Mediation guide

Mediation helps employees and employers resolve employment disputes, or self-employed persons resolve payment-related disputes, amicably.

Understanding mediation

Mediation is a process that aims to help resolve disputes and assist both parties to arrive at a fair outcome based on legal and contractual obligations.

If you have a dispute, try to resolve the issue amicably first. This can help you to save time and costs associated with mediation. Learn key tips for a successful discussion.

If you cannot resolve the dispute on your own, you may use our eServices to file a claim for mediation.

You can request for mediation if you are:

  • An employee (except for a domestic worker, seafarer or public officer).

  • An employer, only for notice pay.

If you are a self-employed person, domestic worker, seafarer or public officer, you may approach the following agencies for help:

Role Who to approach 
Self-employed person

For payment-related disputes, you may approach: 


Relevant sector agencies


Other sectors


You may file a claim with the Small Claims Tribunals at the State Courts 


OR


Make an appointment at TADM for an advisory session.


Learn more about mediation for disputes not covered under the Employment Claims Act.
Migrant Domestic Worker (MDW) MOM's MDW helpline at 1800 339 5505 (weekdays only)
Seafarer Maritime Port Authority (MPA)
Public Officer Your agency’s HR department, unless it is a claim for Employment Assistance Payment (EAP).

Our mediators are trained in handling various types of employment disputes. Many have HR and Industrial Relations experience from private and public sectors.

Mediation fees range from $10 to $20 per claim, depending on your claim amount. Learn more about mediation fees.

Mediation is mainly conducted online via the TADM Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) system, email, phone, and other communication tools (e.g. Microsoft Teams). 

Our mediator may arrange an in-person mediation session, if needed. A typical session can take up to 3 hours.

The mediation process takes 8 weeks on average. This will take longer if the dispute is more complex.

Requesting mediation

Depending on your role, you may submit a mediation request for the following claims:

Role Eligible claims
Employee
  • Salary-related claims (e.g. Unpaid salaries, overtime pay or notice pay)
  • Wrongful dismissal claims (e.g. Dismissal due to discrimination or deprivation of benefit)

For more information on salary-related claims, you may refer to the First schedule and Second schedule of the Employment Claims Act (ECA). For more information on wrongful dismissal claims, you may refer to the Third schedule.

 
Employer
  • Salary-related claims for notice pay only if an employee:
    • Leaves employment without service notice.
    • Does not complete the full notice period.

Note: If you are filing a salary-related claim, please note that contractual benefits such as retrenchment benefits, Annual Wage Supplement payments (AWS) and bonuses are not compulsory under the Employment Act.

You cannot claim such items unless they are provided for in your employment contract or collective agreement.

Understanding wrongful dismissal

  Eligible claims
Wrongful dismissal includes...
  • Dismissal without just or sufficient cause, such as:
    • Discriminatory grounds based on age, race, gender, etc.
    • Deprivation of benefits or entitlements (e.g. maternity benefits)
    • Punishing an employee for exercising an employment right (e.g. seeking assistance with TADM)
  • Involuntary resignation
Wrongful dismissal excludes...
  • Dismissal due to misconduct, poor performance or redundancy if the contractual notice was served or paid in-lieu.

    If you do not dispute the reasons for your dismissal, you should not file a wrongful dismissal claim.

    You may file a salary-related claim if you wish to claim for notice pay. Your claim amount may be based on the Employment Act or your employment contract.

To learn more about wrongful dismissal, please refer to:

Minimum service period

Depending on your job role and scenario, you may need to complete a minimum service period before you can file a wrongful dismissal claim:

Job Role Scenario Minimum service period 
Professional, manager or executive (PME) 
  • Dismissal with notice 
6 months 
PME
  • Dismissal without notice 
None 
Non-PME
  • Dismissal with notice
  • Dismissal without notice
None 

Depending on your dispute, you may file one or more of the following claims:

  • Salary-related claim(s) for owed salaries
  • Wrongful dismissal claim for reinstatement or compensation

General disputes

Wrongful dismissal claim: Do you dispute the reason for your dismissal?

Salary-related claim(s): Were you owed any salaries (e.g. notice pay or overtime pay)?   What you should file 
 Yes No  Wrongful dismissal claim only 
 No Yes  Salary-related claim(s) only 
 Yes Yes 

Wrongful dismissal claim and salary-related claim(s).

Note: You will need to file both claims separately. Please file your wrongful dismissal claim first. After which, you will need to log out from Singpass and log back in to file your salary-related claim.

Separate claim limits, filing fees and hearing fees apply.

Maternity-related disputes

Wrongful dismissal claim: Are you able to produce documentary evidence or cite a recent incident to support your claim? Salary-related claim(s): Were you denied any maternity leave benefits or owed any salaries (e.g. notice pay or overtime pay)?  What you should file 
 No Yes (owed salary)  Salary-related claim only 
 Yes No  Wrongful dismissal claim only 
 Yes Yes (e.g. owed maternity leave benefits or notice pay)

Wrongful dismissal claim and salary-related claim(s).

Note: You will need to file both claims separately. Please file your wrongful dismissal claim first. After which, you will need to log out from Singpass and log back in to file your salary-related claim.

Separate claim limits, filing fees and hearing fees apply.

You should file your claim early, as the Employment Claims Act has specific timeframes for claims to be lodged and accepted for mediation.

Learn when to file a claim for:

Salary-related claim (Still employed)

 

Under the law, you must file your claim within 1 year from your first date of owed salary. For example, if your first date of owed salary was 1 Jun 2020, you must file your claim by 1 Jun 2021.

Your claim period is 1 year before your date of filing. For example, if you file your claim on 1 Oct 2021, your claim period is from 1 Oct 2020 to 1 Oct 2021. You cannot claim owed salaries from 1 Jun to 30 Sep 2020.

Salary-related claim (Left employment)

 

You must file your claim within 6 months of your last date of employment. For example, if your last date of employment was 1 Jan 2021, you must file your claim by 1 Jul 2021.

  

Your claim period is 1 year before your date of filing. For example, if you filed your claim on 1 Jul 2021, your claim period is from 1 Jul 2020 to 1 Jul 2021. You cannot claim owed salaries from 1 May to 30 Jun 2020.

Wrongful dismissal claim (General)

 

You must file your claim for compensation or reinstatement within 1 month of your last date of employment. For example, if your last date of employment was 1 Jan 2021, you must file your claim by 1 Feb 2021.

If you wish to file a salary-related claim too, your claim period is 1 year before your date of filing. Learn more about when to file a salary-related claim.

Wrongful dismissal claim (Maternity-related)

 

You can file your claim any time after your last date of employment. However, you must file your claim within 2 months of your date of delivery. For example, if your date of delivery was 1 Jan 2021, your last date to file is 1 Mar 2021.

If you wish to file salary-related claim too, your claim period is 1 year before your date of filing. Learn more about when to file a salary-related claim.

 

If you are a... You can claim...
Union member Up to $30,000 per claim if your union files on your behalf. If you are filing for both salary-related and wrongful dismissal claims, you can claim up to $60,000, subject to claim limits of $30,000 per claim.
Non-union member Up to $20,000 per claim. If you are filing for both salary-related and wrongful dismissal claims, you can claim up to $40,000, subject to claim limits of $20,000 per claim.

You may file a claim online through our eServices and upload documentary evidence:

Claim Documentary evidence (Required) 
Wrongful dismissal claim

Examples include:

  • Termination or resignation letter
  • Correspondences with your employer (e.g. WhatsApp messages, emails)
  • Certification of pregnancy and/or birth certificate (where relevant)
Salary-related claim

Examples include:

  • Employment contract
  • Salary payment records or attendance records
  • CPF statements
  • Correspondence with your employer (e.g. WhatsApp messages, emails)

Please note that we will:

  • Assess if your claim is supported before arranging for mediation.
  • Share case details with your employer when the case is referred for mediation.

If you are unsure of your claim or unable to file it online, you can make an appointment for an advisory session with TADM.

Mediation Process

  • Before Mediation
  • During Mediation
  • After Mediation

Before Mediation

Preparing for mediation

Once you file a claim online, we will assess if the claim can be supported before arranging for mediation. We will notify you via email or mail if your case was lodged successfully. This notification marks the start of your mediation process.  


You will be able to understand the process as stated and work with TADM to resolve the claim(s).

 

Withdrawing a claim

You can withdraw your claim anytime if you:

  • Manage to reach a settlement with the other party
  • Change your mind about the claim

This can help you to save time spent on mediation. To withdraw your claim, please inform TADM through our Contact Us or the mediator.

During Mediation

Under the Employment Claims Act (ECA), only the employee, employer and mediator can participate in the mediation process. Third parties (e.g. lawyers, family or friends) are not allowed.

