Quick Guide to Preparing Collective Agreements (CA)
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Quick Guide to Preparing Collective Agreements (CA) for Certification. PURPOSE OF CA. To set out the respective rights and obligations of the employer and the employees (union members) with respect to terms and conditions of employment.

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Quick Guide to Preparing Collective Agreements (CA) for Certification

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Quick guide to preparing collective agreements ca for certification

Quick Guide to Preparing Collective Agreements (CA)for Certification


Quick guide to preparing collective agreements ca for certification

PURPOSE OF CA

  • To set out the respective rights and obligations of the employer and the employees (union members) with respect to terms and conditions of employment.

  • Employer and Union are responsible for the CA. They should exercise due care and diligence in preparing the CA.


Quick guide to preparing collective agreements ca for certification

CERTIFICATION OF CAs

  • Once a CA is arrived at, it should be lodged with IAC for certification

  • IAC may refuse to certify CA if:

  • it is not in the public interest to do so

  • the CA does not set out the terms satisfactorily or adequately

  • the requirements relating to duration of CA and settlement of disputes are not complied with

  • IAC may require parties to amend the CA before certifying it

  • IAC may amend the CA directly if necessary


Quick guide to preparing collective agreements ca for certification

Requirements for CAs under IR Act

  • All terms in writing and CA signed by union and employer

  • Delivered within one week of signing to Registrar, IAC

  • Specify validity: min 2 years, max 3 years

  • Provide for settlement of disputes, including referral of dispute to a referee


Quick guide to preparing collective agreements ca for certification

Requirements for CAs

  • (A)Comply with Industrial Relations Act and other labour laws

  • (B)Meet requirements for legal document

  • Is complete and meets IAC's administrative requirements


Quick guide to preparing collective agreements ca for certification

(A)Comply with Labour Laws

  • Provisions in CA must comply with:-

  • Industrial Relations Act (see slide 4)

  • Employment Act

  • Child Development Co-Savings Act

  • Retirement and Re-Employment Act

  • Work Injury Compensation Act, etc


Quick guide to preparing collective agreements ca for certification

(A)Comply with Labour Laws

Examples of non-compliance with labour laws

  • Paying for work on a public holiday at “basic pay” instead of gross rate of pay

  • [S88 of Employment Act]

  • Requiring employees to meet more than 2 criteria to be eligible for re-employment

  • Requiring employees to have good work performance and conduct,and/or be certified medically fit to continue working

  • [S7(1)(b) of Retirement and Re-employment Act (RRA) and Tripartite Guidelines on Re-employment of Older Employees 2011 specify that employees have to meet only 2 criteria to be eligible for re-employment vizat least satisfactory work performance and medically fit to continue working. Only these 2 criteria should be specified. Note also that the employee does not have to be certified as fit. The employee should be assumed to be medically fit unless there are reasons to suggest otherwise]


Quick guide to preparing collective agreements ca for certification

(A)Comply with Labour Laws

Examples of non-compliance with labour laws (Cont’d)

  • Employment Assistance Payment (EAP) calculated based on basic rate of pay instead of gross rate of pay

  • [S7C(4) of RRA and Tripartite Guidelines on Re-employment of Older Employees 2011]

  • AWS of more than 1 month's salary in a company incorporated on or after 26 Aug 1988

  • [S48(3) of Employment Act]

  • Not allowing annual leave to be carried forward to the next year, or imposing conditions for carrying forward of leave

  • [Under S43(6) of Employment Act, employees are allowed to carry forward the annual leave that they have earned during 12 months of continuous service for up to 12 months after the end of that period.]


Quick guide to preparing collective agreements ca for certification

(A)Comply with Labour Laws

Examples of non-compliance with labour laws (Cont’d)

  • Excluding allowances besides travelling, food and housing allowances when determining gross rate of pay for payment of annual leave, medical leave etc.

  • [S2(1) of Employment Act provides that all allowances should be included except for the 3 allowances specified]

  • Paying for work on a rest day (at the employer’s request) at double the hourly basic rate of pay

  • [Under S37(3) of the Employment Act, the employee should be paid:

  • If the period of work does not exceed half his normal hours of work, a sum at the basic rate of pay for one day’s work

  • If the period of work is more than half but does not exceed his normal hours of work, a sum at the basic rate of pay for 2 days’ work

  • If the period of work exceeds his normal hours of work for one day -

  • A sum at the basic rate of pay for 2 days’ work, and

  • A sum at the rate of not less than 1½ times his hourly basic rate of pay for each hour or part thereof that the period of work exceeds his normal hours of work for one day]


Quick guide to preparing collective agreements ca for certification

(A)Comply with Labour Laws

Examples of non-compliance with labour laws (Cont’d)

  • Granting paid sick leave only to confirmed employees where the CA provides for a probationary period of more than 3 months or the probationary period may be extended beyond 3 months

[Under S89(1) and 89(2) of Employment Act, an employee who has served an employer for at least 3 months shall be entitled to paid sick leave where certified by the medical practitioner or medical officer. The Act also requires the employer to bear the cost of the medical examination.]

