Our salaries are the greatest rewards that we get every month. After one tough month of slogging, we get what we deserve so that we can pay bills, buy food, do some shopping, go for a few movies and perhaps splurge on a new bag.
It is even more important for employees who are living hand to mouth since their family will be affected financially if their salaries failed to “arrive on time”.
Since salaries are so important, what are some of the facts that we should know about it? Let’s find out!
Salary only refers to the remuneration, including any allowances, that are paid for work done under a binding contract between an employer and an employee.
You should know that your salary is only inclusive of the fixed amount of pay and the allowances that are stated in your contract. Any other form of remuneration should not be considered your salary. These could be the payment of accommodation, utilities or internet if the company is liable to pay for.
Any expenses that you incurred due to work is not part of your salary
We have heard stories in which employers claim that any expenses incurred by the employees in the course of work is covered in their salaries. That is not true. Your salary does not cover any expenses incurred due to work and your employer should reimburse the cost to you on top of your salary.
Central Provident Fund (CPF) paid by your employer is not part of your salary
There are some people who considered their employer’s CPF (the additional 17% by your employer, not the 20% from employee) as part of their salaries and think that they are highly paid. Sorry to burst your bubble but it is stated clearly in the Ministry of Manpower’s website that employers’ CPF contribution is not part of your CPF! (Psst…perhaps you should start asking for a pay rise now?)
Travelling allowance should not be part of your salary
There are companies which give employees a slightly higher salary and insist that travelling allowances are included in the salary. In the eyes of the law, this is illegal as travelling allowances should be paid to the employees on top of their salaries and should not be included as part of their salaries. After, remember: it’s allowance, not salary.
Gratuity upon retirement or retrenchment benefits is not part of your salary
If you are retiring or just got retrenched, your employer should pay you the monthly salary as per your work done and add the gratuity or retrenchment benefits on top of it. They should not be lumping your salary together with such benefits as they should not be part of your salary.
You can negotiate your salary
Employees are often afraid to ask for more and accept what the company offers without thinking further if the salary given is enough to compensate their time and efforts spent. While Singapore has no minimum wage, there is no wage ceiling either. This means that you are free to ask for a salary which you think is reasonable for your expertise. (Of course la, you cannot be asking for a $10,000 salary per month if all you do is write a few articles, right?)
Salary must be paid monthly
All employers must pay salaries to their employees on a monthly basis, especially if their employees are covered under the Employment Act (which should be all of you employees). Salary should be paid within 7 days after the end of the stated salary period, and any overtime work must be paid within 14 days after the end of the stated salary period.
Final salary payment (when you stop working for a company) can differ depending on the situations.
- If you resign and serve the notice period, your final salary must be paid to you on your last day of employment.
- If you resign and do not serve the notice period, your final salary (minus any compensation made to the company) must be paid to you within 7 days of your last day of employment.
- If you are dismissed on grounds of misconduct or if the employer terminates the contract, your final salary must be paid to you on the last day of employment. If that is not possible, the final salary must be paid to you within 3 working days from the date of dismissal / termination.
You should receive an itemised pay slip together with your salary
From 1 April 2016, employers are required to issue an itemised pay slip together with your salary every month, stating your total salary each month, including any commission or allowances paid to you. If you are not receiving an itemised pay slip, do check with your HR.
Your salary must be paid on time.
Non-payment of salary is an offence in Singapore. If you do not receive your salary on time, first check with your boss if you will be paid and why the payment is delayed. Most importantly, find out if the regular schedule will be resumed the following month. If no satisfactory answer is given, you can file a salary claim at the Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management (TADM) or get your union to help.