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Contents  

Long Title

Part I PRELIMINARY

Part II INDUSTRIAL ARBITRATION COURTS

Part III COLLECTIVE BARGAINING

Part IV LIMITED REPRESENTATION OF EMPLOYEES IN MANAGERIAL AND EXECUTIVE POSITIONS

Part IVA TRIPARTITE MEDIATION OF DISPUTES INVOLVING EXECUTIVE EMPLOYEES

Part V ARBITRATION

Part VI AWARDS

Part VII PROCEDURE AND POWERS OF COURTS

Part VIII BOARDS OF INQUIRY

Part IX MISCELLANEOUS

Legislative History

Comparative Table

 
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Industrial Relations Act
(CHAPTER 136)

(Original Enactment: Ordinance 20 of 1960)

REVISED EDITION 2004
(1st January 2004)
An Act to provide for the regulation of the relations of employers and employees and the prevention and settlement of trade disputes by collective bargaining and conciliation and arbitration and for tripartite mediation of individual disputes.
[36/2010 wef 01/02/2011]
[15th September 1960]
PART I
PRELIMINARY
Short title
1.  This Act may be cited as the Industrial Relations Act.
Interpretation
2.  In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires —
“award” means an award made by a Court;
“collective agreement” means an agreement as to industrial matters;
“Commissioner” means the Commissioner for Labour appointed under section 3 of the Employment Act (Cap. 91), and includes a Deputy Commissioner for Labour, a Principal Assistant Commissioner for Labour and an Assistant Commissioner for Labour under that Act;
“conciliation officer” means a conciliation officer appointed under section 28;
“Court” means an Industrial Arbitration Court established under section 3;
“employee” means a person who has entered into or works under a contract of service with an employer and includes an officer or servant of the Government included in a category, class or description of such officers or servants declared by notification in the Gazette by the President of Singapore to be employees for the purposes of this Act, but does not include any person or class of persons whom the Minister may from time to time by notification in the Gazette declare not to be employees for the purposes of this Act;
“employer” means any person who employs another person under a contract of service and includes —
(a)
the Government in respect of such categories, classes or descriptions of officers or servants of the Government as from time to time are declared by the President of Singapore to be employees for the purposes of this Act;
(b)
a statutory authority;
(c)
a duly authorised agent or manager of an employer;
(d)
a person who owns, or is carrying on, or for the time being responsible for the management or control of a profession, business, trade or work in which an employee is engaged;
(e)
for the purposes of Parts V, VI and VII, the transferor of an undertaking whose employment of employees is transferred by virtue of section 18A of the Employment Act;
“industrial matters” means matters pertaining to the relations of employers and employees which are connected with the employment or non-employment or the terms of employment, the transfer of employment or the conditions of work of any person;
“industrial relations officer” means an industrial relations officer appointed under section 28;
“inspecting officer” means a person who is an inspecting officer for the purposes of the Employment Act (Cap. 91);
“officer”, in relation to a trade union or a branch of a trade union, includes any member of the body, by whatever name called, to which the management of the affairs of the trade union or branch is entrusted;
“President” means the President or the Deputy President of the Courts and includes an acting President or acting Deputy President;
“Registrar” means the Registrar of the Courts appointed under this Act and includes a Deputy Registrar and an Assistant Registrar;
“trade dispute” means a dispute (including a threatened, impending or probable dispute) as to industrial matters;
“trade union” means a trade union of employees or employers registered under any written law for the time being in force relating to the registration of trade unions;
“transfer of employment” means the transfer of an employee’s employment from the transferor of an undertaking to the transferee under section 18A of the Employment Act;
“transferee” means the person to whom an undertaking is transferred and who becomes the employer of the transferor’s employees by virtue of section 18A of the Employment Act;
“undertaking” includes any trade or business.
[36/95]
PART II
INDUSTRIAL ARBITRATION COURTS
Courts
3.
—(1)  There shall be one or more Industrial Arbitration Courts to be presided over by a President or Deputy President to be appointed by the President of Singapore in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister.
(2)  Except where otherwise provided by this Act, a Court shall, in relation to a trade dispute of which the Court has cognizance or any other matter with respect to which the Court has jurisdiction under this Act, be constituted by —
(a)
the President or the Deputy President; and
(b)
2 members selected for the purposes of the trade dispute or matter in the manner set out in this Act from the 2 panels constituted in accordance with this Part.
President and Deputy President
4.
—(1)  The President shall not be deemed to be a public servant, but shall have the same rights, privileges, protection and immunity as a Judge of the Supreme Court.