  • Paying for sick leave at the gross rate of pay excluding shift allowance

[Under S89(5) of Employment Act, shift allowance should be excluded when the employee is on outpatient sick leave but included when he is on hospitalisation leave.]

  • Allowing an employee only paid outpatient sick leave for sick leave issued by a dentist

[Under S89(1) and S2(1) of the Employment Act, he is also entitled to paid hospitalisation leave]


Quick guide to preparing collective agreements ca for certification

(A)Comply with Labour Laws

Examples of non-compliance with labour laws (Cont’d)

  • Requiring employees to satisfy the conditions of both the Employment Act and the Child Development Co-Savings Act to qualify for 16 weeks of paid maternity leave, instead of just the latter Act

  • Not specifying whether the maternity leave is paid or unpaid

  • [Under S9 of Child Development Co-Savings Act, a female employee who meets the requirements in the Act is entitled to 16 weeks of paid maternity leave at her gross rate of pay. Under S76 of Employment Act, a female employee who meets the requirements in the Act is entitled to 8 weeks of paid maternity leave at her gross rate of pay and 4 weeks of unpaid maternity leave].

  • Granting 2 days’ government paid extended childcare leave to an employee with at least 3 months’ service and whose child is a Singapore citizen aged 7 years and above and below the age of 12

  • [Under S12B(1A) of the Child Development Co-Savings Act, the employee’s child should be aged 7 and above and below the age of 13]


Quick guide to preparing collective agreements ca for certification

(A)Comply with Labour Laws

Points to Note

  • Generally, provisions must at least meet, and may (where parties agree) exceed requirements in labour laws*

  • A provision which states that it is in line with the legislation should not be less or more favourable than the statutory provision

  • If the title of the Act, chapter number and/or the specific section is cited, all the details must be cited correctly, eg ‘Section 43 of the Industrial Relations Act (Chapter 136)’ with respect to appointment of referee

  • The employment benefit stated should not only meet the requirements in the law but should also be clear and consistent

*with a few exceptions eg Annual Wage Supplement


Quick guide to preparing collective agreements ca for certification

(A)Comply with Labour Laws

Points to Note (Cont’d)

Example of Inconsistent Provision on sick leave

  • The Company shall grant to every employee who has completed at least 3 months of continuous service ........, paid sick leave not exceeding an aggregate of -

  • (a)14 days in each year if hospitalisation is not necessary, or

  • 60 days in each year if hospitalisation is necessary (inclusive of 14 days' outpatient sick leave)

  • (2)The number of days of paid sick leave that employees are entitled to depends on their service period as follows:


Quick guide to preparing collective agreements ca for certification

(B)Meet Requirements for Legal Document

  • Names of employer and union, date on which CA was made, title of CA, categories of employees covered by CA are stated clearly

  • Signature of employer and union representatives at the end of the body of the CA, and signature of at least one signatory each from employer and union on every page

  • Signing of the document should be done in the presence of witnesses, at least one nominated by each party. The witnesses should sign the CA. For format, see sample CAs on IAC website

  • Amendments to CA (if any) must be signed by at least one signatory each from employer and union


Quick guide to preparing collective agreements ca for certification

(C)Is Complete and Meets IAC's Administrative Requirements

  • CA must be complete, ie there are no missing pages or appendices

  • Clauses, sub-clauses, paragraphs, sub-paragraphs, appendices, etc must be numbered correctly, ie

  • - in running order starting from the smallest number/letterse.g. (1), (a)

  • - no missing numbers/letters

  • no repetition of numbers/letters

  • All appendices must be referred to in the body of the CA and the title of the CA as stated in the appendices must be correct.

  • Title of CA should carry the year in which the CA is signed e.g. XYZ Employees’ Agreement of 2013 if the agreement is made in 2013


Quick guide to preparing collective agreements ca for certification

(C)Is Complete and Meets IAC's Administrative Requirements

  • Approved Softcopy of Collective Agreement (ASCA)

  • Use ASCA of existing CA as basis for preparing next CA

  • Amend as necessary, then print hardcopy of CA for signature

  • For new CA, use ASCA format including clause numbering convention

  • Send amended ASCA to IAC 2 days before lodging hardcopy

  • Each page of the CA to be printed single-sided for signature. Printed CA must tally exactly with softcopy version sent to IAC

  • Signed hardcopy of CA to be submitted to IAC within one week of signing of CA, together with filing fee of $20 (crossed cheque payable to “Registrar, Industrial Arbitration Court”) and completed CA questionnaire


Quick guide to preparing collective agreements ca for certification

CONCLUSION

  • Requirements for a CA to be certified by IAC are set out above.

  • If any of the requirements are not met, IAC will ask the parties to amend the CA accordingly.

  • Apart from meeting the requirements above, the employer and the union are advised to exercise due care and diligence and ensure that the CA captures clearly, comprehensively and correctly the employment terms that have been agreed between them in order to minimise the possibility of disputes arising in the future.


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