Everything you should know about the Employment Claims Tribunals
In 2017, the state court in Singapore passed an order to introduce the Employment Claims Tribunals (ECT) to resolve the growing salary disputes among the employees and employers from the Labour Court at the Ministry of Manpower.
Labor Court will continue to hear arguments concerning job transfers under section 18A of the Employment Act, claims for workers’ compensation, and conflicts related to wages.
As a result, the ECT provides a similar forum for solving disputes between small businesses and individuals, where efficiency and low costs are primary objectives. Keep on reading the complete article to get familiar with the process of filing claims and related things.
About Employment Claims Tribunals (ECT)
The Employment Claims Tribunals (ECT) offers employers and employees a speedy and low-cost form where they will be required to clear out all the salary-related complications/claims and irrelevant dismissal claims.
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Prior to presenting a case at the ECT, you need to visit the Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management (TADM). The ECT will only consider a case valid if both of the following conditions are met:
- After mediation with TADM, your dispute has yet not been resolved.
- You have been provided with the claim referral certified by an approved TADM mediator.
Mediation requests should be sent to TADM as soon as possible after the claim arises because the claim period is limited.
File an employment claim
We present before you the process of filing an employment claim.
However, if you are the one filing a claim, you will be referred to as the claimant.
The other party against whom you have filed the claim is known as the respondent.
Lawyers do not have permission to represent parties for ECT related matters.
Before you file
Before filing the claim, you need to do the following things:
- Participate in mediation at the Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management (TADM).
- Obtain a Claim Referral Certificate provided by the approved TADM mediator.
- Fill up the pre-filing assessment.
- Learn all about the different types of claims that Employment Claims Tribunals can hear.
- Get detailed information about the amount you can get a claim for.
- Learn about the employment claims process.
- Know what the ECT can order.
Applicants must file their applications through the Community Justice and Tribunals System (CJTS).
Facts you should know about the Employment Claims Tribunals
|When to file||You need to file the claim within 4 weeks upon acquiring the Claim Referral Certificate from TADM.|
|When to serve||You will be granted to serve the claim within 7 business days following the date of filing the claim.|
|Filing fees||·For claims of less than S$10,000, it costs S$30 per claim.|
· A claim that exceeds S$10,000 will cost you S$60.
|Filing conditions||It is not possible to file a joint lawsuit against the same defendant with other parties.|
An employee cannot file both a salary-related claim and a wrongful termination claim at the same time.
Singapore residents or companies who make claims against the other must reside in Singapore or have a Singapore-based office or business.
What you will need
You need to be ready with a soft copy of the following given documents in PDF format (wherever asked) prior to filing the claim:
Soft copy of the personal identification document
- (Mainly for the Singapore citizens or permanent residents) National Registration Identity Card (NRIC) or passport.
- (In regard to foreign citizens) Passport and employment pass.
- (In terms of company representatives) Latest ACRA profile, letter of authorisation and NRIC, passport or employment pass of representative.
A photocopy of the claim referral certificate issued by TADM.
- In addition to these documents, other supporting documents (for example, payslips from an employment contract, timesheets, or bank statements) may be required.
- Keep a few things in mind that all documents that you submit should be in the English language. Else, the Singapore authority won’t accept the documents. In that case, you can reach out to Singapore translators for certified document translation.
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All the respondent’s basic and essential details, including name, personal identification number, and address of the respondent.
How to file and serve
You will require to follow the below-given steps to file and serve the claim.
File your claim
You need to file the claim within the 4 weeks following the date, the Claim Referral Certificates issued by TADM.
- To get started, you need to log in to select the Online Applications tab. Then, choose Claim Form and follow the relevant instructions.
- Select the time and date of your preferred case management conference (CMC)
- If you talk of the earliest CMC data available, it’s usually 3-4 weeks from the date you file the claim.
- ECT can assist you in choosing a language or dialect that you are comfortable speaking if you are unable to understand or speak English. An interpreter in your desired language will assist you on the day of your ECT.
Ensure you print a copy of the Notice of CMC. It must be served on the respondent within seven days after the date the claim is filed.
Serve documents on the respondent
You need to serve the documents within 7 working days following the date of filing the claim.
One of the following methods may be used to serve the CMC on the respondent:
|Service method||What it is|
|Personal Delivery||Sending the hard copies of the respective documents personally to the respondents.|
|Registered post||(When we talk of an individual)|
Delivering the hard copies of the relevant documents to the respondent’s most recent or updated residential or registered address.
(When we talk of business entity)
Providing the hard copies of the relevant documents to the ACRA registered address of the respondents in the envelope subjected to them.
|CJTS||Sending the respondent digital copies of the documents via the CJTS system.|
|Others||The documents should be delivered using any method specified by the ECT (including fax and email).|
It is possible to amend a claim that has not yet been served on the defendant, but if the claim has already been served on the defendant, you will need to obtain permission from the ECT before you can do so.
On the CJTS website, click Request for Amendments under the Online Applications tab to make an amendment to your application.
File a declaration of service (DOS)
Prior to the date of the first CMC
If you have served the Notice of CMC on the respondent, a declaration of service (DOS) along with proof of service must be filed.
Proof of service may be provided by Singpost registered mail slip or by the respondent signing an acknowledgement form to acknowledge receipt of the documents.
You can access CJTS by logging in to it. Click the Online Application tab and then select Declaration of Service.
After you file
You may receive a response from the respondent in one of several ways. To learn how a respondent can respond, read on:
Settle the claim
If the respondent does not dispute the claim, they may choose to resolve it by initiating online negotiation or mediation on CJTS.
If a settlement is reached online:
- Parties can request a consent order to record the terms of their agreement by selecting Request for Order of Tribunal in CJTS, provided that the ECT approves of it.
- By selecting the Withdrawal Request Form in CJTS, you will be able to withdraw the claim. After the declaration is withdrawn, it will be considered conclusive and will not require further action.
The notice states that if there is no settlement or the ECT does not approve your consent order request, you must attend the CMC.
Dispute the claim
Within seven working days after receiving your claim, a respondent may choose to file and serve you with a response if they disagree with it.
File a counterclaim
A respondent can counterclaim against you if they have a valid claim against you.
The counter line can only be requested once you and your respondent have undergone mediation at TADM concerning the counterclaim.
The above article might have cleared all your doubts related to process of filling claim for salary related issues. So be quick with the process and try to resolve this dispute as quickly as possible. In these legal formalities you might require court order translation in Singapore. For that you can rely on Singapore translators to get effective translation service.