

It’s less risky than hiring employees

Hiring employees is a bigger commitment, and generally puts you at a bigger risk for legal fees. When you hire contractors overseas, your biggest risk is misclassification—but even then, misclassification penalties are often minimal and just require you to pay off any compensation that the person would have been owed as an employee.

Some people want to be employees

The contractor life isn’t for everyone—some people want the security that being an employee often appears to provide. Though it’s rare, this does happen, and it’s one disadvantage of manage an all-contractor team.

You might not have as much control over your talent

Most countries’ contractor-employer relationship laws stipulate that the employer can’t set fixed working hours, among other things. These laws give contractors more freedom over how and when they do their work than an employee would have. In reality, however, most contractors are willing & able to work on the company’s schedule—it’s a matter of setting expectations beforehand.

How can I pay people in 

Singapore

?

If you’re hiring contractors in 

Singapore

, you can pay them with Panther in a single click. You won’t need to worry about complicated wire transfers, fees, or currency conversions. We’ll take care of it all. Just make a click and your contractor will get paid in their currency of choice. This is a valuable bonus for talent in countries where the local currency is particularly weak—most people appreciate the ability to receive their payment in stronger currencies.

Hiring and paying your team in 

Singapore

Hire and pay with Panther

Pay everyone with a single click
Get great currency conversion rates
Pay $0 in platform fees
Run payroll in seconds
Let Panther automatically create & store invoices
Let Panther automatically write locally-compliant contracts
Let Panther automatically file local tax documents

Hire and pay without Panther

Pay all your contractors individually
Do all currency conversions yourself
Shoulder the burden of platform fees
Spend hours each month making payments
Manually track & store invoices
Manually write & sign contracts
Manually file relevant tax documents

Let Panther save you from hiring headaches.

Sign up today for $0

If you want to hire employees in 

Singapore

If you’ve read up until this point, you’ll know that it’s easier, cheaper, and more flexible to hire contractors in Singapore than employees. Still, there are valid reasons why you might want to hire employees instead. The content below is for you—we’ll cover employer taxes and obligations in Singapore.

Taxes in 

Singapore

Employer tax

CPF (Pension)

Skills Development Levy (SDL)

Individual tax

up to 20,000 - 17%

above 320,000- 22%

Leave

Paid Time Off (PTO)

PTO is calculated by the:

  • Employees are entitled to a minimum of 7 days of annual leave after working in a company for three consecutive months.
  • Afterward one additional day is added per each year until reaching 14 days at the 8th year.   
  • However, it is common that the employee receives 14 to 20 days of annual leave. 

Public Holidays

There are 11 public holidays. If a public holiday falls on a non-working day, the employee should either receive a day’s salary in lieu of the holiday or an extra day off. If the holiday falls on a rest day, the upcoming workday will be a paid public holiday.

Sick Days

The duration of sick leave entitlement provided to workers is dependent on how long they have been employed by their employer:

  • 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.

Maternity Leave

Paid maternity leave of 16 weeks is provided to female employees employed for more than 3 months prior to giving birth and the child is a Singaporean citizen. During this period, employers are prohibited from terminating the employment.

For the first and second child, the first 8 weeks are paid by the employer and additional 8 weeks can be reimbursed by the government.

For the birth of the third child and more, all 16 weeks of maternity leave can be reimbursed by the government.

If the child is not a Singapore citizen, maternity leave is 12 weeks

Paternity Leave

Paternity leave in Singapore is 2 weeks. To meet the requirements of Government-paid Paternity Leave (GPPL), the child must be a Singapore citizen and the father has or was legally married to the mother between the conception and birth of the child. 

In the case the child is adopted, the father is also eligible for paternity leave if the child is a Singapore citizen.

Parental Leave

Parents are entitled to 6 days paid childcare leave yearly if their youngest child is below the age of 7 and a citizen of Singapore.

Other Leave

Work-Related Injury Leave – The employer covers all work-related injuries that an employee has suffered either directly or through insurances.

The employee should receive 100% of their average monthly earnings in the 12 months prior to the disability for 14 days if not hospitalized.

After 14 days they shall receive 66.7%. As of September 1, 2020, all work-related medical leave must be reported to the Ministry of Manpower. 

Marriage Leave

Marriage Leave is Not a Statutory Entitlement Under the Singapore's Employment Act.

Most companies offer paid leave if it is for just a few days, but may offer part-paid or unpaid if the bride or groom plans for longer periods of time.

The standard amount of paid days off given by companies is usually 3 days.

Bereavement Leave

Singapore law does not mandate compulsory compassionate leave. The common practice is to offer at least 2 to 3 days of paid compassionate leave.

Termination

Termination Process

In the event of a termination of a local employee, the employee’s salary must be paid:  

Employee resigns and serves the notice period: On the last day of employment  

Employee resigns without notice and no notice period is served: Within 7 days of the last day of employment 

Termination due to misconduct: On the last day of employment, however, if this is not possible, the employee must be paid within 3 business days.  

Employer terminates the employment contract:  On the last day of employment, however, if this is not possible, the employee must be paid within 3 business days. 

Notice Period

The notice period in Singapore is:

1 day notice for less than 26 weeks of employment

1 week notice for employees who have been employed more than 26 weeks and less than 2 years

2 weeks’ notice for employment of more than 2 years and less than 5 years4 weeks’ notice for over 5 years of employment

Severance Pay

The severance payment includes all the salaries and benefits due at the last day of employment. If the employee has been employed for at least 2 years, they are entitled to receive “retrenchment benefits”.

The amount given to the employee depends on what is agreed upon in the employment contract or collective agreement when applicable.  

In general, retrenchment benefits are usually between 2 weeks to one month for every year the employee has served at the company.

Probation Period

Probation period is optional but common practice is 3-6 months.

Employee requirements in 

Singapore

Working Hours

If an employee works a 5-day work week, a workday is up to 9 hours a day or 44 hours a week.

If an employee works a 6-day work week the workday is up to 8 hours.  

Overtime

For employees who are covered by the Employment Act, an employee must be paid 150% of the hourly basic pay of rate for any overtime hours.

Only the following employees are entitled to overtime:

A non-workman earning up to $2,600.

A workman earning up to $4,500.

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