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About Employment Claims Tribunals proceedings

Employment Claims Tribunals (ECT) proceedings are conducted in private in the State Courts. This means media personnel and members of the public are not allowed to be present during the proceedings. However, subject to the ECT's discretion, any individual may be allowed to observe the proceedings.

Both parties to a claim must first attend a case management conference (CMC) where a deputy registrar or assistant registrar will attempt to resolve the dispute. If the matter cannot be settled at the CMC, a date for a hearing before a tribunal magistrate may be scheduled for the case.

Attendance is compulsory

Both the party who filed the claim (the claimant) and the party against whom the claim is filed (the respondent) must attend every CMC and ECT hearing.

If either party is absent from their CMC or ECT hearing without any reasonable excuse, the registrar or tribunal magistrate may continue with the proceedings and issue a default order against the absent party. For example, if you are the claimant, your claim may be dismissed. If you are the respondent, a default judgment may be made in favour of the claimant.

Tip

If you are unable to attend your CMC on the given date, you may request a change of court date subject to the approval of the ECT.

You can apply by selecting Request for Change of Court Date under the Online Applications tab on the Community Justice and Tribunals System (CJTS). You will have to provide the reasons for your application and upload supporting documents to substantiate your reasons.

What to bring

You will need to bring the following documents along for your CMC or ECT hearing:

  • Your personal identification documents.
    • (For Singapore citizens or permanent residents) National Registration Identity Card (NRIC) or passport.
    • (For foreign citizens) Passport and employment pass.
    • (For company representatives) Latest ACRA profile, letter of authorisation and NRIC, passport or employment pass of representative.
  • The original copy of all the documents uploaded onto CJTS.
    • All documents that are not in English should be accompanied by English translations.

Hearing fees

There are no charges for attending a CMC.

The following fees will be payable for the whole or part of each day of hearing before a tribunal magistrate:

  • S$30 per day for claims of S$10,000 or less.
  • S$60 per day for claims of more than S$10,000.
Note
There are no hearing fees for the first day of the hearing and any scheduled day for delivery of a tribunal's decision.

Representation in the ECT

Lawyers are not allowed to represent any party during a CMC or ECT hearing. You must present your own case unless you have been given approval by the ECT to be represented by another person.

You may be represented by another person only in the following situations:

If you are...

You can be represented by...

A body corporate

An officer or a full-time employee.

A partnership

A partner or a full-time employee.

An unincorporated association

A member of the governing body or a full-time employee.

A union member of a unionised company

An officer of the union.

The Government

A public officer.

Below 18 years old

The party's parent, guardian, or any person approved by the tribunal or the registrar.

Unable to present your own case by reason of illiteracy or infirmity (weakness) of mind or body

A person who is duly authorised in writing by you and approved by the tribunal or the registrar.

If you wish to be represented by another person, you must first apply for representation, subject to the approval of the ECT. Under the Online Applications tab, you can apply by selecting Application for Representative on CJTS.

The person you choose to appoint cannot be:

  • A paid agent.
  • An advocate and solicitor holding a valid practising certificate in Singapore.
Note

You will have to provide a valid letter of authorisation for the person representing you in ECT proceedings. This is because the court needs to be certain that the person appearing in court is duly authorised and appointed by you.

You may apply to have one of the following people to accompany you during your CMC or ECT hearing under the Community Courts and Tribunals (CCT) Friend Scheme:

Your request under the CCT Friend Scheme is subject to the approval of the ECT.

Find out about the CCT Friend Scheme and how to apply.

Need help?

The information here is for general guidance as the courts do not provide legal advice. If you need further help, you may want to get independent legal advice.

Find out more

Resources

Refer to the The Employment Claims Tribunals Guide (PDF, 2.12 MB).

If you require assistance, you may approach or enquire with these organisations:

Organisation

Contact information

Ministry of Manpower (MOM)

Hotline: 6438 5122

Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management (TADM)

(For Singaporeans and PRs)
Devan Nair Institute for Employment and Employability
#03-03, 80 Jurong East Street 21
Singapore 609607

(For work pass holders)
MOM Services Centre
Hall A Level 3, 1500 Bendemeer Road
Singapore 339946

Migrant Workers' Centre (MWC)

MWC Serangoon
579 Serangoon Road
Singapore 218193

MWC Geylang
#01-06 Atrix Building
82 Geylang Lorong 23
Singapore 388409

Hotline: 6536 2692

Email: feedback@mwc.org.sg

National Trades Union Congress (NTUC)

NTUC Centre
#B1-03, 1 Marina Boulevard
Singapore 018989

Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF)

Paya Lebar Square (Lobby 2)
#13-45, 60 Paya Lebar Road
Singapore 409051

Hotline: 6290 7633

Email: webmaster@snef.org.sg

Related questions

Employees should be present at Employment Claims Tribunals (ECT) proceedings, even if they are represented by a union,unless the tribunal magistrate or registrar had directed otherwise.
2021/07/23

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