HR teams: issue payslips or pay up

by Hannah Norton14 Jul 2015
The legal requirement for itemised payslips for Singapore workers is one step closer to fruition.

The Ministry of Manpower yesterday tabled a bill in Parliament proposing changes to the Employment Act.

Those changes included making it compulsory for workplaces to issue the payslips or face a fine. The Bill also requires employers to clearly spell out employment terms to workers.

The Bill should serve as no surprise to HR leaders, with MOM first releasing guidelines to help businesses prepare for the change in January.

If the proposed changes go ahead, breaches will be considered civil rather than criminal contraventions.
Employers could be fined up to $1,000 for initial breaches and up to $2,000 for subsequent ones.

MOM said the move, if passed, could reduce labour disputes, and aims to implement the changes in the first quarter of next year.


1. Providing itemised payslips is a good employment practice, MOM said. “It raises employees’ awareness of their salary components and provides proper documentation which helps to facilitate the resolution of any salary dispute.”

2. This set of Guidelines seeks to guide employers in issuing itemised payslips and to institute good HR practices. 

Who should receive a payslip?

3. Employers should issue itemised payslips to all their employees.

When should a payslip be given?

4. Employers should issue itemised payslips at least once a month.

5. For a salary period ending in a particular month, employers should issue payslips to their employees within 7 days after the last day of that month. For example, for payment for work done in January, employers should issue the payslip by Feb 7.

6. Where there are more than one salary period within that month, employers could consolidate all the salary payment details in that calendar month into a single payslip. 

7. Where an employee is dismissed or has his contract of service terminated, employers should issue the payslip together with the payment of any outstanding salary or dismissal/termination payment, and the payslip should itemise such payments.

What form can the payslip take?

8. Employers could issue the payslip in hard and/or soft copies, as long as it contains the relevant information outlined in the next paragraph. Employers are also encouraged to get employees to acknowledge that they have received their payslips.

What should be in a payslip?

9. Payslips should contain the items below:
a) Name of employer
b) Name of employee
c) Date(s) of payment
d) Mode of payment (cash/cheque/bank deposit)
e) Start and end dates of each salary period within the month
f) Basic salary for each salary period
g) Allowances paid for each salary period such as: all fixed allowances (e.g. transport), all ad-hoc allowances (e.g. one-off uniform allowance)
h) Start and end dates of each overtime payment period within the month
i) Overtime hours worked
j) Overtime pay for each overtime payment period
k) Any other additional payment for each salary period such as bonuses, rest day pay and public holiday pay.
l) Actual deductions made for each salary period such as: all fixed deductions (e.g. employee’s CPF contribution), all ad-hoc deductions
m) Net salary paid in the month
n) Employer’s CPF contribution


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