Employees on fixed-term contracts in Singapore are set to enjoy improved employment conditions in areas such as benefits, training and notice periods.

The government has launched a new ‘Tripartite Standard on Employment of Term Contract Employees’, which will affect around 170,000 people (or 10 per cent of the workforce).

Almost 300 employers have signed up to the new regulations already as early adopters, who will be listed on the website of The Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP) and can use a special logo on their recruitment and marketing materials.

“What they [fixed-term employees] really want is to be included in every way,” said second minister for manpower and foreign affairs, Josephine Teo. “This will include being eligible for all types of benefits, but more importantly to be considered for performance bonuses, wage increases and career advancement opportunities.”

The new regulations will close the gap between what benefits employees with permanent contracts receive and those received by staff on fixed-term contracts. For example, if a contract of at least 14 days is renewed within a month of the previous contract ending, this will be classed as continuous service. Which in turn affects holiday entitlement and eligibility for redundancy pay.

The president of the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF), Dr Robert Yap, welcomed the changes and suggested those who sign up straight away will stand out as modern employers with a progressive attitude.

“Employers which adopt the tripartite standards will be able to distinguish themselves as organisations that have implemented specific progressive employment practices that better meet the needs of their business and employees,” said Dr Yap. “This would help them to attract and retain talent. SNEF will assist and advise employers in implementing these standards.”

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