Legal Aspect of Drafting Employment Contracts and HR Policies and Procedures

Legal Aspects of Drafting Employment Contracts, HR Policies and Procedures

 In Singapore, in view of the changing employment landscapes, employers are now engaging different type of employees to suit their operational needs and requirements. As such, on the same basis, employer cannot adopt one form of employment contract to fit the different categories of employees. This is not withstanding with the amendment of the Employment Act, managerial and executive category of employees who are earning basic salary of $4,500 and below are also now covered under the Employment Act. As such, various types of employment contracts are now required and it includes:

(1)       Regular or Open Ended Employment Contract;

(2)       Fixed Term Employment Contract;

(3)       Part-time Employment Contract;

(4)       Temporary Employment Contract;

(5)       Casual Labour (Ad-hoc) Employment Contract;

(6)       Dual or Triple Employment Contracts; and

(7)       Re-employment Contract

(8)       Independent Contractor (Free-Lancer) Agreement*


Are HR practitioners taught how to draft the various employment contracts as stated above? If the answer is no and if there are employment contract templates provided, would it assist HR practitioners to draft out the various types of employment contracts? The answer is almost certainly yes.  On the other hand, HR practitioners would still need to know the basic principles in contract law so that they could modify or make minor amendments to the employment contract templates. On top of understanding basic contract law, HR practitioners need to know the various employment legislation such as Employment Act, Employment (Part-Time Employees) Regulations, Retirement and Re-employment Act, Central Provident Fund Act, etc, before they could actually draft out the employment contract as surely the terms in the employment contract cannot supersede the legislation.

On the same basis, would an organization needs a HR policies and procedures manual? If yes, would it be good that there are templates so that it would be much easier for HR practitioners to draft out the HR policies and procedures manual. HR policies may differ greatly in that for some policies it is governed by legislation, whereas, other policies are meant to fulfil the operational needs and requirements of the organization. Whichever the case may be, there is a process or art in drafting HR policies and procedures and HR practitioners need to equip themselves with the knowledge and skills so as to draft the various policies such as the various types of leaves policies such as annual leave, childcare leave, compassionate leave, examination leave, prolonged illness leave, medical leave, marriage leave, medical leave, no pay leave, paternity leave, reservist leave, shared parental leave, etc. Also, it may be necessary to draft out the code of conduct policy, retirement and re-employment policy, personal data protection policy and the various employee insurance policies, compensation program, etc.

In view of the above, this 2-day workshop provides the participant with the practical guide on drafting the various types of employment contracts. HR practitioners will go through each type of employment contract and you will be taught on how employment legislation is being applied in drafting the employment contract for the different categories of employees.

Other than learning how to draft out employment contracts, HR practitioners will be taught the skills and understanding to develop and implement HR policies and procedures. Again, to draft out the entire HR policies and procedures would be extremely tough as a HR practitioner would need to be familiar with all the employment legislation. For example, if there is a need to draft out the re-employment policy, surely the HR practitioner would need to be extremely familiar with the Retirement and Re-employment Act.

For this workshop, all participants will be provided with a comprehensive book on HR practitioners’ guide to employment contracts and HR policies and procedures authored by the trainer. It is believed that after attending the 2-day workshop and with all the templates provided for both employment contracts; and HR policies and procedures, HR practitioners would be able to come with their own templates for both employment contracts and HR policies and procedures manual accordingly and we strongly believe that this will alleviate not only the productivity of the HR department but also avoid being entangled with unnecessary legal disputes in relation to the employment contract; and HR policies and procedures.

Learning Objectives: 

  • Draft employment contracts and HR policies and procedures with the aid of the book “HR practitioners’ guide to employment contracts and HR policies and procedures.
  • Learn by going through the process of understanding the difference between legal entitlements and privileges; deciding what should be covered/excluded in employment contract and HR policies and procedures manual.
  • Understand contractual and legal concepts in employment relationship in drafting employment contracts and HR policies and procedures.
  • Develop the best way and if not steps in drafting contract HR policies and procedures.
  • Understand the fundamentals of HR policies and procedures and how it impacts the employment relations between management and employees.
  • Understand how to structure, develop and implement HR policies and procedures that are relevant, clear, complaint and effective.
  • On completing this learning, the participant may draft out their own employment contract and HR policies and procedures from the templates as per the HR practitioners’ guide to employment contracts and HR policies and procedures manual.

