An Employment Contract is an agreement by which an employer agrees to employ another as his employee and the employee in turn agrees to serve his employer. Generally, rights and obligations of employers and employees are governed by the Employment Act but the following persons are excluded from coverage under the Act:-
- Persons who are PMEs i.e. in professional, managerial or executive positions earning a monthly salary of not more than S$4,500.00
- Domestic workers
- Persons employed by a Statutory Board or the Government
Employee or Independent Contractor?
Unlike a contract of service or an employment contract, a contract for service does not create an employer-employee relationship. The person is usually self-employed or provide his services on an ad hoc basis for a fee such as a taxi or Uber driver, a free-lance IT consultant or an insurance agent. An independent contractor would not be entitled to the usual benefits accorded to an employee unless the contract for service provide for them.
When an employer makes the working environment so unpleasant that an employee is unable to reasonably continue in his employment, this would be a fundamental breach of the contract entitling the employee to treat the contract as repudiated, to leave his employment and to claim for damages apart from any other monies due to him. Examples are non-payment of salary or harmful working conditions.
Many employment clauses have restrictive clauses preventing an employee from working in the same trade or joining a business rival for a period of time after his employment. The validity of such clauses depends on whether the employer has any legitimate interests justifying protection and whether such clauses are reasonable in all the circumstances including area, scope and period of restraint.
There are implied terms of loyalty and confidentiality for an employee. Hence, an employer may claim against an employee who diverts his clients or business to his own business, or if the employee secretly downloads the employer’s customer database and solicits patronage of such customers for himself, or if the employee breaks his bond and fails to serve out his fixed term employment contract.
How We Can Help You
- Vet your employment contract
- Provide advice on employment law matters
- Draft employment contracts to prevent any disputes
- Represent you in Court to advocate your claims
WE ARE HERE TO HELP
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