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.
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.
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.
You will need to bring the following documents along for your CMC or ECT hearing:
There are no charges for attending a CMC.
The following fees will be payable for the whole or part of each day of hearing (excluding the first day, or the first two half-days, of the first tranche of hearing dates fixed by the registrar or a tribunal) before a tribunal magistrate:
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 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.
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:
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.
Your request under the CCT Friend Scheme is subject to the approval of the ECT.
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
If you require assistance, you may approach or enquire with these organisations:
Ministry of Manpower (MOM)
Hotline: 6438 5122
Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management (TADM)
(For Singaporeans and PRs)
Migrant Workers' Centre (MWC)
National Trades Union Congress (NTUC)
Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF)
Paya Lebar Square (Lobby 2)