Course Outline:

competent HR practitioner must have the knowledge and skills in the following:


Part 1: Drafting Employment Contract

1.       Understand the sources of employment laws in Singapore

  • What is statutory laws?
  • What is common law (judge-made law or case law)?
  • Which is more supreme, statutory laws or common law?
  • Whether employment contract can supersede or contradict statutory laws?

2.       Understand the essential terms in the employment contract:

  • Commencement of employment;
  • Appointment – job title and job scope;
  • Hours of work;
  • Probation period, if any;
  • Remuneration;
  • Employee’s benefits (e.g. sick leave, annual leave, maternity leave);
  • Termination of contract – notice period; and
  • Code of conduct (e.g. punctuality, no fighting at work).

3.       The parties, employer and employee relationship and that of independent contractor.

  • Definition of contract of Service.
  • Definition of contract for service (Independent Contractor).
  • Differentiate between contract of service and contract for service.

4.       Understand whether contract be made orally, in writing or by conduct?

  • What is key employment terms and must it be in writing to all employees?
  • Definition of employed as per Employment Act.
  • Can employment contract and HR policy and procedures be soft and/or hardcopy?

5.       Understand the requirements of an employment contract and the vitiating factors that may make the contract null and void.

  • Offer;
  • Acceptance;
  • Consideration;
  • Intention to create legal relationship; and
  • Vitiating factors that may void the employment contract

6.       Understand the terms of the Contract of Employment

  • What is express term?
  • What is implied term?
  • How to vary the terms and conditions of employment?
  • Are the terms in the employee handbook or HR policy and Procedures part of the employment contract?

7.       Know the different types of employment contracts that may be issued to different type of employees:

  • Regular or Open Ended Employment Contract;
  • Fixed Term Employment Contract;
  • Part-time Employment Contract;
  • Temporary Employment Contract;
  • Casual Labour Employment Contract;
  • Dual or Triple Employment Contracts; and
  • Re-employment Contract
  • Independent Contractor (Free-Lancer) Agreement*
  • All the above employment contract templates are as provided in the HR Practitioners Guide to Employment Contracts and HR Policy and Procedures

8.       Understand the different categories of employees in Singapore and how to apply employment contract templates namely:

  • Non-Executive (workman and non-workman).
  • PME earning basic salary up to $4,500; and
  • PME earning basic salary above $4,500.

9.       Know the pitfalls to avoid in drafting employment contracts.

  • Not in compliance with statutory provisions.
  • Terms against public policy.
  • Having same terms regardless of different category of employees.
  • Other common errors in drafting employment contracts

10.       Understand the need to incorporate job description and employee benefits schedule in    the employment contract.

  • Purpose of job description.
  • What need to be input to the job description.
  • Purpose of employee benefits schedule.
  • List of employee benefits to be stated in the employee benefits schedule.


Part 2:  Drafting HR Policies and Procedures

1.       Definition and importance of HR policies and procedures

  • What is the definition of policy?
  • What is the definition of procedures?
  • Why is there a need for HR policies and procedures?
  • Are HR policies and procedures manual part of the employment contract?

2.       Know the steps in policy development and implementation.

Step 1: The need for a policy

Step 2: The content of the policy

Step 3: Drafting the policy

Step 4: Review and approval of the policy

Step 5: Implementation and communication of the policy

3        Understand the methodology and the 6 key elements in formulating HR policies and procedures:

  • Purpose
  • Scope
  • Policy
  • Procedure
  • Responsibilities and Approval
  • Effective date

4.       How to draft HR policy.

  • · Compile relevant information in relation to the policy.
  • · Determine main objective of the policy.
  • · Determine what applicable statutory laws that may be applicable.
  • · Articulate the procedures.
  • · Know the approving authorities if applicable.

