1. From 7 January 2019, parties in an employment dispute will have the convenience of filing their claims online via the Community Justice and Tribunals System (CJTS) without having to travel to the State Courts. The CJTS is an e-filling and case management system for cases dealt with by the Community Justice and Tribunals Division of the State Courts. The launch of the Employment Claims Tribunals (ECT) Online Filing Module in the CJTS makes the employment dispute process paperless and more convenient for all parties involved.
2. Individuals can access the CJTS with their SingPass, and corporate entities with their CorpPass. Those who are not eligible for SingPass or CorpPass may apply for a CJTS Pass to access the CJTS.
Key features of the ECT Online Filing Module
3. Parties with an employment dispute can register the settlement agreement recorded during a mediation session at the Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management (TADM) on the CJTS if an amicable agreement is reached. If mediation at TADM is unsuccessful, parties can file their employment dispute claim together with the claim referral certificate online immediately.
4. Parties can also submit documents, view documents submitted by the other party, pay filing fees, select a preferred court date within a given period, and monitor case developments online without the need to come to the State Courts. With the CJTS, parties can be notified of case developments and hearing dates via SMS and email notifications, where available.
E-resolution of employment disputes
5. In addition to providing 24/7 online access, the CJTS also offers a suite of services to parties that facilitates the expeditious resolution of employment disputes. Parties in an employment dispute will be able to e-Negotiate a settlement or opt to engage in e-Mediation in the CJTS. These e-services are some of the key features of the system that will provide disputants with a secured and confidential online platform to settle their dispute without coming to the State Courts.
6. Through e-Negotiation, parties will be able to engage and negotiate an amicable settlement on their own terms. For example, when a settlement offer is made by the respondent, the claimant will receive a notification to log on to consider the offer, or to make a counter offer.
7. With e-Mediation, they may resolve their employment dispute online with the help of a court mediator without having to come to the State Courts. If both parties agree to e-Mediate, ECT will schedule an e-Mediation session with a court mediator.
8. If a settlement is reached via either e-Negotiation or e-Mediation, parties may apply online for a Consent Order and the case will conclude once the Consent Order is issued. If parties are unable to reach a settlement, the case will then proceed to the case management and hearing stages of the employment claims process.
Employment Claims Filed
9. Since 1 April 2017, 94% of the total number (1,696) of employment claims filed at the ECT have been concluded as at 30 November 2018; of which 71% were resolved at the Case Management Conference stage without having to proceed to the hearing stage.
10. The ECT hears contractual salary-related claims such as non/short payment of salary, allowances, bonuses, commissions, salary in lieu of notice and retrenchment benefits. The majority (about 74%) of claims filed at the ECT involve the non/short payment of salary/allowance. Other common ECT claims are for overtime pay (34% of claims filed) and salary in lieu of notice (31% of claims filed).
11. The ECT was established in April 2017 to provide an effective and affordable dispute resolution forum to assist employees to resolve their employment-related disputes with their employers. Apart from enhancing access to justice, the launch of online filing for employment claims will make the employment dispute resolution process more efficient and convenient.
Issued by: State Courts, Singapore
Date: 4 January 2019
(i) Annex A - About the Employment Claims Tribunals
(ii) Annex B - Online Filing for Employments Claim Process
(iii) Annex C - Claims filed at the Employment Claims Tribunals
(iv) Annex D - Translation of key terms
For further information or clarification, please contact:
(i) Mrs Vivian Heng, Deputy Director,Communications Directorate
Tel: 6435 5045 / 9722 6139
(ii) Mr Bryan Jacob, Executive, Communications Directorate
Tel: 6435 5088 / 9722 6139
About the Employment Claims Tribunals
The Employment Claims Tribunals (ECT) was established under the Employment Claims Act 2016 (Act 21 of 2016). The ECT has been established to provide an effective and affordable dispute resolution forum to assist employees and employers to resolve their employmentrelated disputes.
ECT has jurisdiction to hear claims up to S$20,000 or up to S$30,000 if the dispute has undergone mediation assisted by the unions.
The ECT sees the following types of claims:
claims are those relating to employee entitlements under the Employment Act, Retirement & Re-employment Act and the Child Development Co-Savings Act. These include unpaid salary, overtime pay, salary in lieu of notice of termination, employment assistance payments, and maternity benefits.
claims from employees may involve disputes relating to the payment of allowances, bonuses, commissions, salary in lieu of notice and retrenchment benefits, provided that these are expressed in monetary terms in the contract.
To bring a claim before the ECT, parties must first register their claims at the Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management (TADM). Mediation at TADM is compulsory. Only disputes which remain unresolved after mediation at TADM may be referred to the ECT. A claim referral certificate has to be issued by TADM before a claim can be filed at the ECT.
ONLINE FILING FOR EMPLOYMENTS CLAIMS
Court users who file claims in the Employment Claims Tribunals (ECT) using the Community Justice and Tribunals System (CJTS) will have the benefit of filing online anytime using a web browser on a computer or mobile device. Other benefits include paying filing fees, selecting a preferred court date within a given period, and monitoring case developments without the need to come to court. Parties will also be notified of case developments and hearing dates via SMS and email where available.