(2)  The provisions of the Constitution relating to the tenure of office and the terms of office of Judges of the Supreme Court shall be deemed to apply to the President as if he were a Judge of the Supreme Court.
(3)  The Deputy President shall be paid such remuneration and allowances as may from time to time be determined and shall in the performance of his functions and duties have the same protection and immunity as the President.
Acting President
5.
—(1)  When the President is or is expected to be absent from duty, the President of Singapore may, on the advice of the Minister, appoint a person to be acting President during the absence of the President.
(2)  A person so appointed shall, notwithstanding that the President may no longer be absent, continue to be acting President for the purposes of completing the hearing of and of determining a trade dispute or matter the hearing of which was commenced during the absence of the President.
(3)  An acting President shall in the performance of the functions and duties of the President have the same protection and immunity as the President.
Panels
6.
—(1)  For the purpose of enabling the Courts to be constituted in accordance with this Act, 2 panels of persons (referred to in this Act as the employer panel and the employee panel) shall be appointed in the manner set out in this section.
(2)  The employer panel and the employee panel shall each consist of 10 persons appointed by the Minister whose names shall be notified in the Gazette.
(3)  The Minister may from time to time invite —
(a)
a trade union of employers to nominate for inclusion in the employer panel such number of persons as he may specify being persons eligible for appointment to that panel in accordance with section 7; and
(b)
a trade union of employees to nominate for inclusion in the employee panel such number of persons as he may specify being persons eligible for appointment to that panel in accordance with section 7.
(4)  Subject to subsection (5) —
(a)
7 of the members of the employer panel shall be persons nominated in reply to an invitation by the Minister under subsection (3) and 3 of the members of that panel shall be persons nominated by the Minister for Finance as nominees of the Government as an employer; and
(b)
the members of the employee panel shall be persons nominated in reply to an invitation by the Minister under subsection (3).
(5)  Where the Minister has invited nominations for inclusion in a panel from such trade unions of employers or employees as in the circumstances he considers appropriate and no suitable person is nominated or the number of suitable persons nominated is less than the number which is required to be appointed in order that all vacancies in that panel may be filled, the Minister may, after filling as many vacancies as he is able to do by the appointment of suitable persons nominated in accordance with this section, appoint persons who have not been so nominated to fill the vacancies unfilled or remaining unfilled.
(6)  For the purposes of subsection (5), a person shall be deemed to be a suitable person for appointment to a panel if he is eligible in accordance with section 7 and is in the opinion of the Minister a fit and proper person to be selected to be a member of the Court.
Eligibility for membership of panels
7.
—(1)  Subject to subsection (2), a person who is an employee shall not be eligible to be a member of the employer panel.
(2)  A person in the service of the Government shall be eligible to be a member of the employer panel if he is nominated by the Minister for Finance.
(3)  A person who is an employer or a director of a company which is an employer or is employed by a trade union of employers or association of employers shall not be eligible to be a member of the employee panel.
(4)  A person who —
(a)
is an undischarged bankrupt;
(b)
is mentally disordered and incapable of managing himself or his affairs;
(c)
is not a citizen of Singapore;
(d)
is ineligible by reason of section 57 to be nominated for election as an officer of a trade union; or
(e)
has within the previous 3 years been convicted of an offence under this Act or the Trade Disputes Act (Cap. 331),
shall not be eligible for appointment to a panel.
[21/2008 wef 01/03/2010]
(5)  The Minister may exempt any person from subsection (1) or (3).
Duration of appointment
8.
—(1)  A person appointed to a panel shall, subject to section 9, be a member of the panel for a period of one year unless he sooner resigns but shall be eligible for reappointment.
(2)  A panel member who resigns or whose appointment expires during the course of any proceedings of a Court shall for the purposes of such proceedings and until their determination be deemed to remain a member of the Court.
Removal from panel
9.
—(1)  The Minister shall remove from a panel a person who —
(a)
ceases to be eligible to be a member of that panel in accordance with section 7;
(b)
accepts any relief afforded by law to bankrupts or insolvent debtors; or
(c)
has declined to constitute a Court when selected to do so or has absented himself, when selected, from the proceedings of the Court unless he has shown reasonable cause for so declining or absenting himself.
(2)  The Minister may remove a person from a panel if he is of the opinion that that person —