5.       Grasping the salient point in drafting the various policy as outlined in the HR Practitioners’ Guide to Employment Contract and HR Policy and Procedures Manual as follows:



Policy No. 001 : Employee’s Personnel Data Protection

Policy No. 002  : Job Description

Policy No. 003  : Probationary and Confirmation

Policy No. 004  : Retirement and Re-employment

Policy No. 005  : Working Hours:- Office Hours/Flexi Hours

Hours/Shift Hours



Policy No. 006  : Employee Classification

Policy No. 007  : Exit Interview

Policy No. 008  : Manpower Utilisation

Policy No. 009  : Recruitment and Selection of Employees




Part 3A        : Employee Remuneration and Allowances

Policy No. 010    : Performance Review, Annual Increment

and Performance Bonus

Policy No. 011    : Annual Wage Supplement

Policy No. 012    : Compensation Program

a)        Policy statement

b)        Pay Structure

c)        Salary Payment

d)        Pay rates for new hires

e)        Classification of new positions

f)         Annual Salary Review

g)        Promotion

h)        Upgrading

i)         Demotion

j)         Merit Increment

k)        Redesignation

l)         Pay Adjustment

m)      Transfers

Policy No. 013    : Transport Allowance/Reimbursement

Policy No. 014    : Handphone Allowance/Reimbursement

Policy No. 015    : Modes of Payment and Compensating

Time (OT, Rest Day and Public Holiday)


Part 3B          : Employee Leave Benefits

Policy No. 016  : Annual Leave

Policy No. 017  : Childcare Leave

Policy No. 018  : Compassionate Leave

Policy No. 019  : Examination Leave

Policy No. 020  : Extended Medical Leave

Policy No. 021  : Marriage Leave

Policy No. 022  : Maternity Leave

Policy No. 023  : Medical Leave

Policy No. 024  : No Pay Leave

Policy No. 025  : Paternity Leave

Policy No. 026  : Public Holidays In-Lieu

Policy No. 027  : Reservist Leave

Policy No. 028  : Shared Parental Leave

Policy No. 029  : Unpaid Infant Care Leave


Part 3C         : Employee Medical Benefits and Insurance Plans

Policy No. 030  : Employee Medical Benefits and Group Insurance

a) Outpatient Clinics

b) Specialist Clinics

c) Health Screening

d) Group Hospital and Surgical Insurance

e) Group Major Medical Insurance

f) Group Term Life Insurance

g) Group Personal Accident Insurance

h) Work Injury Compensation Insurance

Policy No. 031  : Flexi Benefits


Part 3D          : Employee Welfare Benefits

Policy No. 032  : Condolence

Policy No. 033  : Hospitalisation Gifts

Policy No. 034  : Long Service Awards

Policy No. 035  : New Born/Gifts of Joy

Policy No. 036  : Overseas Business Travel

Policy No. 037  : Professional Membership



Policy No. 038   : Training Application and Course Sponsorship



Policy No. 039  : Employee Code of Conduct

a) List of Codes

b) Disciplinary Actions

c) Guide to Disciplinary Actions

d) Policy on Employee Relations, Grievance Handling

Policy No. 040  : Employee Grievance Handling

a) Definitions

b) Grievance Handling by Company

Policy No. 041   : Employee Work-Place Harassment

Policy No. 042   : Employee Communications

a) Suggestions/Feedback

b) Town Hall Meetings

c) On-line Suggestion Scheme

d) Email/Internet Postings

e) Employee/Department Meeting



Policy No. 043  : Employee Identification Badge

Policy No. 044  : Email and Internet Usage

Policy No. 045  : Orientation Program

Policy No. 046  : Payroll Administration



 Lecture and case study. Many real life practical examples will be shared. These examples cover different aspects of industrial relations and various industrial issues.

Who should attend?

Directors, managers and executives who have to deal with human resource matters now or in the future.

Workshop Registration:

Click here to Register