REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE
GOVERNMENT GAZETTE
ACTS SUPPLEMENT
Published by Authority

NO. 23]Tuesday, November 1 [2016

The following Act was passed by Parliament on 16th August 2016 and assented to by the President on 22nd September 2016:—
Employment Claims Act 2016

(No. 21 of 2016)


I assent.

TONY TAN KENG YAM,
President.
22nd September 2016.
Date of Commencement: 1st April 2017
An Act to facilitate the expeditious resolution of employment disputes by providing for the mediation of such disputes, for the constitution, jurisdiction and powers of and administration of justice in the Employment Claims Tribunals, and for related matters, and to make consequential and related amendments to certain other Acts.
Be it enacted by the President with the advice and consent of the Parliament of Singapore, as follows:
PART 1
PRELIMINARY
Short title and commencement
1.  This Act is the Employment Claims Act 2016 and comes into operation on a date that the Minister appoints by notification in the Gazette.
Interpretation
2.—(1)  In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires —
“approved mediator” means any individual approved by the Commissioner as a mediator for one or more of the following:
(a)a mediation under Part 2 of a specified employment dispute;
(b)a tripartite mediation;
(c)a mediation mentioned in section 115(2A) of the Employment Act (Cap. 91);
(d)a consultation or conciliation under section 8A of the Retirement and Re‑employment Act (Cap. 274A);
(e)a mediation or conciliation of any dispute under such other written law as the Commissioner may determine, being a written law relating to employment, employment terms or the relations between employers and employees;
“authorised person” means an individual appointed under section 3(3) of the Employment Act as an authorised person for the purpose of carrying out any function or duty of the Commissioner under this Act;
“claim” means a claim lodged with a tribunal, and includes a counterclaim lodged with a tribunal;
“claim referral certificate” means a claim referral certificate issued under —
(a)section 6(2) or 7(7)(a); or
(b)section 30H(6) of the Industrial Relations Act (Cap. 136);
“claimant” means a person who lodges a claim with a tribunal, and includes, for the purposes of Part 2, a person who intends to lodge a claim with a tribunal;
“Commissioner” means the Commissioner for Labour appointed under section 3(1) of the Employment Act;
“contract of service” means an agreement, whether oral or written and whether express or implied, by which a person agrees to employ an individual, and that individual agrees to serve that person, and includes an apprenticeship agreement;
“court” means any court of competent jurisdiction in Singapore;
“employee” means an individual who has entered into and works under a contract of service with an employer, and includes —
(a)any employee of the Government within a category, class or description of such employees prescribed to be employees for the purposes of this Act; and
(b)for an employment dispute relating to the termination of a contract of service or any mediation request submitted or claim made after the end of a contract of service, the former employee who worked under that contract of service even though the relationship between employee and employer has ended;
“employer” means any person who employs an individual under a contract of service, and includes —
(a)the Government in respect of such categories, classes or descriptions of employees of the Government as from time to time are prescribed to be employees for the purposes of this Act;
(b)a statutory body;
(c)a person duly authorised by an employer to be the employer’s agent or manager;
(d)a person who owns, carries on or is responsible for the management of the profession, business, trade or work in which that individual is or was engaged; and
(e)for an employment dispute relating to the termination of a contract of service or any mediation request submitted or claim made after the end of a contract of service, the former employer even though the relationship between employee and employer has ended;
“employment assistance payment” has the same meaning as in section 2(1) of the Retirement and Re‑employment Act;
“Industrial Arbitration Court” means an Industrial Arbitration Court established under section 3 of the Industrial Relations Act;
“mediation” includes —
(a)the undertaking of any activity for the purpose of promoting the discussion and settlement of disputes;
(b)the bringing together of the parties to any dispute for that purpose, either at the request of one of the parties to the dispute or on an order of a tribunal under this Act; and
(c)the follow‑up of any matter which is the subject of any such discussion or settlement;
“mediation request” means a request for a mediation under Part 2;
“mediation session” means a meeting between 2 or more parties to a dispute for the purposes of a mediation;
“Registrar” means the registrar, a deputy registrar or an assistant registrar for the tribunals;
“Registry” means the registry established under section 10(1) for the tribunals;
“respondent” means a person against whom a claim is made, or who is joined in the capacity of a respondent, and includes, for the purposes of Part 2, a person against whom a claimant intends to make a claim;
“salary” has the same meaning as in section 2(1) of the Employment Act;
“specified contractual dispute” means a dispute, relating to a payment of an amount of money, which arises out of or in the course of employment under a contract of service, about any matter specified in the First Schedule;
“specified employment dispute” means a specified contractual dispute or a specified statutory dispute;
“specified statutory dispute” means a dispute about any matter specified in the Second Schedule;
“tribunal” means a subordinate court called an Employment Claims Tribunal constituted under section 4 of the State Courts Act (Cap. 321);
“tribunal magistrate” means a tribunal magistrate appointed under section 9(1)(a) or designated under section 9(5);
“tripartite guidelines” has the same meaning as in section 2(1) of the Retirement and Re‑employment Act;
“tripartite mediation” has the same meaning as in section 30F of the Industrial Relations Act;
“workman” has the same meaning as in section 2(1) of the Employment Act.
(2)  When this Act is applied to a counterclaim lodged with a tribunal —
(a)any reference to a claimant is a reference to a person making the counterclaim; and
(b)any reference to a respondent is a reference to a person against whom the counterclaim is made.
(3)  Any Deputy Commissioner for Labour, Principal Assistant Commissioner for Labour or Assistant Commissioner for Labour appointed under section 3(1) of the Employment Act may, if authorised by the Commissioner, carry out any function or duty, and exercise any power, of the Commissioner under this Act.