(a)
has become permanently incapable of discharging the functions of a member of a Court; or
(b)
is not a fit and proper person to be selected to constitute a Court.
Vacancies in panels
10.  Where a person ceases to be a member of a panel, the Minister shall, as soon as is reasonably practicable, take steps to fill the vacancy but the existence of any vacancy in either panel shall not invalidate the constitution of a Court.
Constitution of Court
11.
—(1)  For the purpose of constituting a Court in relation to a trade dispute or matter, the President shall determine in the prescribed manner who the parties to the trade dispute or matter are and shall invite —
(a)
the trade unions of employees who are parties to the trade dispute or matter to select one member of the employee panel; and
(b)
the employers who are parties to the trade dispute or matter to select one member of the employer panel.
(2)  If all the trade unions of employees who are parties to the trade dispute or matter or all the employers who are parties to the trade dispute or matter unanimously select a member of the employee panel or employer panel, as the case may be, the President shall declare that that person shall be a member of the Court for the purposes of the trade dispute or matter.
(3)  If a member of a panel is not selected in accordance with subsection (2), the President shall —
(a)
if he is of the opinion that a member of that panel has been selected by trade unions of employees who represent the majority of employees concerned in the trade dispute or matter or by the majority of the employers concerned in the trade dispute or matter, as the case may be, declare that that person shall be a member of the Court for the purposes of the trade dispute or matter; and
(b)
in any other case, notify the Minister and the Minister shall select a person from the panel and the President shall declare that that person shall be a member of the Court for the purposes of the trade dispute or matter.
(4)  When the President has declared that a person shall be a member of the Court for the purposes of a trade dispute or matter, that person shall, subject to section 12, be a member of the Court for the purposes of that trade dispute or matter notwithstanding that in the proceedings relating to the trade dispute or matter parties may be joined or struck out.
(5)  Such declaration shall not be challenged or called in question on the ground that the selection may not have been in accordance with this section.
Continuation of hearing
12.
—(1)  Where a Court has been constituted in relation to a trade dispute or matter and before the trade dispute or matter has been determined the President or a member constituting the Court has become unable to hear or to continue to hear or to determine the trade dispute or matter or has ceased to be the President or a member, as the case may be, whether by death or otherwise, the Court shall be reconstituted in accordance with section 11.
(2)  The Court as reconstituted shall hear and determine the trade dispute or matter or so much of the trade dispute or matter as has not been determined and in so hearing may have regard to the evidence given, the arguments adduced and any interim award made during the previous hearing.
(3)  For the purpose of this section, a member who has withdrawn from the hearing of a trade dispute or matter shall be deemed to have become unable to hear or to continue to hear the trade dispute or matter.
Protection and immunity of members of Court
13.
—(1)  A member of a Court shall, in the performance of his functions and duties under this Act, have the same protection and immunity as the President.
(2)  The members of a Court shall take the oath of allegiance and the judicial oath.
Allowances
14.  A member of a panel who is a member of a Court for the purposes of a trade dispute or matter may, in respect of each day on which the Court is engaged in the hearing and determining of the trade dispute or matter, be paid such allowances as may be prescribed.
Registrar and officers of Courts
15.
—(1)  There shall be appointed a Registrar of the Courts and such Deputy Registrars and Assistant Registrars and other officers of the Courts as the President of Singapore considers necessary.
(2)  The duties of the Registrar and other officers of the Courts shall, subject to this Act, be as the President directs.
(3)  The Registrar and other officers of the Courts shall be deemed to be public servants for the purposes of the Penal Code (Cap. 224).
PART III
COLLECTIVE BARGAINING
Interpretation of this Part
16.  For the purposes of this Part —
(a)
the Minister for Finance shall be deemed to be the employer of employees of the Government; and
(b)
the Minister shall be deemed to have been notified that a trade dispute exists if a person designated by him for that purpose has been so notified.
[30
Recognition of trade union of employees
17.
—(1)  No trade union of employees which has not been given recognition by an employer in the prescribed manner may serve on that employer a notice under section 18.
(2)  No trade union of employees whose constitution and rules do not permit it to admit as members any class of employees may seek recognition in respect of that class of employees or serve a notice under section 18 in respect of those employees.
