LABOUR LAW IN SINGAPORE
2017/2018, Semester 2
School of Continuing & Lifelong Edn (School of Continuing & Lifelong Edn)
Modular Credits: GES1000T ( 4 ) / SSB1204T ( 4 )
UNIVERSITY OF SINGAPORE
Department of Strategy and Policy
SS1204T/GES1000T: Labour Law in Singapore
: A/P Ravi Chandran (course coordinator)
: Semester 2: 2017/2018
The course introduces students to the development of industrial relations and labour laws in Singapore. Students will be able to understand why labour relations are the way they are in Singapore. However, the course is not purely historical. A substantial part of the course is aimed at looking at the current legal problems faced by employees and employers in Singapore. The objective of the course is that at the end of it, students while appreciating the history of industrial relations and labour laws in Singapore would be able to confidently make informed decisions concerning current employment issues without falling into legal pitfalls. This course will be of general relevance to all, as students are either employees or employers.
The course deals with the rights and obligations of employers and employees and can be divided into 3 main parts.
The first relates to contractual issues, since as between the employer and employee there will be a contract. Issues examined include matters like whether the employee can moonlight or make use of confidential information, who has the right to intellectual property created in the course of work, how termination can be effected, whether there must there be a justification for termination and whether redundancy payments must be paid?
The second part relates to statutory obligations of employers. There are various statutes relating to employment in Singapore, such as the Employment Act, CPF Act, Retirement Age Act, Employment of Foreign Manpower Act, Workplace Safety and Health, Employment of Foreign Manpower Act and Work Injury Compensation Act. Without knowing these statutes, many of which carry criminal sanctions for breaches, a business can easily find itself in trouble. Prosecution for breach of theses statutes is a very common occurrence.
The third part relates to industrial relations. It looks at the history of industrial relations and discusses what unions can do and cannot do. Though unions in Singapore may have less power in some respects as compared to those in some other countries, they still have a very useful role to play and this role is examined.
Further, the course also looks at methods of dispute resolution such as, mediation. Aside from looking at legal perspectives, some issues will also be discussed from a HR perspective. For instance how would an action on the part of the employer (even though it may be legal) have an implication on employee motivation? In addition, it would be examined how a business can protect itself better in light of the various laws. Some comparative examples would also be examined.
Employment Law in Singapore (Lexis/Nexis)
(older editions are out of date and not appropriate as the law has changed considerably).
Supplementary Reading: Various cases, articles and web based resources will be referred to as the course progresses.
Class participation/using discussion forum: 20%
Group Assignment 20%
Final Examination 60%
Class Participation - refers to participation in class in the form of answering questions, asking questions or sharing experiences. This is extremely important. Asking questions, for instance, forces you to think and probe further. However, needless to say, ultimately what counts is quality and not quantity. Here is the marking guide:
Below 10 - Does not turn up for classes often or most of the time not prepared
10-12 – Answers only when called; superficial understanding
13-14 – Volunteers to answer/ask questions, quite good understanding
15-16 – Volunteers to answer/ask questions quite consistently and good understanding
16 and above – Exceptional; has read up well, actively participates/contributes in class, asks critical/detailed queries
Group Assignment - Each group should consist of 4 persons, but there can be some groups with 5 members. There will be one group assignment.
Final Examination - will be "open-book" and any relevant materials not in breach of copyright laws, may be brought in.
Contacting the Lecturer
Room No: Mochtar Riady Building; # 6-29
Consultation Hours: You are most welcome to come and see me. You can also use the e-mail me or the IVLE discussion forum. Do not hesitate at all.
SSB1204, SSB1204T, GES1000
Workload Components : A-B-C-D-E
A: no. of lecture hours per week
B: no. of tutorial hours per week
C: no. of lab hours per week
D: no. of hours for projects, assignments, fieldwork etc per week
E: no. of hours for preparatory work by a student per week