Friday, July 06, 2007

:: Contract jobs in Singapore

Lately I’ve been observing that the nature of contract employment in Singapore is being discussed and written in some of the media and discussion groups. I’ve decided that I must also join the band wagon and contribute my 2 cents worth here.

Contract jobs in Singapore have been around for a while now and are prevalent in many industries right from construction to IT.

If we are to believe some of the reports that are on print, many professionals takes up contract job this days for more money and for more exposure to different areas, this report to me is full of holes and half truths.

Why I say this is because Singapore unlike Australia, North America and Europe operate the contracting employment in a different manner.

While in those countries contactors are being paid by the hourly and they receive their pays once a week or fortnightly, in Singapore contract staff will be billed on a monthly basis and also paid monthly. Overtime (OT) payment is certainly non-existent here.

And therefore in Singapore contractors does not enjoy such benefits as OT and for the unfortunate few are often even exploited and made to work abusive hours and even on weekends.

So when I hear someone from down under who readily agrees to take up a contract job here, I do take the time to educate them on the nature of contract jobs here. And often, they do realize their mistakes and begin looking for perm jobs.

Contract jobs in Singapore often can and will be accepted by a candidate on grounds such as – someone who is on or was on a contract job, or does not have a perm offer or has no hopes of finding a perm job, or someone who is desperate to find and land and accept any job.

In my experience here in Singapore I am yet to come across a candidate who is on a good perm job and is willing to leave his secured job for a contract one. This is because, a contract job unlike a perm job pays less (agency needs his margin), has limited or is void of any fringe benefits, liable to be relieved from job at a short or no notice, et al.

In most cases a contract employee will not have a sense of belonging wherever he is being outsourced and often is not shown the same respect as would a perm employee receives.

Some agencies will even resort to short-changing contract job seekers with such attitude as – pay him the same salary he is on now or pay him less than what he is drawing now after all he is on a contract job et al.

Contract job in Singapore is definitely not as attractive and will not be acceptable by job seekers with multiple options at hand especially those with good caliber and skills.

2 comments:

Ching said...

Hi, that's good advice. A lot of information on striking out on your own as a contractor or consultant tends to be US-focused and talks about your ability to charge by the hour... whereas in Singapore contract employment often seem to be simply a lower-paid and less-secure version of a perm job.

Slawek Rogulski said...

Is there any chance that the contacting market in Singapore will become like those in Australia, US and Europe? Are there any options for employment on those terms here in Singapore? Freelance?