(3)  No trade union of employees the majority of whose membership consists of employees in non-managerial or non-executive positions may seek recognition in respect of employees in managerial or executive positions or serve a notice under section 18 in respect of those employees.
(4)  Where an employer raises the objection that a trade union should not represent certain employees or a class of employees, the employer and the trade union shall make a joint application to a Court for the determination of the question.
(5)  Until the Court gives its decision, the employer shall recognise the trade union in respect of other employees or class of employees in respect of whom the recognition of the trade union by the employer is not in dispute if the trade union represents the majority of such employees or class of employees.
(6)  The powers of a Court under subsection (4) shall be exercisable by the Court constituted by the President alone.
(7)  Subsection (1) shall not apply to the extent that a trade union of employees is deemed to be recognised by a transferee under section 18A(8) of the Employment Act (Cap. 91).
[16
Invitation to negotiate
18.
—(1)  A trade union of employees which has been accorded recognition by an employer may serve on that employer or an employer may serve on a trade union of employees a notice in the prescribed form —
(a)
setting out proposals for a collective agreement in relation to any industrial matters; and
(b)
inviting the employer or trade union of employees, as the case may be, to negotiate with it in relation to those matters with a view to arriving at a collective agreement.
(2)  Notwithstanding subsection (1), no trade union of employees may include in a notice setting out proposals for a collective agreement a proposal in relation to any of the following matters:
(a)
the promotion by an employer of any employee from a lower grade or category to a higher grade or category;
(b)
the transfer by an employer of an employee within the organisation of an employer’s profession, business, trade or work, provided that such transfer does not entail a change to the detriment of an employee in regard to his terms of employment;
(c)
the employment by an employer of any person that he may appoint in the event of a vacancy arising in his establishment;
(d)
the termination by an employer of the services of an employee by reason of redundancy or by reason of the reorganisation of an employer’s profession, business, trade or work or the criteria for such termination;
(e)
the dismissal and reinstatement of an employee by an employer in circumstances in which section 35(3) applies; or
(f)
the assignment or allocation by an employer of duties or specific tasks to an employee that are consistent or compatible with the terms of his employment.
[17
Acceptance of invitation to negotiate
19.  An employer or a trade union upon whom a notice under section 18 has been served may serve on the trade union or employer by whom the notice was served an acceptance of the invitation to negotiate.
[18
Non-acceptance of invitation to negotiate
20.
—(1)  Where, within 7 days after service of a notice under section 18, a trade union or employer upon whom it was served has not served an acceptance under section 19, the employer or trade union by whom the notice was served may notify the Commissioner.
(2)  Upon receipt of a notification under subsection (1), the Commissioner shall consult, or direct a conciliation officer to consult, with the employer or trade union which has not served an acceptance with a view to persuading that employer or trade union to accept the invitation.
(3)  Where, after consultation with an employer or trade union on whom an invitation to negotiate has been served, the Commissioner is satisfied that the employer or trade union refuses to negotiate, he shall notify the Minister and, unless the Minister otherwise directs, the Registrar that a trade dispute exists.
[19
Conciliation
21.
—(1)  If after the expiration of 14 days from the date of service of a notice under section 18 or, where the notice has been served on more than one employer or trade union on different dates, from the latest of those dates, a collective agreement has not been reached between all the trade unions and employers by whom and upon whom the notice was served as to all the industrial matters set out in the invitation and a memorandum of its terms delivered to the Registrar, any party to the negotiations may notify the Commissioner.
(2)  Upon receiving a notification under subsection (1), the Commissioner may consult, or direct a conciliation officer to consult, with the employers and trade unions concerned in an endeavour to assist them to reach agreement by conciliation.
[20
Notification of trade disputes
22.  Where the Commissioner is of the opinion —
(a)
at any time after the expiration of 7 days after consultation has begun under section 21 that the negotiations are unlikely to lead to a collective agreement registered under this Act as to all the industrial matters which are the subject of the negotiations; or
(b)
upon receiving a notification under section 21 that it is unlikely that conciliation will assist the parties to the negotiations to reach agreement,
he shall notify the Minister and, unless the Minister otherwise directs, the Registrar that a trade dispute exists.
[21
Compulsory conferences
