Regulation of Employment Bill

Bill No. 67/1965

Read the first time on 17th December 1965.
An Act to provide for the regulation of employment in Singapore and for matters connected therewith.
Be it enacted by the President with the advice and consent of the Parliament of Singapore, as follows: —
Short title and commencement
1.  This Act may be cited as the Regulation of Employment Act, 1965, and shall come into operation on such date as the Minister may, by notification in the Gazette, appoint.
Interpretation
2.  In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires —
“appointed date” means the date of the coming into operation of this Act;
“Commissioner” means the Commissioner for Employment referred to in section 3;
“contractor” means any person who contracts with any other person to carry out the whole or part of any work undertaken by that other person in the course of, or for the purpose of, that other person’s trade or business;
“contract worker” means any person who seeks employment with, or is offered employment by, or is employed by, a contractor at a salary of not more than seven hundred and fifty dollars per mensem or such other sum as may, from time to time, be fixed by the Minister by notification in the Gazette, and includes any person who is already employed by a contractor on the appointed date;
“employee” means any person who seeks employment with, or is offered employment by, or is employed by, an employer at a salary of not more than seven hundred and fifty dollars per mensem or such other sum as may, from time to time, be fixed by the Minister by notification in the Gazette, and includes any person who is already employed by an employer on the appointed date;
“employer” means any person employing an employee;
“employment officer” means the Commissioner and includes the Deputy Commissioner for Employment, any Assistant Commissioner for Employment and any person appointed as an employment officer under section 3;
“salary” means all monetary remuneration payable to an employee or a contract worker but shall not include the following: —
(a)additional payment by way of overtime, bonus or commission;
(b)travelling, food or housing allowances;
(c)any sum paid to an employee or contract worker to defray special expenses incurred by him owing to the special, unusual or hazardous nature of the employment;
(d)any contribution paid by the employer or contractor to any pension fund or provident fund; or
(e)any gratuity payable on discharge or retirement;
“work permit” means a work permit issued under section 5.
Officers
3.—(1)  The Commissioner for Labour, the Deputy Commissioner for Labour and the Assistant Commissioners for Labour appointed under the Labour Ordinance, 1955 (Ord. 40 of 1955), shall be the Commissioner for Employment, Deputy Commissioner for Employment and Assistant Commissioners for Employment respectively for the purposes of this Act.
(2)  The Minister may appoint such number of employment officers as he may consider necessary or expedient for the purposes of this Act.
(3)  The Commissioner shall, subject to the general direction and control of the Minister, perform the duties imposed and exercise the rights and powers conferred upon him by this Act.
(4)  The Deputy Commissioner for Employment, the Assistant Commissioners for Employment and employment officers shall be under the direction and control of the Commissioner.
Application for work permit, etc
4.—(1)  Every employee and every contract worker shall, before accepting employment, make application for a work permit to the Commissioner in such form as the Commissioner may require.
(2)  Every employer shall, prior to engaging an employee submit to the Commissioner in such form as the Commissioner may require particulars of such employment and of such employee.
(3)  Every employee and every contract worker who is in employment on the appointed date shall, within thirty days thereof or such later date as the Minister may by notification in the Gazette appoint, make application for a work permit to the Commissioner in such form as the Commissioner may require.
(4)  Every employer and every contractor shall, within thirty days of the appointed date, or such later date as the Minister may by notification in the Gazette appoint, submit to the Commissioner in such form as the Commissioner may require, a list of, and particulars of, employees or contract workers, as the case may be, in his employment who are required to make applications for work permits under subsection (3).
Issue of work permit, etc
5.—(1)  Upon the receipt of an application for a work permit under the provisions of section 4, the Commissioner may, in his discretion, issue a work permit to an employee or contract worker attaching thereto such conditions as he may determine for carrying out the purposes of this Act, or without attaching conditions thereto.
(2)  The Commissioner may, at any time, vary or revoke any existing conditions or impose new or additional conditions.
(3)  The Commissioner may in his discretion at any time cancel or suspend a work permit issued to any employee or contract worker.
(4)  Any person aggrieved by a decision of the Commissioner under subsection (1), (2) or (3) may appeal to the Minister whose decision shall be final and shall not be called in question in any court.
Register
6.—(1)  The Commissioner shall cause to be kept separate registers of employees and contract workers to whom work permits have been issued under section 5.
(2)  The register shall be in such form and shall contain such particulars as the Minister may require.
Termination of employment of employees and contract workers in employment on appointed date, etc
7.—(1)  Notwithstanding the provisions of any written law or of any term or condition of any contract or agreement, an employer or contractor shall terminate the services of any employee or contract worker —
(a)who is in his employment on the appointed date within thirty days of his being notified in writing by the Commissioner that such employee or contract worker has not been issued a work permit under subsection (1) of section 5;
(b)whose work permit has been cancelled or suspended under subsection (3) of section 5, within thirty days of his being notified in writing by the Commissioner of such cancellation or suspension.
(2)  Every employer and every contractor who, under the provisions of subsection (1), terminates the services of an employee or contract worker shall inform the Commissioner within fourteen days of such termination in such form as the Commissioner may require.
(3)  The termination of the services of an employee or contract worker under subsection (1) shall not be —
(a)capable of negotiation between a trade union representing the employee or contract worker;
(b)a matter in respect of which any form of industrial action may be taken by any such trade union;
(c)the subject matter of a trade dispute or of conciliation proceedings or any method of redress whether or not under any written law; and
(d)an industrial matter within the meaning of the Industrial Relations Ordinance, 1960 (Ord. 20 of 1960).
Prohibition of employment of employee or contract worker without work permit
8.—(1)  No employer or contractor shall employ an employee or contract worker, as the case may be, who has not been issued a work permit.
(2)  No employee or contract worker, who is not in possession of a valid work permit, shall accept employment from, or be in the employment of, an employer or contractor, as the case may be.
Extent of validity of work permit
9.—(1)  A work permit issued to an employee shall be valid only in respect of the trade or occupation and the employer specified therein.
(2)  A work permit issued to a contract worker shall be valid only in respect of the trade or occupation specified therein for a period of one year from the date of issue.
Custody of work permit, etc
10.—(1)  A work permit issued to an employee or a contract worker shall not be transferable.
(2)  A work permit issued to an employee shall be kept by him throughout his period of employment and he shall produce it for inspection when required to do so by an employment officer acting under the provisions of section 14.
(3)  An employee shall hand over his work permit to his employer on the day he is paid his last salary before he ceases employment with that employer and such employer shall return such work permit to the Commissioner within seven days of the date thereof.
(4)  A work permit issued to a contract worker shall be returned by him to the Commissioner within seven days of the date of its expiry.
Loss of work permit
11.—(1)  When a work permit has been lost, destroyed or defaced, the employee or contract worker, to whom the work permit was issued shall, within fourteen days of such loss, destruction or defacement, report the same to the Commissioner and shall apply for a duplicate work permit.
(2)  A duplicate work permit may be issued by the Commissioner in place of a work permit which has been lost, destroyed or defaced.
(3)  (a)  Where any employee or contract worker, after notifying the loss of his work permit, recovers possession of such work permit, he shall forthwith notify the Commissioner of such recovery and may retain such work permit provided that no duplicate work permit has been issued by the Commissioner under subsection (2).

