Singapore Regulates Non-compete Agreements



To protect the rights of laid-off workers and promote fair hiring practices, the Singapore government is working with unions and companies to make rules about how to properly use clauses in employment contracts that stop workers from looking for new jobs.

Dr. Tan See Leng, the Manpower Minister, announced it while the legislature debated restricted stock units, non-compete agreements, and layoffs.

Furthermore, the new rules will go along with the current Tripartite Advisory on Managing Excess Manpower and Responsible Retrenchment and the Tripartite rules on Mandatory Retrenchment Notifications. They are set to come out in the second half of 2024.

Dr. Tan emphasised that too restrictive employment agreements might harm laid-off employees and make it more difficult for them to find new employment.

Related link: Singapore Employers Keep Their Bonus Commitment

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) of Singapore and its three partners are working hard to finish these guidelines. They’re mostly meant to teach bosses how to be fair and stop doing things that aren’t fair on the job. Dr Tan said it again: “MOM will not, will never, and does not condone any exploitative employment contracts.”

One more thing that was talked about was non-compete terms. Dr. Tan said that these could be used because of how civil courts work. He talked about how Singapore hires people fairly. These rules are meant to protect workers while also letting companies adapt to new changes.

Dr. Tan told the Straits Times that frameworks like the Tripartite Advisory on Managing Excess Manpower and Responsible Retrenchment are useful. This guide tells employers, especially unionised ones, how to tell unions early on when they plan to lay off workers. Lastly, he talked about how businesses, unions, and MOM work together to help people talk and settle disagreements. As an example, he used the recent case involving the e-commerce company Lazada.

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