23.
—(1)  The Minister may, where he considers it possible that any trade dispute may be settled by conciliation or further conciliation, direct a person, whether engaged in or connected with the trade dispute or not, to attend at a time and place specified in the direction a conference presided over by the Minister or such person as the Minister directs.
(2)  A direction under this section may be given orally or in writing signed by the Minister.
(3)  Except as otherwise directed by the Minister or presiding person, a conference shall be held in private.
(4)  A person who —
(a)
on being directed under subsection (1), fails without lawful excuse to attend a conference; or
(b)
on being directed to continue his attendance at a conference by the Minister or presiding person, fails without lawful excuse to do so,
shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction by a District Court to a fine not exceeding $5,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to both.
[22
[36/2010 wef 01/02/2011]
Procedure as to notification
24.
—(1)  A notification by the Commissioner under this Part that a trade dispute exists shall contain —
(a)
a statement of the parties to the trade dispute;
(b)
the matters in dispute so far as they are known to the Commissioner; and
(c)
where the trade dispute is notified to the Commissioner in accordance with section 20, the reasons for the refusal to negotiate so far as they are known to the Commissioner.
(2)  The Registrar shall, upon receiving a notification under this Part, immediately bring it to the notice of the President.
[23
Collective agreements
25.
—(1)  If a collective agreement is arrived at, a memorandum of its terms shall be —
(a)
made in writing and signed by or on behalf of the parties to the collective agreement; and
(b)
delivered within one week thereof to the Registrar who, upon receiving it, shall immediately bring it to the notice of a Court for certification.
(2)  The Court may in its discretion —
(a)
refuse to certify a memorandum delivered under subsection (1) if it is of the opinion that it is not in the public interest that the collective agreement should be certified or if it is of the opinion that the memorandum does not set out satisfactorily or adequately the terms of the collective agreement between the parties and shall refuse to do so if the collective agreement does not comply with subsection (5); and
(b)
before certifying a memorandum delivered under subsection (1), require that such part or parts thereof shall be amended satisfactorily or adequately in any manner which the Court considers expedient to comply with the other provisions of this Act or any other written law or with any direction of the Court.
[23/2002]
(3)  If any party to the collective agreement refuses to carry out such request the Court may, notwithstanding any other power exercisable under this Act, amend the memorandum in the manner required under subsection (2)(b) before proceeding to certify the memorandum.
(4)  The Court may in its discretion afford the parties an opportunity to be heard before proceeding to amend the memorandum under subsection (3).
(5)  A collective agreement shall —
(a)
specify the period during which it shall continue in force which period shall be not less than 2 years or more than 3 years from the date on which it is expressed to commence; and
(b)
unless the Court considers such provision inappropriate, make provision for the settlement of disputes between the parties to the collective agreement while the collective agreement is in force arising out of the operation of the collective agreement including provision for the reference of such disputes to a referee.
[29/72]
(6)  The referee mentioned in subsection (5)(b) shall be a person to be chosen in a manner provided by the collective agreement from among the persons referred to in section 43(3) and whose decision shall have effect as if it were a term of the collective agreement.
(7)  The memorandum when certified by the Court shall be deposited with and registered by the Registrar.
(8)  Any person who or any trade union which —
(a)
enters into a collective agreement which is specified to continue in force for less than 2 years or more than 3 years from the date on which it is expressed to commence;
(b)
delivers to the Registrar a memorandum which does not contain all the terms of the collective agreement entered into by him or it; or
(c)
fails or neglects to bring a collective agreement or any of the terms of such collective agreement entered into by him or it to the notice of a Court in accordance with the provisions of this Act,
shall be guilty of an offence.
[24
[29/72]
Collective agreement deemed to be award
26.  A collective agreement, a memorandum of which has been certified by a Court, shall be deemed to be an award for the purposes of this Act and shall be binding on —
(a)
the parties to the collective agreement;
(b)
any successor to, or any transferee, assignee or transmittee of, the undertaking of an employer bound by an agreement, including any corporation which has acquired or taken over the undertaking of such an employer;
(c)
any successor to a trade union of employees which was a party to the collective agreement; and
(d)
any person or trade union upon whom it is declared to be binding by order made by the Minister under section 41.
Representation in negotiations