(b)Where any employee or contract worker recovers possession of his work permit, after he has been issued with a duplicate work permit under subsection (2), he shall forthwith return the work permit so recovered for cancellation.

(4)  Any person who finds or comes into possession of a work permit other than his own shall forthwith deliver it to the Commissioner.
Onus of proof
12.  The onus of proving the truth of the contents of a written application for a work permit under the provisions of section 4 shall be on the employee or contract worker, as the case may be, who makes the application.
Powers of employment officer
13.  An employment officer may —
(a)at any reasonable time, enter any premises other than premises used solely as a dwelling place;
(b)request any person, whom the employment officer has reason to believe has any document or information relevant to the carrying out of the provisions of this Act, to produce any such document or give such information; or
(c)question any person or require any person by notice in writing to attend at such time and at such place as may be stated in such notice, in regard to any information or document, which in the opinion of the employment officer is relevant to the carrying out of the provisions of this Act and which he believes to be is in such person’s knowledge or possession.
Penalties
14.—(1)  Any person who —
(a)fails to apply for a work permit as required under subsection (1) or (3) of section 4;
(b)before engaging an employee, fails to submit particulars as required under subsection (2) of section 4;
(c)fails to submit a list and particulars of employees or contract workers as the case may be, as required by subsection (4) of section 4;
(d)fails to comply with any conditions imposed under section 5;
(e)contravenes the provisions of section 8;
(f)wilfully obstructs an employment officer in the exercise of his powers under paragraph (a) of section 13;
(g)without reasonable excuse, the proof of which shall lie on him, neglects or refuses to produce any document or give any information required by an employment officer under paragraph (b) of section 13;
(h)fails to answer any question put to him or fails to attend at such place and at such time as may be required, by an employment officer acting under the provisions of paragraph (c) of section 13,
shall be guilty of an offence under this Act and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to both such fine and imprisonment.
(2)  Any person who contravenes or fails to comply with any provision of this Act or any regulation made thereunder shall be guilty of an offence under this Act and, unless any other penalty is expressly provided, he shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars.
Effect of contravention of section 7
15.  Where in respect of the employment of any person there has been any contravention of the provisions of section 7, such person shall not, by reason only of such contravention, be deemed to be employed under an illegal contract of employment.
Application of Act
16.—(1)  The provisions of subsections (1) and (3) of section 4 and subsection (2) of section 8 shall not apply to citizens of Singapore.
(2)  The Minister may, by notification in the Gazette, exempt any person or class of persons from any or all of the provisions of this Act.
Regulations
17.—(1)  The Minister may make regulations generally for carrying out the provisions of this Act.
(2)  Such regulations may —
(a)prescribe that any act or omission in contravention of the provisions of any regulation shall be an offence;
(b)provide for the imposition of penalties, which shall not exceed a fine of five hundred dollars;
(c)prescribe such fees or charges as may be necessary for the purposes of this Act.
(3)  All such regulations shall be published in the Gazette and shall be presented to Parliament as soon as may be after publication.
Forms
18.  For the purposes of this Act, the Commissioner may devise and use such forms as he may consider necessary.