Essential Checklist: Before Signing a Singapore Job Contract

October 18, 2023

Before signing an employment contract in Singapore, it's crucial to carefully review the terms and conditions to ensure that you fully understand your rights and responsibilities. Here are some key aspects to look out for:

1. Job Title and Description

Ensure that the job title, roles, and responsibilities match your expectations and qualifications. Be clear on what is expected of you in the role.

2. Compensation and Benefits:

  - Salary: Confirm your salary, including the frequency of payment (e.g., monthly), and understand how it's calculated.
  - Bonuses: Check if there are performance-based bonuses, and understand the criteria for eligibility.
  - Benefits: Review the details of benefits like healthcare, retirement plans, and any other perks.

3. Working Hours and Overtime

Understand your regular working hours, rest days, and overtime policies, including how overtime pay is calculated.

4. Leave and Holidays

Check the provisions for annual leave, sick leave, public holidays, and any other types of leave.

5. Termination and Notice Period

Know the notice period required for both you and your employer in case of resignation or termination. This is vital for job security.

6. Probationary Period

If there is a probationary period, understand its duration and the terms for confirmation of employment.

7. Non-compete and Non-disclosure Clauses

Be aware of any restrictions on working for competitors or disclosing company information during and after your employment.

8. Intellectual Property

Ensure you understand who owns any intellectual property you create during your employment and any confidentiality agreements related to it.

9. Mobility Clauses

Check if the contract requires you to relocate or work in different locations and the terms and conditions associated with it.

10. Performance Evaluation

Understand the process and criteria for performance evaluations and potential salary increases.

11. Training and Development

Look for any provisions related to training, professional development, and reimbursement for courses or certifications.

12. Grievance Procedures

Know how to address workplace issues or disputes within the company.

13. Health and Safety

Ensure that the contract includes provisions for a safe and healthy work environment.

14. Immigration and Work Passes

If you are not a Singapore citizen, confirm the type of work pass you'll be applying for and the responsibilities of your employer in this process.

15. Relocation and Housing

If your job requires you to relocate, understand any relocation assistance or housing arrangements provided by the employer.

16. Notice of Changes

Determine how your employer will communicate changes to your terms and conditions and what level of notice they are required to provide.

17. Legal Jurisdiction

Understand the jurisdiction under which disputes will be resolved.

18. Termination Benefits

Check if there are any termination benefits, such as severance pay or exit packages.

19. Pensions and Retirement Plans

If applicable, review any pension or provident fund schemes, and understand how they work.

20. Unwritten Agreements

Sometimes, there may be unwritten practices or agreements not explicitly mentioned in the contract. Be aware of these as well.

It's advisable to seek legal advice before signing the contract, especially if you have any doubts or concerns. Ensure that both you and your employer have signed and dated copies of the contract for reference and dispute resolution if necessary.

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