Interns are protected under the Employment Act

Today, 31 May 2013

The Employment Act covers every employee who is engaged under a contract of service, including interns. This means an employer is obliged to accord statutory benefits prescribed under the Act to an intern, as long as the intern performs work and has work arrangements similar to that of a regular employee in the organisation.

For example, interns who enter into a contract of service should not be required to work for more than eight hours in one day or more than 44 hours in a week. However, he may be required to work overtime if he consents to do so, subject to the limit of 12 working hours per day. Total overtime hours should also not exceed 72 hours per month.

The employer must pay the intern for the extra hours of work or for working on his rest days or public holidays. The rate for overtime work should be no less than one-and-a-half times his hourly basic rate of pay. The employer must grant the intern one rest day (which is not paid) in a week, which may be on a Sunday or any other day.

Interns who encounter employment issues should approach their employers or their education institutions. They can also approach the Ministry of Manpower for advice and assistance, via email at mom_lrwd@mom.gov.sg or at the MOM hotline at 6438 5122. More information on employment provisions can be found online at www.mom.gov.sg/employment-practices.

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