The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) regulates how and when overtime is paid, as well as who are eligible for overtime pay in Singapore. The ministry follows the Employment Act (EA) as the basis for the regulations.
Employers must adhere to overtime regulations to avoid the risk of harsh sanctions when managing their payroll processes. This article will walk you through the overtime guidelines that every employer must follow.
What Is Overtime Pay?
Overtime pay is employees’ payout for working longer than the typical work hours (excluding breaks). For instance, an employee has regular contractual working hours of 44 hours per week and is qualified to get overtime pay.
If that employee works 50 hours in a given week, they can earn overtime pay for those six additional hours. Note that determining who is eligible for overtime pay in Singapore depends on their salary and how many hours they work.
Who Is Eligible For Overtime Pay In Singapore?
Part IV of the Employment Act outlines who is eligible for overtime pay in Singapore. Specifically, it states that overtime pay only applies to:
- A workman (i.e., an employee doing manual labor) earning a basic salary of up to $4,500 per month.
- A non-workman earning a basic salary of up to $2,600 per month.
Workman vs. Non-Workman
According to the Minister for Manpower, a workman is a blue-collar worker operating machinery and vehicles or involved in manual labor, such as laborers, construction workers, and cleaners.
Meanwhile, a non-workman is a white-collar employee who does not hold managerial or executive roles, such as a clerk or a receptionist.
Employees Exempted From Overtime Pay
Executives and managers are not included in the list of who is eligible for overtime pay in Singapore as specified in the Employment Act. Therefore, executives and managers are not entitled to get paid for overtime hours.
Managers and executives are typically workers who perform executive and supervisory duties. Managers and executives frequently have responsibilities that are more outcome-based.
Therefore the work-hour-related regulations in Part IV of the Employment Act are less applicable to them.
What Are The Regulations On Overtime Pay In Singapore?
The regulations on overtime pay are provided by the Employment Act, which is Singapore’s main labor law. It provides the basic working terms and conditions for employees covered by the Act and outlines who is eligible for overtime pay in Singapore.
The Employment Act covers both local and foreign employees, as long as they work under a contract of service with an employer.
Specifically, employers can find overtime provisions under Part IV of the Employment Act. Employees covered in this Act have regulated work hours. These employees are part of the group of who is eligible for overtime pay in Singapore, as well as breaks and rest days.
How Is Overtime Pay Calculated?
You can calculate an employee’s overtime pay using the following equation: Basic pay rate per hour × 1.5 × Number of overtime hours.
Refer to the table below on how to calculate the basic hourly rate of pay:
|Type of Employee||Calculation for Hourly Basic Pay|
(12 x Basic salary per month) / (52 weeks x 44 hours)
Basic pay per day / Number of hours worked per day
Total basic pay per week / Total work hours per week
You must also consider the contractual working hours when calculating the overtime pay in Singapore. These refer to the agreed-upon hours between you and your employee in the contract of service.
Here are the employee’s contractual work hours depending on typical work arrangements:
- An employee’s contractual work hours are up to 9 hours per day, or 44 hours per week if they work five days or fewer per week.
- An employee’s contractual work hours are up to 8 hours per day, or 44 hours per week if they work more than five days per week.
Note: The maximum weekly contractual hours for an employee should be 44 hours. Overtime hours are hours worked past the agreed-upon working hours. Follow these steps to calculate an employee’s overtime pay:
1. Learn if the employee is exempt
Determining who is eligible for overtime pay in Singapore can be done using the criteria set out under Part IV of the Employment Act. You should also consider if exceptions can be applied, such as for managers and executives.
If Part IV of the Employment Act is inapplicable to the employee, you can make arrangements with your employee so they can earn extra pay.
2. Determine the employee’s work hours per week
Keep track of employees’ hours, especially if they work split or irregular shifts. You can maintain a timesheet between you and your employee to monitor their hours easily. Check their work hours over the week. Their paycheck must include overtime pay if they have worked beyond 44 hours.
3. Find the employee’s hourly pay rate
The basic hourly pay rate for a monthly-rated employee is calculated as follows: Multiply their monthly pay by 12. Divide it by the product of the number of paid weeks they work each year (52) and the number of hours they work per week. You can also refer to the equation below:
12 × monthly basic rate of pay
52 × number of work hours per week
If an employee is daily-rated, divide their daily basic pay by the working hours per day.
Example: If a workman earns $3,000 per month and works a 44-hour week for 52 paid weeks per year, the calculation would be: (12 × 3000) / (52 × 44) = $15.73 per hour. Simply put, their hourly rate for their $3,000 monthly paycheck works out to $15.73.
4. Determine your overtime pay rate
Employers are required to pay at least 1.5 times the basic hourly pay rate to an employee who is eligible for overtime pay in Singapore. Employers may also offer double time or a rate over 1.5 times the basic hourly rate of pay to an employee who is eligible for overtime pay in Singapore.
5. Calculate overtime pay
You may determine a worker’s overtime pay for a specific period by looking at the number of overtime hours they worked in a particular week and your firm’s overtime pay rate.
