Industry Insights

Additional Key Employment Terms: MOM

Posted on 14/12/2020 by Paula Formantes


With effect from 18 December 2020, the Ministry of Manpower (“MOM”) will enhance the In-Principle Approval (“IPA”) letters for foreign workers (“FWs”) who are Work Permit holders (excluding foreign domestic workers) to include the following:

a) four additional key employment terms (“KETs”):

         i. normal working hours per week

         ii. number of working days per week

         iii. rate of pay for overtime (“OT”) work

         iv. the daily basic rate of pay (for work done on rest days and public holidays);

b) additional information to remind employers and inform employees of the statutory requirements for overtime work, work is done on rest days and public holidays, and general well-being.

2. Employers, and employment agencies acting on behalf of the employers, will be required to specify the normal hours of work per week and number of working days per week, for all work permit applications for new FWs and those who are transferred to another employer. The rate of pay for OT work and the daily basic rate of pay will then be automatically generated in the work permit application, based on the information provided by the employers and the computation formula stipulated in the Employment Act.

3. Based on the Employment Standards Report 2019/2020, salaries for OT work and work done on rest days and public holidays are common areas of employment disputes between employers and FWs. The enhancements to the IPA letter will give employers and FWs another source of reference on the agreed KETs and relevant statutory requirements. This will allow FWs to make an informed decision about taking up the job in Singapore before they leave their home countries.

4. From 18 December 2020, employers are not allowed to reduce their FW’s rate of pay for OT work or daily basic rate of pay, to an amount lower than what was declared in the work permit application submitted to MOM.  Employers can only do so with the FW’s prior written agreement, and are required to inform MOM of any reduction to the rates of pay on Work Permit (WP) Online. This is similar to the current requirement for any decrease in basic monthly salary and fixed monthly allowances or increase in fixed monthly deductions.

5. Employers and employment agencies may wish to use the new self-help KETs verification tool on MOM’s website to:

        i. Generate KETs on work arrangements and salary, based on the agreed work schedule.

        ii. Check that the KETs comply with the Employment Act and provide suggestions to rectify any non-compliant terms.

6. For more information, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions below. For further inquiries, you can contact MOM here.

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. Am I required to update these additional KETs for work permit renewal applications and for my existing FWs? 

The enhancements for the IPA letter only apply to work permit applications for FWs (excluding foreign domestic workers) that are submitted from 18 December 2020. They do not apply to work permit renewals. 

We have also enhanced WP Online to allow employers to update these additional KETs for their existing FWs on WP Online. 

2. How do I compute these KETs for my FWs and ensure that the contractual KETs are compliant with the Employment Act? 

You can refer to MOM’s website for more information on 

Entitlements for working hours, rest days and pay for overtime work and work done on rest days;

Entitlements and pay for work done on public holidays, and

Daily basic rate of pay for work done on a rest day and public holidays. 

You can also refer to the self-help KETs verification tool for the computation.

For more information on job availabilities, please contact +65 6334 4328 or email at