27.  Notwithstanding the provisions of any other written law, a person may not in negotiations under this Act relating to industrial matters —
(a)
make, offer or receive any proposal in relation to those industrial matters on behalf of or purport to act on behalf of a trade union or employer; or
(b)
be present at any meeting at which employers or representatives of employers or representatives of trade unions negotiate with regard to those industrial matters,
unless he is a person qualified in accordance with section 64 to represent an employer or trade union which is a party to the negotiations if the negotiations were proceedings before a Court.
Conciliation and industrial relations officers
28.
—(1)  The Minister shall appoint such public officers as he thinks fit to be conciliation officers and such persons as he thinks fit to be industrial relations officers for the purposes of this Act and shall from time to time publish in the Gazette a list of the names of officers so appointed.
(2)  The Minister may make such arrangements as he considers appropriate for the training of persons to be conciliation officers or industrial relations officers and of conciliation officers and industrial relations officers.
Negotiations otherwise than under this Part or Part IV
29.  Any person who or any trade union which enters into negotiations in relation to industrial matters otherwise than in accordance with the provisions of this Part or Part IV shall be guilty of an offence.
[23/2002]
PART IV
LIMITED REPRESENTATION OF EMPLOYEES IN MANAGERIAL AND EXECUTIVE POSITIONS
Interpretation of this Part
30.
—(1)  In this Part, unless the context otherwise requires —
“executive employee”, in relation to an employer, means an employee who is employed in a managerial or an executive position by the employer;
“recognised trade union” means a trade union the majority of whose membership consists of employees in non-managerial or non-executive positions and which has been accorded recognition by an employer only in respect of such employees under section 17.
[23/2002]
(2)  For the purposes of this Part, the Minister for Finance shall be deemed to be the employer of employees of the Government.
[30A
[23/2002]
Limited representation of executive employees
30A.
—(1)  Notwithstanding section 17, a recognised trade union may represent any executive employee individually, and not as a class, for all or any of the following purposes only:
(a)
to make representations to the Minister under section 35(3);
(b)
upon the retrenchment of the executive employee, to negotiate with the employer with a view to resolving any dispute relating to the retrenchment benefit payable to the executive employee;
(c)
to negotiate with the employer with a view to resolving any dispute relating to a breach of contract of employment by the executive employee or the employer;
(d)
to represent the executive employee in proceedings before a Court in respect of the dismissal or reinstatement of the executive employee in circumstances arising out of a contravention of section 82 or any matter referred to in paragraph (b) or (c).
[23/2002]
(2)  Where a recognised trade union seeks to represent an executive employee under subsection (1), the employer may object to such representation only on the ground that the executive employee —
(a)
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;
(b)
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;
(c)
performs any function or duty which includes representing the employer in any negotiation relating to any industrial matters;
(d)
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
(e)
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.
[23/2002]
(3)  Where an employer raises any objection under subsection (2), the employer and the trade union shall make a joint application to a Court for the determination of the question.
[23/2002]
(4)  Until the Court gives its decision, the recognised trade union may continue to represent other executive employees whose representation by the trade union under subsection (1) is not objected to by the employer under subsection (2).
[23/2002]
(5)  The powers of a Court under subsection (3) shall be exercisable by the Court constituted by the President alone.
[30B
[23/2002]
Invitation to negotiate
30B.  A recognised trade union representing an executive employee under section 30A may serve on an employer or an employer may serve on a recognised trade union, as the case may be, a notice in the prescribed form (referred to in this Part as an invitation to negotiate) —
(a)
setting out proposals for resolving any dispute relating to the issue of retrenchment benefit payable to the executive employee upon the retrenchment of the executive employee or a breach of contract of employment by the executive employee or his employer; and
(b)
inviting the employer or trade union, as the case may be, to negotiate with it in relation to those matters with a view to arriving at a settlement.
[30C
[23/2002]
Acceptance of invitation to negotiate
30C.  An employer or a recognised trade union upon whom an invitation to negotiate has been served under section 30B may, within 7 days after service of that invitation, serve on the recognised trade union or employer which served the notice an acceptance of the invitation to negotiate (referred to in this Part as an acceptance to negotiate).
