Supporting Employees During COVID-19 – Salary Arrangements

Find out your obligations with regard to salary arrangements during COVID-19.

08 May 2020 Articles Employment contract Best practices

In view of the impact of the Circuit Breaker measures on businesses, the tripartite partners issued the Advisory on salary and leave arrangements during Circuit Breaker to guide employers and employees on salary and leave arrangements. 

Do you know your obligations with regard to salary? For more FAQs on salary and leave arrangements during Circuit Breaker, visit the MOM website here.

Q1. With the enhanced Job Support Scheme (JSS) payout, what is the baseline salary that I should pay my local employees?

With the 75% wage support through the JSS for April and May 2020, employers should continue paying baseline salaries to employees who are unable to work due to the suspension of business activities during the Circuit Breaker period.

The baseline salary may vary across employers due to different financial position and business prospects. For example, an employer who continues to be financially healthy may give a non-working employee salary + CPF contribution equivalent to the enhanced JSS payout for May (i.e. 75% of one month of wage).

Employers should discuss with unions and employees and come to an agreement on the salary and work arrangements, with special consideration for lower wage employees.


Q2. What are employers expected to do if they are unable to come to an agreement with their employees on adjustments to salary/working hours?

If the terms and conditions of an employment contract need to be changed, both employers and employees should negotiate and try to reach an acceptable agreement, taking into consideration business needs and the employee’s concerns. 

In the event that no agreement can be reached, the initial contractual terms and conditions must remain unchanged but either party can serve notice and end the employment relationship. 

Employers cannot make changes to the employment terms and conditions without the employee’s consent. To prevent misunderstandings or disputes, a written agreement with the new terms and conditions clearly stated, whether temporary or permanent, should be signed.


Q3. My company is unable to operate during the Circuit Breaker period and is not collecting any revenue. Do I still need to pay my employees?

Yes. Your company should use the enhanced Government support to continue to pay your employees during this period.