To get the total overtime pay, multiply the number of overtime hours by the overtime rate. This shows how much an employee will be paid for working overtime.
Example: If an employee’s hourly wage is $10 and the company is offering overtime pay at time and a half (1.5 times the hourly rate), they will receive $15 for each hour of working overtime.
If an employee had worked 50 hours compared to their standard 44-hour workweek, they would have worked ten overtime hours (10 x $15) and be entitled to receive $150 in overtime pay. The full week’s salary would be $590 after adding it to their regular payment ($440 + $150).
Overtime Pay On A Rest Day
Multiple overtime rates are applicable if an employee who is eligible for overtime pay in Singapore works on a rest day at the employer’s request. Here are the following guidelines for overtime pay on a rest day:
- Employees are entitled to a full day’s pay even if they put in less than half of a typical workday.
- Employees should receive two full days of pay if they work more than half of a typical workday.
- Employees who work past their regular shift hours are eligible for two days’ worth of pay in addition to overtime hours at 1.5 times their standard hourly rate.
Refer to the table below to determine how to calculate the payment for an employee if they worked on a rest day:
|If the work is done as requested by the:||For up to half of the employee’s usual working hours per day||For more than half of the employee's regular working hours per day||Beyond the employee’s normal daily working hours|
|Employer||One day's salary||Two days' salary||Two days' wage plus overtime pay|
|Employee||Half day’s salary||One day's salary||One days' wage plus overtime pay|
Overtime Pay On A Public Holiday
You can calculate the overtime pay if an employee works on a public holiday or a rest day using the following formula:
- (Hourly basic pay rate × 1.5 × Number of overtime hours) + (Public holiday or rest day pay)
Public Holiday Falls on a Working Day
Suppose an employee works on a public holiday that falls on a working day, they are entitled to receive an extra day’s salary at the basic pay rate or gross rate of pay for that specific holiday.
If the employee works more than their regular work hours, they are entitled to overtime pay at 1.5x their usual hourly salary.
Public Holiday Falls on a Non-Working Day (such as Saturday)
An employee who is eligible for overtime pay in Singapore will be paid accordingly if they worked extra hours that Saturday. They are also entitled to one additional day’s salary at the gross rate of pay or another day off for the public holiday.
Public Holiday Falls on a Rest Day
An employee who is eligible for overtime pay in Singapore will receive payment for their work on a rest day. Once they work beyond their regular work hours, they will also receive overtime pay.
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Who Is Eligible For Overtime Pay In Singapore - Frequently Asked Questions
A workman or non-workman belongs to the list of who is eligible for overtime pay in Singapore, save for a few criteria.
Specifically, these are the workmen (doing manual labor) earning a basic monthly salary of up to $4,500 and non-workmen earning a basic monthly salary of up to $2,600 are entitled to overtime pay.
Both a workman and a non-workman can be considered an employee who is eligible for overtime pay in Singapore.
According to the Minister of Manpower, non-workmen are white-collar workers who do not hold managerial or executive functions, such as clerks and receptionists.
On the other hand, workmen refer to manual laborers and blue-collar workers like cleaners, carpenters, and those who operate machines and vehicles.
The maximum overtime rate payable depends on the type of worker who is eligible for overtime pay in Singapore. Specifically, the maximum overtime rate that non-workmen are eligible to receive is $2,600, or $13.60 per hour.
The maximum overtime pay that workmen are eligible to receive is $4,500, or $23.60 per hour.
An employee is limited to 72 hours of overtime per month. However, if an employer requires employees to work more than 72 hours of overtime in a month, they can apply for an exemption.
An application for overtime exemption must be submitted by businesses that wish to be exempted from the maximum number of overtime hours outlined in the Employment Act.
Take note that some work activities (e.g., work involving the continuous and manual operation of machinery) will not be granted exemption.
The Employment Act stipulates that an employee who is eligible for overtime pay in Singapore must receive an OT pay that is at least 1.5 times their hourly wage.
You can compute overtime pay by multiplying an employee’s hourly wages by 1.5 and then multiplying the result by the number of overtime hours they completed.
The equation would be as follows if an employee who earns $13.60 per hour worked 50 hours per week:
- Basic pay rate per week: 44 hours x $13.63 hourly wage = $600
- Overtime pay for exceeding 6 hours: $13.63 x 1.5 x 6 = $122.67
- Total pay: $600 + $122.67 = $722.67
Employers are required to provide overtime pay within 14 days after the last day of the salary period.
Employers risk litigation from former and current staff if they fail to pay their overtime hours correctly. They could also be liable for unpaid overtime and be fined by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), which investigates companies that violate overtime laws.
The MOM also guarantees that workers who are eligible for overtime pay in Singapore are more likely to recover their salaries in full if they report their salary issues early.
Yes. The minimum terms and conditions of employment in Singapore are outlined in the Employment Act. It does not distinguish between a contract employee, temporary employee, daily-rated employee, or tenured employee.
However, part-time employment regulations apply to workers who work fewer than 35 hours a week.