[30D
[23/2002]
Non-acceptance of invitation to negotiate
30D.
—(1)  Where an employer or a recognised trade union upon whom an invitation to negotiate was served under section 30B has not served an acceptance to negotiate within the time specified in section 30C, the employer or trade union which served the invitation to negotiate, as the case may be, may notify the Commissioner.
[23/2002]
(2)  Upon receipt of a notification under subsection (1), the Commissioner shall consult, or direct a conciliation officer to consult, with the employer or trade union which has not served an acceptance to negotiate with a view to persuading that employer or trade union to accept the invitation.
[30E
[23/2002]
Conciliation
30E.
—(1)  If, after the expiration of 14 days from the date of service of an invitation to negotiate, an agreement has not been reached between the recognised trade union and the employer by whom and upon whom the invitation was served as to all the matters set out in the invitation, either party to the negotiations may notify the Commissioner.
[23/2002]
(2)  Upon receipt of a notification under subsection (1), the Commissioner may consult, or direct a conciliation officer to consult, with the employer and the trade union concerned in an endeavour to assist them to reach a settlement by conciliation.
[30F
[23/2002]
PART IVA
TRIPARTITE MEDIATION OF DISPUTES INVOLVING EXECUTIVE EMPLOYEES
[36/2010 wef 01/02/2011]
Interpretation of this Part
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 —
(a)
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
(b)
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.
[36/2010 wef 01/02/2011]
Disputes for tripartite mediation
30G.
—(1)  Subject to subsection (2), only the following disputes may be the subject of tripartite mediation:
(a)
any dispute relating to a breach of contract of employment by the employer of an executive employee;
(b)
any dispute relating to salary due to an executive employee; or
(c)
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.
[36/2010 wef 01/02/2011]
(2)  The following disputes may not be the subject of tripartite mediation:
(a)
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;
(b)
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.
[36/2010 wef 01/02/2011]
Procedure for seeking tripartite mediation
30H.
—(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.
[36/2010 wef 01/02/2011]
(2)  The trade union or federation may notify the Commissioner of such dispute, in such form and manner as the Commissioner may determine.
[36/2010 wef 01/02/2011]
(3)  Upon receiving a notification of a dispute under subsection (2), the Commissioner may —
(a)
direct a conciliation officer to conduct tripartite mediation of the dispute;
(b)
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;
(c)
direct the executive employee and the employer to participate in the tripartite mediation; and
(d)
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 —
(i)
an officer from the trade union of which the executive employee is a member; and
(ii)
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).
[36/2010 wef 01/02/2011]
(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.
[36/2010 wef 01/02/2011]
(5)  No party shall be represented by an advocate or solicitor or a paid agent at any mediation session.
[36/2010 wef 01/02/2011]
Employer’s right to object
30I.
—(1)  An employer may object to the eligibility of an executive employee to tripartite mediation but only on the ground that the executive employee —
(a)
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;
(b)
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;
(c)
performs any function or duty which includes representing the employer in any negotiation relating to any industrial matters;
(d)
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
(e)
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.
[36/2010 wef 01/02/2011]
(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.
[36/2010 wef 01/02/2011]
(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.
[36/2010 wef 01/02/2011]
(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).
[36/2010 wef 01/02/2011]
(5)  The Commissioner’s decision as to whether any objection should stand shall be final.
[36/2010 wef 01/02/2011]
Attendance at mediation sessions
30J.
—(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.
[36/2010 wef 01/02/2011]
(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.
[36/2010 wef 01/02/2011]
(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.
[36/2010 wef 01/02/2011]
Tripartite mediation advisors
30K.  The Minister shall appoint such persons as he thinks fit to be tripartite mediation advisors for the purposes of this Part and shall from time to time publish in the Gazette a list of the names of persons so appointed.
[36/2010 wef 01/02/2011]
PART V
ARBITRATION
Court to have cognizance of trade disputes
31.  A Court shall have cognizance of a trade dispute where —
(a)
all the trade unions and employers who are parties to a trade dispute jointly make a request in writing to the Registrar that the trade dispute be submitted to arbitration;
(b)
a trade union or an employer who is a party to a trade dispute makes a request in writing to the Registrar that under section 50(1) of the Employment Act (Cap. 91) the trade dispute be submitted to arbitration;