REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE
Published by Authority
The following Act was passed by Parliament on 22nd November 2010 and assented to by the President on 6th December 2010:—
Industrial Relations (Amendment ) Act 2010
(No. 36 of 2010)
S R NATHAN
6th December 2010.
Date of Commencement: 1st February 2011
An Act to amend the Industrial Relations Act (Chapter 136 of the 2004 Revised Edition) and to make related amendments to the Employment Act (Chapter 91 of the 2009 Revised Edition).
Be it enacted by the President with the advice and consent of the Parliament of Singapore, as follows:
1. This Act may be cited as the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act 2010 and shall come into operation on such date as the Minister may, by notification in the Gazette, appoint.
2. The long title to the Industrial Relations Act (referred to in this Act as the principal Act) is amended by inserting, immediately after the word “arbitration”, the words “and for tripartite mediation of individual disputes”.
3. The principal Act is amended by inserting, immediately after section 30E, the following Part:
TRIPARTITE MEDIATION OF DISPUTES INVOLVING EXECUTIVE EMPLOYEES
30F. In this Part —
“executive employee”, in relation to an employer, means an employee who is an executive employee within the meaning of Part IV and who —
is in receipt of a salary not exceeding $4,500 a month (excluding overtime payments, bonus payments, annual wage supplements, productivity incentive payments and any allowance however described), or such other amount as may be prescribed by the Minister; and
is a member of a trade union which has not been given recognition by his employer under section 17,
but does not include any person belonging to any class of persons whom the Minister may, from time to time, by notification in the Gazette, declare not to be executive employee for the purposes of this Part;
“federation” has the same meaning as in the Trade Unions Act (Cap. 333);
“salary” has the same meaning as in the Employment Act (Cap. 91);
“tripartite mediation” means mediation under this Part conducted by a conciliation officer, between an executive employee and his employer, with the assistance of any tripartite mediation advisors who may be appointed, in an endeavour to reach a settlement in respect of disputes under section 30G;
“tripartite mediation advisor” means any tripartite mediation advisor appointed under section 30K.
—(1) Subject to subsection (2), only the following disputes may be the subject of tripartite mediation:
any dispute relating to a breach of contract of employment by the employer of an executive employee;
any dispute relating to salary due to an executive employee; or
any dispute relating to the retrenchment benefit payable or to be paid to an executive employee by his employer,
the material facts of which giving rise to the dispute occur on or after the date of commencement of this Part.
(2) The following disputes may not be the subject of tripartite mediation:
any dispute where the material facts giving rise to the dispute occur earlier than one year before the date on which the Commissioner receives a notification under section 30H(2) relating to that dispute;
any dispute which arises out of or as a result of a termination of the contract of employment of an executive employee, unless the Commissioner receives a notification under section 30H(2) relating to that dispute within 6 months after the termination of the contract of service.
—(1) An executive employee who has a dispute with his employer may seek tripartite mediation by informing his trade union or any federation of which his trade union may be part of, of such dispute.
(2) The trade union or federation may notify the Commissioner of such dispute, in such form and manner as the Commissioner may determine.
(3) Upon receiving a notification of a dispute under subsection (2), the Commissioner may —
direct a conciliation officer to conduct tripartite mediation of the dispute;
assign or re-assign tripartite mediation advisors, at any stage prior to the commencement of the tripartite mediation proceedings, to assist the executive employee or his employer (who are parties to the relevant dispute) in the tripartite mediation;
direct the executive employee and the employer to participate in the tripartite mediation; and
of his own volition or upon request by either the executive employee or the employer, request any other party whom he deems appropriate, including but not limited to —
an officer from the trade union of which the executive employee is a member; and
a representative of any business organisation of which the employer is a member,
to participate in the tripartite mediation by assisting the tripartite mediation advisors assigned under paragraph (b).
(4) The conciliation officer may conduct the tripartite mediation session in such manner as he deems fit and shall, subject to subsection (5), have the discretion to decide on the persons who may attend any mediation session.
(5) No party shall be represented by an advocate or solicitor or a paid agent at any mediation session.
—(1) An employer may object to the eligibility of an executive employee to tripartite mediation but only on the ground that the executive employee —
is employed in a senior management position or performs or exercises any function, duty or power of a person employed in a senior management position, including the control and supervision of major business operations, accountability for operational performance, formulation of business policies, plans and strategies and provision of leadership to other employees;
performs or exercises any function, duty or power which includes decision making, or the power to substantially influence decision making, on any industrial matters including the employment, termination of employment, promotion, transfer, reward or discipline of other employees;
performs any function or duty which includes representing the employer in any negotiation relating to any industrial matters;
has access to confidential information relating to the budget and finances of the employer, any industrial relations matter or the salaries and personal records of other employees; or
performs or exercises any other function, duty or power which may give rise to a real or potential conflict of interest if he is represented by the trade union or federation.
(2) Where an employer wishes to raise any objection under subsection (1), the employer shall, within 14 days from the date of the direction referred to in section 30H(3)( c) (or such longer period as the Commissioner may, in his discretion, allow in any particular case), give notice of his objection in the prescribed form and manner to the Commissioner stating precisely the grounds of his objection.
(3) In deciding whether the objection should stand, the Commissioner may consult one or more tripartite mediation advisors who, in the opinion of the Commissioner, are of sufficient standing and experience to advise and make recommendations to the Commissioner in relation to such objection.
(4) Any tripartite mediation advisor who is consulted under subsection (3) shall not be assigned and shall not continue (if assigned) to assist the parties in the tripartite mediation under section 30H(3)(b).
(5) The Commissioner’s decision as to whether any objection should stand shall be final.
—(1) In the event that an executive employee who has been directed to participate in tripartite mediation under section 30H(3)(c) fails to attend any mediation session without reasonable excuse, the Commissioner may issue such further directions as he deems fit, including but not limited to terminating the tripartite mediation proceedings.
(2) In the event that an employer who has been directed to participate in tripartite mediation under section 30H(3)(c) fails to attend any mediation session without reasonable excuse, the Minister may in writing, direct such employer to attend a mediation session.
(3) Any employer who fails to comply with the Minister’s direction to attend a mediation session under subsection (2) without reasonable excuse shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $5,000.
4. The principal Act is amended by inserting, immediately after section 87, the following section:
5. The sections of the principal Act specified in the first column of the Schedule to this Act are amended by deleting the fine or penalty (as the case may be) specified in the second column of the Schedule opposite that section and substituting in each case the fine or penalty (as the case may be) specified in the third column of that Schedule.
6. The Employment Act (Cap. 91) is amended —
by deleting “$2,500” in section 2(2) and substituting “$4,500”;
by inserting, immediately after subsection (3) of section 115, the following subsection:
by deleting paragraph (a\) of section 120 and substituting the following paragraph: