Nearly all employers in Singapore have to be familiar with the Enlistment Act. This is because male employees 50 years old and below may be required to report for In-Camp Training (ICT).
This has the potential to disrupt your business operations as employees may be required to attend up to 40 days of ICT a year (even though NSmen are rarely called up for the full 40 days a year). When an employee has to report for in-camp training, employers are required to grant them a leave of absence for the duration of his service.
How Long Will Employees Be On In-Camp Trainings (ICTs)?
There are four main types of ICTs:
#1 High Key Training
Training sessions will be 7 days or more. NSmen will be notified 6 months in advance.
#2 Low Key Training
Training sessions will be less than 7 days. NSmen will be notified 3 months in advance.
#3 Make-Up Training (MUT)
NSmen will be notified 1 month in advance
#4 Other Call-Up Activities
NSmen will be notified 1 month in advance.
NSmen will be given an official SAF100 notice, with their call-up details, like the reporting date, time, venue and other information. This should be shared with employers immediately if required, so alternative arrangements can be made to support the person’s absence during ICT.
While deferment is “Strongly discouraged”, employers are able to defer their employees’ ICT for certain reasons. This may include if they have 1) just started work in the last 3 months, 2) are sending their employees for training or 3) have 2 or more employees in the same capacity in the same department getting a call-up in the same period.
Even when deferment is granted, Such NSmen may be required to attend Make-Up Training (MUT). In such cases, employers will only get 1 month advance notice rather than 3 to 6 months.
How Much Will Employers Have To Pay Their Employees When They Go For Reservist Training?
According to the Enlistment Act, employers must ensure that their NSmen employees are not made worse off financially because of their obligations to fulfil NS duties.
When an employee attend their ICT, they will only be eligible for the Service Pay according to their rank and vocation. If there is any shortfall, employers are obligated to ensure they are “not made worse off financially”. Employers can do so in two ways.
Employers are encouraged to opt for the Direct Reimbursement to Employers of Claims for NS Training Scheme (DIRECT) scheme. In this scheme, employers continue to pay their employees their full salary as usual during the month.
You help your employees claim for their Make-Up Pay (MUP) and receive the reimbursement directly from the government. Your employees will not be required to make any claims. Your claim should be submitted 2 weeks before the commencement of your employee’s ICT. This can be done via the NS Portal for employers or make-up claim form which can be downloaded online.
Deducting Pay For Their Reservist Training (i.e. NSman Make Their Own Claim)
The second option is where employers deduct their NSman’s salary for the days they were in ICT. The NSman has to get their employer to certify their Make-Up Pay (MUP) claim – or the shortfall between their service pay and their civilian pay. They must then submit this claim, and will be paid by MINDEF.
Calculation For MUP
- An employee is earning $4,400
- He has a 5 day work-week
- His Service Pay is $880 (equivalent to their full-time National Service allowance, depending on rank and vocation)
If he goes for ICT for 15 days (comprising 11 weekdays), and works for him employer for the other 11 weekdays,
- His employer have to pay him $4,400 x (11 days worked /22 working days) = $2,200 for the month
- His service pay is $880 x (15 ICT days /30 days in the month) = $440
- His Make-Up Pay (MUP) is $4,400 – ($2,200 + $440) = $1,760
The employer either claims this amount for him if they are on the DIRECT scheme, or has to certify this MUP amount if they are not on the DIRECT scheme.
In calculating for an employee’s salary, their variable wage components such as commissions and overtime pay should also be taken into consideration.
Employers Has To Bear Full Amount Of The Employer Share Of CPF Contributions
In either situations, employers will have to bear the employer’s share of CPF contributions on the full amount, inclusive of the Make-Up Pay (MUP). This means employers cannot get reimbursement for their share CPF contributions for NSmen who go on ICT.
In a way, this is how employers play their role in supporting the country’s National Service.
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