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Singapore

Basic Economic Summary

Overview

Tech and transformation remained the dominant focus for companies hiring in Singapore. This has driven continued high demand for tech and digital professionals, as well as technologically and digitally savvy talent across all functions. Cyber-security specialists, full-stack developers, data scientists and tech sales representatives are among the top jobs in demand (Robert Walters’ 2020 guide).

Singapore is facing an ongoing talent deficit with 56% of employers having difficulty filling jobs. Finance will account for 24.7% of Level A talent shortages in 2020, which will increase to 28.5% by 2030. Technology will account for 4.9% of total Level A talent shortages in 2030. Singapore will fail to generate $2.74bn from its TMT sector $29.16bn from its financial and business services sector. By 2030, Singapore could lose out on $106.82bn USD that will not be realized due to talent shortages. In terms of the size of its economy, Singapore could fail to grow by 21% by 2030 (Korn Ferry).

Despite many businesses increasing theire investments in technology in order to keep up with market demands for remote working, employers are still expressing concerns about the sheer lack of tech candidates available (Ranstad). Lack of experience, lack of applicants and higher pay expectations are cited as the top drivers of talent shortages in Singapore. The pandemic has only exacerbated this shortage with 22% of respondents in Ranstad’s Singapore’s COVID-19 Labour Pulse Survey reported not looking for a job at the current moment due to poor labor market conditions, and 28% reporting the intention to wait till the pandemic passes before considering a job move.

However, Randstad’s COVID-19 Labour Pulse Survey conducted in July 2020 has found that 86% of respondents are willing to upskill or re-skill in the next 12 months. Companies can take advantage by hiring highly-driven mid-career switchers who have relevant transferable skills sets or even providing reskilling and upskilling programmes for contract employees.

Basic Information

  • Local Languages: English (Official), Chinese, Malay, Tamil
  • Major Economic Hubs: Singapore
  • Currency: Singapore Dollar (SGD)
  • Population: 5.84 million (2020)
  • Date Format: dd/mm/yyyy

Useful Information

  • GDP Per Capita (in USD): $65,233
  • Exchange Rate (SGD/USD): 0.75
  • PISA Ranking: 2
  • Number of University Graduates (2018): 18,997

Local Universities

University Number of Graduates (Undergrad) Description Rankings
National University of Singapore 7,252 (2019) Well-known for business & accounting, sciences and design. Generally well across all degrees. World University Ranking: 25, Asia University Ranking: 3, World Reputation Ranking: 24, Engineering and Technology Ranking: 12, Business and Economics Ranking: 14, Computer Science Ranking: 8
Nanyang Technological University 5,992 (2020) Well-known for science & technology and communications. World University Ranking: 47, Asia University Ranking: 6, Young University Ranking: 2, World Reputation Ranking: 51-60, Engineering and Technology Ranking: 15, Business and Economics Ranking: 58 ,Computer Science Ranking: 18
Singapore Management University 1,883 (2020) Well-known for business management.  
Singapore University of Technology and Design 431 (2019) Well-known for science & technology.  
Singapore University of Social Sciences 251 (2019) Well-known for the social sciences and humanities.  

Salary Data

Job Title Average Salary Range (SGD) Average Salary Range (USD)
Management Accounting Manager 7,500-10,000 5641-7521
Management Accounting Analyst/Associate 4,167-7,500 3134-5641
Sales Manager 8,333-11,666 6268-8775
Marketing Manager 8,333-11,667 6268-8776
Developer 7,083-15,000 5327-11282
Product Owner 10,000-16,667 7521-12536
Data Scientist 8,333-16,667 6268-12536

*Links to CPF contribution, Skills Development Levy and Worker’s Injury Compensation Insurance.

5-15% salary rises are expected for job movers in 2020. For tech professionals staying in a role, 46% expect a 0-6% annual salary increment, 38% expect a 7-15% annual salary increment while 16% expect a 15%+ annual salary increment.

Talent Sourcing Tips

  • English Proficiency: Very High Proficiency
  • Number of LinkedIn Users (2019): 2.83 million
  • Top Local Job Portals: Indeed, Neuvoo, InternSG

More information about job portals in Singapore can be found here.

More information about recruitment agencies in Singapore can be found here.

Taxes

Employer Payroll Tax

Type of TaxContribution (%)Notes
CPF Contribution (Pension) Payable for monthly salary ≥ SGD$750
Employee Age  
55 & Below17% 
Above 55 to 6013% 
Above 60 to 659% 
Above 657.50% 
   
Skills Development Levy$2 or 0.25%Whichever is highest, capped at SGD$11.25
Worker’s Injury Compensation Insurance3.2%All employees doing manual work, regardless of salary level.
All employees doing non-manual work, earning a salary of $2,100 or less a month, excluding any overtime payment, bonus payment, annual wage supplement, productivity incentive payment and any allowance.

