Employment Contracts Checklist

March 31, 2016

With effect from 1 April 2016 (yes, that’s tomorrow!), there will be a new requirement for all employers to issue their employees a written record of their key employment terms within 14 days from the commencement of their employment.

But take note of the following points.

First, the above requirement only applies to “employees” within the meaning of the Employment Act. For example, all you folks out there who are in a managerial or executive positions and drawing a salary of more than S$2500 a month will not be considered “employees” within the meaning of the Act.

Second, if it applies to you, find out what these “key employment terms” are by clicking here: http://www.mom.gov.sg/~/media/mom/documents/employment-practices/kets/single-blank-ket-english.pdf?la=en

Third, even if it does not apply to you, and since you have nothing better to do than to read my post, you might as well consider if  your employment contract can be improved. Use the checklist below (please note that it is not exahustive).

The following provisions are notoriously absent (or drafted so badly it might as well be absent) from the typical employment contract templates downloaded from dubious places (or those copied from a friend of a friend of a friend or drafted by your son’s tuition teacher):

  • non-compete provisions which are actually enforceable (many are not);
  • non-circumvention provisions (if you don’t know what’s that, we need to talk);
  • duty to disclose or avoid conflicts of interest;
  • scope of authority and non-agency provisions;
  • adequately drafted confidentiality provisions;
  • provisions which protect the employer against possible breaches of the Personal Data Protection Act by the employee  (click here to find out more about the PDPA requirements: http://gluu.asia/pdpa-update-part-1/). This is particularly important if you have a B2C business which employs a sales team or carry out loads of marketing using personal data. If your employee breaches the legislation, you become guilty as well;
  • provisions to ensure ownership of work product IP;
  • post-termination obligations.

None of the above terms are required under the new laws but that does not mean you do not require it. So please consider if your business needs them.

(There is actually a fourth point but I was told to keep my posts short. So this is it for now. Watch this space for more long winded posts.)

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