How We Improved Our Work Passes Singapore in One Week

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In Singapore, the Personal Data Protection Act or PDPA mandates that employers must get consent from their employees before collecting and using personal data. Consent must be explicit and in writing. Valid consent doesn’t come easy under the PDPA. We were challenged with this legal requirement when we tried to implement a new HR software system in our company. We found out that no employee had given consent to our HR team for usage of their personal data as required by the law governing our company.

HR Information System

We knew that simply issuing an employee contract with a consent clause was not enough. We had to enforce it. So we went through our existing HR information system and found out how the old HR team had managed personal data collection and usage of our employees.

The Consent Process

The consent process was easy for them as they used their own Adobe Acrobat software to get consent from each employee. Once an employee gave consent, the HR people printed out a hard copy of the consent letter, signed by both parties and kept it in their file for future reference. They also conducted a training session on the use of their company’s new HR system and made sure that all employees understood its operation before collecting personal data from them.

Effective Method

However, this approach was not legally compliant as it hadn’t gotten the consent in writing. We had to come up with a better and more effective method that would provide us with accurate information on all our employees’ activities.

Collected Personal Data

We changed the way we collected personal data from our employees as well as how we used this information. We decided to implement a more structured consent process more strictly followed by all of us, HR and IT personnel alike. The new process went something like this:

Electronic Mail

We informed each employee about the new HR system through an electronic mail addressed to their personal email account. The message informed them of their right not to give consent and told them that they could still continue to be employed by our company in the event they decided not to do so.

HR people conducted a one-on-one interview with each employee, asking them if they are willing to give consent for the usage of their personal data in the said new system.

Only after each employee gave his or her consent by signing an electronic form, did we proceed with data collection.

As part of our new process and workflow, we asked the HR people to follow up with employees who didn’t respond initially or those who remained undecided about giving consent.

Clear and Unbiased Facts About Work Passes Singapore

We get it, dealing with the Singapore Work Passes system can be confusing. Eventually you’ll have to apply for one and make an important decision about your future, so you want to make sure that decision is based on fact, not hearsay. To make this a bit easier for you, we’ve assembled some of the most common questions people are asking about work passes in Singapore and provide answers and facts to set your mind at rest.

What is a work pass?

Basically a work pass is permission granted by MOM (Ministry of Manpower) that exempts its holder from having to go through local employment procedures.

What is not a work pass?

Work Permits, Employment Passes and Skills Employment Passes are NOT Work passes. They are separate categories of passes and have their own rules, regulations and requirements. Which one you need to get depends on your nationality and what you’re going to be doing in Singapore.

Who needs a work pass?

Any foreign national who wishes to engage in paid employment or self-employment in Singapore will need to go through the work pass (WP) system. If you don’t want any kind of employment in Singapore, you don’t need a WP.

Who can get a work pass?

To get a work pass, you need to meet certain criteria. Here are the nationality requirements:

– Permanent resident (PR) card issued by MOM, or

– One year of PR from date of application for WP and hold a current PR card; or

– Hold valid passport from a Schengen country and hold at least two years of PR; or

– Hold valid passport from one of the following countries: Ireland, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Netherlands, Norway and United States of America. If you don’t meet one of these nationalities but have held a work permit for more than two years in Singapore, you may also qualify for a WP.

As a foreigner how long can I work in Singapore

It really depends on what kind of work pass you have. Here are the most common types:

– Employment Pass: Allows you to work full-time without limits. You can apply for this if you’re offered a position which pays at least S$2,000 per month.

– Work Permit (Foreign Professionals): Allows you to work full-time in your field as a professional for up to two years until your Work Permit expires, then you’ll have to apply for an Employment Pass. You can also apply for this if you’re offered a position which pays at least S$2,200 per month.