*Links to CPF contribution, Skills Development Levy and Worker’s Injury Compensation Insurance.

for local hires, employer payroll taxes are capped at $1,020 for salaries above $6000.

Employee Payroll Tax

Type of TaxContribution (%)
CPF Contribution (Pension) 
Employee Age 
55 & below20%
Above 55 to 6013%
Above 60 to 657.50%
Above 655.00%
  
Community Contribution$0.50 – $30.00

*Links to CPF contribution and Community Contribution.

For CPF, the maximum amount of wage charged for cpf is $6000, and then 30k on additional wage (i.e 12*monthly salary – 6000*12, remaining is now the cap for bonus contribution to cpf contribution.)

Employee Monthly Income Tax

Income Group (SGD)Contribution (%)
< 1,666.670%
1,666.67 – 2,5002%
2,500 – 3,333.333.5%
3,333.33 – 6,666.677%
6,666.67 – 10,00011.5%
10,000 – 13,333.3315%
13,333.33 – 18,333.3318%
18,333.33 – 20,00019%
20,000 – 23,333.3319.5%
23,333.33 – 26,666.6720%
> 26,666.6722%

Singapore follows a progressive income tax model. Link to income tax.

An employee has to pay compulsory Medisave contribution (health insurance) if their monthly net trade income is more than $500.

Monthly Net Trade IncomeBelow 35 years35-45 years45-50 years50 years
Above $500 to $1,0004%4.5%5%5.25%
Above $1,000 to $1,5004%-8%4.5%-9%5%-10%5.25%-10.5%
Above $1,5008%9%10%10.5%
Maximum (SGD)$5,760$6,480$7,200$7,560

Minimum Wage & Payroll

Minimum Wage

Singapore has no minimum wage policy.

Payroll Cycle

Paid monthly, within 7 days of the end of salary period.

Bonus

13th month salary

Not mandatory.

Working Hours & Statutory Leave

Maximum working hours

For 5 days or less a week: Up to 9 hours per day or 44 hours a week

More than 5 days a week: Up to 8 hours a day or 44 hours a week

Not allowed to work more than 12 hours a day unless:

  1. An accident or threat of accident
  2. Work that is essential to the life of community, national defence or securit
  3. Urgent work to be done to machinery or plan
  4. Interruption of work that was impossible to foresee

Maximum overtime hours

Up to 72 overtime hours, otherwise apply for exemption.

Overtime pay

Payable within 14 days and capped at SGD$13.50/hr:

For non-workman (white collar worker) earning up to $2600: 1.5x of hourly wage

For workman (blue collar worker) earning up to $4500: 1.5x of hourly wage

Work-on-rest-day pay

At employer’s request:

Work HoursPay
Up to half of normal daily working hours1 day salary
More than half of normal daily working hours2 day salary
Beyond normal daily working hours2 day salary + overtime pay

At employee’s request:

Work HoursPay
Up to half of normal daily working hours0.5 day salary
More than half of normal daily working hours1 day salary
Beyond normal daily working hours1 day salary + overtime pay

Public Holidays

11 public holidays can be found here.

Annual Leave

Years of EmploymentNumber of Annual Leave
17
28
39
410
511
612
713
>714

Sick Leave

Months of Service CompletedPaid Outpatient Sick Leave (Certified Unfit for work)Paid Hospitalisation Leave
3515
4830
51145
>51460

Parental Leave

Child’s CitizenshipLeave
Singaporean Citizen (1st or 2nd child)8 weeks (paid by government) + 8 weeks (paid by company)
Singaporean Citizen (3rd child onwards)16 weeks (paid by government)
Non-Singaporean Citizen8 weeks (paid by company) + 4 weeks (unpaid)

Offboarding & Termination

Termination Process

Employee resigns and serves the notice period:On the last day of employment
Resignation without notice & no notice period servedWithin 7 days of the last day of employment
Termination due to misconductOn the last day of employment if possible,
else within 3 business days
Employer terminates the employment contractOn the last day of employment if possible,
else within 3 business days

Notice Period

Specified in contract. Number of days include Public Holidays, rest, and non-working days.

If not specified:
Length of Service in CompanyNotice Period
< 26 weeks1 day
26 weeks – 2 years1 week
2 – 5 years2 weeks
≥ 5 years4 weeks

Severance Pay

Severance pay is not mandatory, unless specified in contract and employed for at least 2 years.

Probation period

Not mandatory.

VAT

7%

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