Singapore Labour: What is the Probationary Period?

Aspiring OFWs and even those who have already landed a job here in Singapore need to be aware of their rights as employees. If there’s one thing you need to know about when it comes to your employment and labor rights here in the country, it’s the Employment Act (EA) of Singapore.

If you have experienced being employed back in the Philippines, you would see some common points and key differences between labor laws and guidelines practiced by both countries. But where you are designated, you are expected to comply. And one good way to start is by keeping yourself well-informed of things that concern your work and rights as an employee. In this post, we will look at the EA’s guidelines regarding probationary period as well as some FAQs on this matter:

Probation Period of Employees in Singapore

The Employment Act of Singapore does not have specific clauses which define the probation period of employees. However, the standard practice of employers in Singapore is to designate employees under a period of probation (or assessment) which typically ranges between 3 and 6 months, to gauge a new employee’s performance and job fit.

Therefore, as the length of period under which an employee can be designated to be under probation depends on the employer, the employment contract must also specify this information accordingly.

Am I entitled to overtime pay even if I’m under probation?

Yes. Regardless of your employment status, for as long as you have been made to work beyond your contractual hours, you are entitled to receive overtime pay at the rate of at least 1.5 times your basic hourly rate.

Additionally, your contractual working hours (including breaks) should not exceed 8 hours in a day or 44 hours per week.

You also cannot be asked to do overtime work and go beyond 12 hours in a day. Your overtime hours within a month should not go beyond 72 hours.

Am I entitled to any annual leave with pay even if I am still under probation?

Anyone who has worked for at least three (3) months for one employer is entitled to at least seven (7) days of paid leave during his/her first year of employment. This is regardless of the person’s employment status (whether on probation or confirmed) and the entitlement increases in proportion to the employee’s years of service as outlined by Singapore’s Employment Act.

Are probationary employees also entitled to any medical claims/benefits?

Employees who have been working under one employer for at least three months, even if they are still on probation, shall be covered by their employers to some medical benefits such as medical examination fees or medical consultation fees. Other medical costs which include medication and treatment or ward charges shall be covered by the employer if such benefits are provided for in the employment contract, to which all employers must legally comply with.

Disclaimer: All information gathered here in this article is released for the purpose of information-sharing only. To know more about labor provisions under the Employment Act of Singapore, you may visit the Ministry of Manpower’s official website for reference.