Note:

  • (For employees) If you are below 18 years of age, you must be accompanied by a parent or a legal guardian.
  • You can attend mediation if you are a director, partner, sole proprietor or a full-time employee who has been authorised in writing to represent the company. As an authorised representative, you must register yourself beforehand.

Mediation is mainly conducted online, via the TADM Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) system. We may also use email, phone, and other communication tools (e.g. Microsoft Teams). Both of you will have equal opportunity to present your case with supporting documents and clarify the claim(s).

If necessary, our mediators may:

  • Arrange an in-person mediation session
  • Discuss the dispute with you privately

The mediator will take up to 3 working days to respond to your message on the Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) portal, email and/or call.

Generally, the mediation session (be it in-person or virtual) cannot be postponed because the mediator has already scheduled the slot for both parties.

A change of date is allowed only in exceptional circumstances. To request for a postponement, you must:

  • Inform the mediator at least 3 working days before the mediation.
  • Provide documents to support your request.

Note: Requests are subject to approval. You must attend the original scheduled mediation session unless the mediator informs otherwise.

Consequence of non-attendance

Who was absent at mediation?

Consequence

The party who filed the claim(s) The mediation case will be discontinued. 

In addition, the mediation fees will not be refunded.
The party who is responding to the claim(s) The party who filed the claim(s) may refer the dispute to the Employment Claims Tribunals (ECT) of the State Courts.

This will prolong the resolution of the dispute.
 
In addition, the ECT may order you to pay costs to the other party.

After Mediation

If you manage to reach an agreement, a Settlement Agreement (SA) may be issued. Under the Employment Claims Act (ECA), you may register the SA with the Employment Claims Tribunals (ECT) as a legally binding order.

When to register Once the SA has been signed by all parties, you must register it within 4 weeks as required by law.
How to register This can only be done online via the State Court’s Community Justice & Tribunal System (CJTS).
How much to pay $10 

If you do not receive the full payment as stated in the SA, you can enforce the order against the other party.

If you are unable to reach an agreement, you may request for a Claim Referral Certificate (CRC). You may use the CRC to file the unresolved  claim(s) with the Employment Claims Tribunals (ECT).

When to register Once the CRC has been issued, you must file your claim with the ECT within 4 weeks as required by law.
How to register This can only be done online via the State Court’s Community Justice & Tribunal System (CJTS)
How much to pay
  • $30, if you are claiming $10,000 or less
  • $60, if you are claiming more than $10,000

Once a Settlement Agreement (SA) or Employment Claims Tribunals (ECT) Order has been issued, the other party is required to pay you the sum as indicated.

Please contact us on the payment status so that we can follow up accordingly.

Note: If the employer fails to pay you, we will work with NTUC's U-Care Centre and Migrant Workers Centre to provide one-off relief payment for eligible employees.

(For employers) Enforcement action by MOM

MOM may take enforcement action and suspension of work pass privileges against errant employers for:

  • Failure to make timely payment as per the SA or ECT Order.
  • Infringements of labour laws.

     

For less severe breaches, you will be issued advisory letters and/or required to attend corrective clinics on the Employment Act. You will be required to rectify your practices.

Follow-up checks may be conducted at your premises to ensure compliance.


Mediation for other employment or payment-related disputes

 

Payment-related disputes

Who to approach for help

If you are self-employed and your dispute is payment-related, you may approach the Small Claims Tribunals (SCT).

Depending on your sector, you may also approach relevant sector agencies for assistance. Sector agencies refer to agencies that regulate or oversee the sectors that a self-employed person works in. They include:

Sector Sector Agency Contact Information 
Media Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA)  INFO@imda.gov.sg
Transport Land Transport Authority (LTA) feedback@lta.gov.sg

Alternatively, you can make an appointment for an advisory session at TADM. Our Advisory Officers will go through the case with you and advise if mediation is suitable. 

Mediation fees

If you decide to proceed with mediation at TADM for your payment-related dispute, you need to pay a non-refundable registration fee. The fee depends on your payment dispute amount:

  • $40 for payment dispute amounts of up to $10,000.
  • $60 for payment dispute amounts above $10,000.

For age-related or denial of re-employment related appeals

If you are unlawfully dismissed on grounds of age or not offered re-employment, you need to appeal to MOM within 1 month after your last day of employment.

Such disputes are managed by MOM under the Re-employment and Retirement Act (RRA). After your appeal, MOM may refer the dispute to TADM for mediation.

Find out more:


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