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What Law Governs Filipino Workers in Singapore?

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Arresto Menor
Hi! Good day to you!

May I know as to which law governs Filipino workers working abroad (singapore), is it philippine labor law or singapore law?

I was hired in the philippines (philippine branch) by my current employer. I am working with them for almost a year when
they sent me here in Singapore for training. However, no training was done and I was immediately given tasks not even
related to my job description as a copy writer. I was told that I will stay here for approximately 3 weeks but I was
offered a contract which I accepted. In my contract, it is stipulated that I will pay the amount of SGD30,000 in the event
that I separate from the company without finishing the 3 year term stipulated on the said contract.

However, I really feel that I am being abused by my employer as he requires as to stay late at night in the office (sometimes until 11pm) without paying as overtime pay and also requires as to render service from 930am-7pm (mon-fri) and 10am-1pm (sat). Also when I applied for a vacation leave, and while currently on vacation, my employer calls me and require me to do things for him (work-related).

Moreover, here's a sample of an email sent by my employer to us:

Attn: All Staff

It is extremely disappointing that many of you did not show up for work last Saturday and Today (Monday). This has happened in the past. It is very suspect that those that did not show up for work did so the Friday before the weekend and the day before a pub holiday. If you want to apply for a single day leave you must do so for a one month advance notice.

Multi-day leave must be applied for 3 months in advance unless in extreme emergency. Preferably annual leave should be taken around the Christmas period (23 Dec – 2nd Jan) period. In some cases CNY periods.

Sick leave must be proven by bringing a same day medical certificate issued by a local Singapore doctor and must be brought to the office when you report for work.

In regards to coming to work, I have noticed that some staff continuously do not come in on time. Our working day starts at 9:30am Mon – Fri. It means that you should be in the office before 9:30. Start time on Sat is 10am. Lunch is between 1:45 and 2:45. I understand that there may be extreme emergencies or circumstances beyond your control but this will handled when you personally discuss these with me. This lateness and absences effects the productivity of the staff and
the whole company. Any late coming without valid excuse or authorized by me will be equivalent to one day of no pay.

Three late days will be equivalent to forfeiting your 13th month bonus if any. Being sick with no medical certificate in
unacceptable. Each day with no medical certificate will be equivalent to one week no salary.

Moreover, it should also be noted that they require us to provide medical certificate but we do not even have a health card.

I really feel that this is already violating my rights as a person but I'm not really sure if my rights are still
protected by our laws since I am in a foreign country.

My employer is not a Singaporean citizen but his wife is a natural born Filipino but already acquired Singaporean citizenhip.

I really appreciate it if you can help me sort this out.

Thanks in advance.


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Reclusion Perpetua
Your signed Singapore contract will be covered by Singapore labor laws - ie the Employment Act.

Please check the Ministry of Manpower site (

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