10 Facts About Singapore Working Hours That Bosses Hope Workers Wouldn’t Know


Last Updated on 2023-06-16 , 1:18 pm

In case you’re unaware, us Singaporeans are notorious for our working hours. So, other than having the longest working hours, is there anything else you should know? Here are 10 facts about Singapore working hours your boss doesn’t want you to know.

Because if you knew them, you won’t work as much.

Prefer to watch it instead? Here, we’ve done a video based on this topic:

No data for videos? Well, read on then.

The Very Basics for Office Workers

Some bosses won’t want their employees to know the very basics of the official working hours in Singapore so that they can easily manipulate them. This is even more common in smaller companies, whereby the boss would brainstorm the employee to think that they should be working more than what is expected simply because “everyone is doing that”.

Or, you know, provide them with a nice office, a nice name card with the word “Director” in their position, and an IG-worthy work environment, all just to compensate for the longer (and crazier) working hours.

There are many things a boss can’t do to you, and if you have a nasty boss, you might want to check out this video we’ve done about the rights of an employee:

Now, moving on to working hours.

Understanding Singapore Working Hours: A Lighthearted Guide

Cracking the mystery of the Singapore work week, the number of hours you’re expected to put in, and the rules around breaks can be like trying to decode a girlfriend’s sudden silence, but don’t worry, we’re here to shed some light. We’ll tackle everything from working hours in Singapore, to whether Saturdays count, and even venture into the topic of overtime.

The Basics: Singapore Work Hours and How They Break Down

In the bustling city-state of Singapore, where the balance between work and play often tips towards work, it’s essential to know your rights and limits. The MOM working hours regulation stipulates a maximum of 44 hours in a week – no more, possibly less.

The question of “is lunch break included in working hours Singapore” and how working hours are spread out during the week depend on whether you’re signed up for a five-day or six-day work week. Picture this, if you’re part of the five-day crew, you’ll spend up to 9 hours daily at work, but for the six-day warriors, the maximum hours per day dip to 8.

However, these hours don’t account for breaks, so remember to do the math and subtract your break time.

Shift Workers: A Different Story

Asking about the maximum hours allowed to work per week Singapore, the rule remains the same – 44 hours. But if you’re on shift work, it’s a different ball game. Here, your working hours are averaged over three weeks. For example, if you worked 48 hours in week one and 44 hours in week two, your week three could only stretch to 40 hours, ensuring your total doesn’t exceed 132 hours (44 hours X 3). Not a detail that’s common knowledge, is it?

While most workers can’t exceed 6 hours straight (lunch breaks included), a shift worker’s daily limit is up to 12 hours and six days a week.

The Enigma of Overtime (OT) Hours

Figuring out OT rules can be as tricky as convincing a cat to enjoy a bath. Here’s the lowdown: your entitlement to overtime pay depends on your income and whether you’re protected by the Employment Act. If you earn more than $4,500 a month, brace yourself – you’re on your own, without the cover of the act. But if you’re making less, depending on your job nature, you may be eligible for overtime pay.


The Must-Have Rest Day: Is Saturday a Working Day in Singapore?

Contrary to some boastful claims, there’s no such thing as a “seven-day work week”. By law, everyone deserves a rest day each week, usually falling on a Sunday for office workers.

And what happens if a public holiday lands on a Saturday? Well, the rules vary based on your work week, but you’re generally entitled to an off-in-lieu or extra pay.

Maximum Working Hours: Is There A Cap?

Yes, there is! The absolute limit for daily working hours is 12, including the mandatory breaks. Overtime should not exceed 72 hours a month. If your work requires more hours, it’s not a free-for-all, but needs ministry approval.

A Surprising Statistic

Despite the rules and regulations, a staggering 65% of workers in Singapore clock more hours than they’re required to. It’s easy to point fingers at demanding bosses or societal pressure, but at the end of the day, the control is in your hands.

So, fellow worker, as we navigate the maze of the Singapore work week, remember, the system is in place to protect you. The question is, what choices will you make?