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Navigating Employment in Singapore: A Guide for American Businesses Considering Local Staff


As Singapore continues to cement its position as a strategic economic hub in Asia, more American businesses are eager to establish operations in this vibrant market. However, employing local staff in Singapore presents a unique set of challenges, ranging from navigating complex regulatory environments to understanding the cultural nuances of the local workforce. This article aims to provide American companies with a clear overview of the employment process in Singapore, highlight potential risks and pain points, and explain how partnering with an Employment of Record (EOR) provider like Gonex can simplify this critical task.


Hiring Process and Compliance

Local Legal Framework

Understanding Singapore’s Employment Act and other related legislation such as the Work Injury Compensation Act is crucial. These laws govern employment contracts, work permits, and the specifics of hiring both local and foreign staff. Missteps in compliance can lead to hefty fines and legal complications.



Recruitment must adhere to the Fair Consideration Framework, ensuring that local residents are considered first for job opportunities. This involves rigorous background checks and ensuring that all candidates meet the strict legal requirements for employment. A recent survey indicated that 82% of businesses had to enhance their scrutiny in background verification processes to meet these standards.


Work Permit Application

For roles that necessitate hiring foreign talent, securing the correct work permit (such as the Employment Pass or S Pass) is essential. About 30% of applications run into issues due to incorrect or incomplete documentation, often delaying the hiring process significantly.


Employment Contracts

Contracts must meticulously detail job scope, salary, working hours (not exceeding the statutory limit of 44 hours per week), and leave policies. Non-compliance can affect nearly 15% of foreign businesses in their first year, leading to fines and operational disruptions.


Payroll and Benefits

Managing payroll in accordance with local laws is crucial. Salaries must be disbursed monthly, and statutory benefits must cover annual leave, sick leave, and maternity leave. Approximately 20% of SMEs in Singapore experience payroll discrepancies each year, highlighting the complexity and precision required in managing employee compensation.


Risk Points and Case Studies

Cultural Challenges

American companies often face cultural integration challenges, with 40% of expatriate managers reporting difficulties in adapting training programs to fit local contexts. Misunderstanding local customs and workplace norms can lead to reduced productivity and employee dissatisfaction.


Real-World Case

One American tech company faced significant setbacks after failing to fully comply with the Employment Act, resulting in legal fines and damaged employee relations. The company underestimated the intricacies of local labor laws, leading to costly legal battles and reputational harm.


Gonex’s EOR Services: Process, Cost, and Advantages

Service Process

Gonex simplifies the employment process by acting as the legal employer of record. This includes handling all compliance aspects, from work permit applications to contract management and payroll. Our in-country experts ensure that all legal requirements are met efficiently and accurately.

Cost Effectiveness

Typically, the cost of initiating EOR services with Gonex is equivalent to 2-3 months of an employee’s salary, making it a cost-effective solution compared to establishing a legal entity abroad. This approach not only saves time but also significantly reduces the administrative burden on companies.


Gonex offers competitive rates and robust service guarantees compared to industry standards. With a strong local presence and partnerships with reputable suppliers in key markets, we provide a secure and comprehensive service. Our team assists with contract adjustments before signing, enhancing employee satisfaction and loyalty, contrasting sharply with some providers who overpromise and underdeliver.



Employing staff in Singapore can be a daunting task for American businesses due to the stringent compliance requirements and cultural differences. However, the potential for growth and the strategic advantages of a Singaporean presence are immense. By partnering with Gonex, businesses can navigate these challenges more smoothly, ensuring compliance and focusing on their core operations. This strategic partnership allows American companies to thrive in Singapore’s dynamic market, contributing to long-term success and stability.


Why Gonex?

Experienced Management Team: each member in the team has 10+ years experiences in Overseas Human Resources Management, composed of seasoned HR professionals.

Powerful connection: Gonex has established over 10 entities worldwide, along with more than 30 stable partners, together offering the most comprehensive overseas human resource services to our clients.

Strict compliance with laws and regulations: At every step in our service process, Gonex strictly adheres to local laws and regulations, ensuring our clients completely avoid any legal disputes.

Competitive price: Gonex’s services are 20% more affordable compared to other companies in the industry, allowing our clients to allocate more resources to their core business.


What Gonex offer?

Employment of Record: This service helps clients legally hire employees in countries or regions where they do not have a legal entity established.

Payroll BPO service: This includes payroll project implementation plan development, project deployment, payroll calculation, payment of funds, administration of statutory and supplementary benefits, customized reporting, and other comprehensive payroll services.

Mobility: Based on the company’s internationalization strategy, the company assigns employees to overseas branches/subsidiaries and handles visa and tax matters in accordance with local policies, while assisting in the compliance management of employees throughout their international assignment life cycle.


GONEX One-Stop Solution: Your strategic partner

In navigating these challenges, GONEX offers comprehensive solutions tailored to the needs of American companies expanding into South Korea:

Compliance and Legal Adherence: GONEX’s Employer of Record (EOR) service ensures legal compliance in employing local staff.

Cross-Border Payroll and Tax Management: Streamlined payroll services simplify cross-border management.

Flexible Employment Solutions: Adaptable employment services cater to changing business needs.

International Talent Dispatch: Support services facilitate the dispatch of key talent to Japan.

Digital HR Management Platform: Technology-driven solutions enhance management efficiency and cultural integration.


Who do we serve?

Gonex served 70+ clients to expand overseas. The incomes of our clients like Mengniu, Kuaishou and CHINT are up to 192.4 billion.


Let Gonex assist you and your company with handling such complex overseas hiring processes! To access more information on corporate international expansion cases, global employment guidelines, worldwide compensation management, regulations for various regional countries, and factory establishment manuals in different nations, you are welcome to visit the GONEX official website at www.letsgonex.com to download these resources or view our company’s business introduction in PDF format (https://letsgonex.com/in.pdf).

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