28 March 2018

On 5 March 2018, the Ministry of Manpower (“MOM”), the National Trades Union Congress (“NTUC”) and the Singapore National Employers Federation (“SNEF”) issued two sets of Tripartite Standards: the Tripartite Standard on Contracting With Self-employed Persons and the Tripartite Standard on Unpaid Leave for Unexpected Care Needs.

Tripartite Standard on Contracting With Self-employed Persons

The Tripartite Standard on Contracting With Self-employed Persons encourages businesses, whether as service buyers or intermediaries (e.g. platforms), to set out their arrangements with self-employed persons (“SEPs”) clearly to lend clarity to the expectations and conduct of the relationship.

SEPs refer to persons who operate their own trade or business, and include independent individual contractors and freelancers such as graphic designers, sport coaches, tourist guides, taxi drivers, private hire car drivers and private tutors.

The Tripartite Standard on Contracting With Self-employed Persons sets out the following specifications:

  • The terms of the products or services to be delivered are to be discussed with the SEPs.
  • The terms agreed upon are to be documented in written key terms and provided to the SEPs before any products or services are delivered.
  • The written key terms are to be set out clearly and should include:
    • Names of contracting parties;
    • Parties’ obligations, such as the nature of services to be provided (e.g. outcome, duration and location);
    • Payment:
      • Amount of payment due for each product or service (or part thereof);
      • Due date of payment(s) (e.g. a fixed number of days after the SEP issues an invoice for delivered services or milestones, or periodic payments for services rendered during that period);
    • If terms on variation of the agreement are provided for, how either party can vary the key terms or terminate the agreement (e.g. by mutual agreement); and
    • If terms for resolving disputes are provided for, the option for mediation should be made available, without it being a barrier to either party bringing any dispute directly to the Small Claims Tribunals.

Tripartite Standard on Unpaid Leave for Unexpected Care Needs

The Tripartite Standard on Unpaid Leave for Unexpected Care Needs encourages employers to provide additional unpaid leave to support employees faced with greater caregiving needs when their immediate family members have a medical episode and require more care.

The Tripartite Standard on Unpaid Leave for Unexpected Care Needs sets out the following specifications:

  • Employees are to be informed of the types of unpaid leave offered, the process to request for them, and the expectations concerning the responsible use of leave.
  • Employees can request for more leave if required.
  • Employees are to be notified on the outcomes of leave requests in a timely manner. If a request cannot be granted, supervisors should engage employees on the reasons and where possible, discuss suitable alternatives that better meet the needs of both the employer and the employee.
  • Employees are to be offered up to four weeks of unpaid leave per year if their child is below the age of two and:
    • is born preterm, or with congenital conditions, or as part of multiple births; or
    • has any medical conditions, subject to discussion with the employer.
  • Employees are to be offered up to two weeks of unpaid leave per year for the caring of immediate family members who are hospitalised, during or after hospitalisation.

About the Tripartite Standards

Tripartite Standards are aimed at increasing the adoption of fair and progressive workplace practices in Singapore. They complement existing laws and Tripartite Guidelines and Advisories. Each Tripartite Standard sets out verifiable and actionable practices in a specific area of employment which employers can publicly commit to adopt and implement at their workplaces.

Employers which publicly adopt the Tripartite Standards will be listed on the website of the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (“TAFEP”) and can use the relevant Tripartite Standards logomark in their job advertisement and marketing collaterals. Jobseekers and employees can then identify such employers and the specific progressive employment practices implemented by these employers.

Reference materials

The following materials are available on the TAFEP website www.tafep.sg:

 

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