According to the The latest Straits Times article, “Fewer Pregnant Women Getting Fired”, dated March 2011, ‘pregnancy- related’ complaints lodged with the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in 2010 fell from 147 to 84. This is definitely a good sign and indicates better awareness all around.
Of the 84 complaints, about 90 percent came from women employed by small medium enterprises. The increase of dismissal rates is largely due to the new regulations that has substantially increased maternity benefits and the tough economic times, shares an MOM spokesperson.
What are the laws in Singapore about Maternity Protection?
According to the Singapore MOM website, if you have worked for your employer for a minimum of 3 months, you have maternity protection against retrenchment and dismissal without sufficient cause during pregnancy.
To qualify for this maternity protection, you must have:
- Worked for your employer for at least 3 months before receiving the notice of dismissal or retrenchment.
- Been certified pregnant by a medical practitioner before receiving the notice of dismissal or retrenchment.
- You cannot work for another employer during your maternity leave. If you do so, your maternity benefit will be forfeited and you may also be dismissed.
What you can do about your wrongful dismissal
If you have been wrongfully fired while pregnant, you can lodge a complaint with the Labour Relations and Welfare Division of the Ministry of Manpower.
If you have lost your job in the protection period as specified in the law (last six months of pregnancy), MOM will conduct an inquiry. If the company is found guilty of wrongful termination, they may be asked to compensate or reinstate you.
If you were dismissed outside the protection period, you can still complain to MOM, who will then conduct a conciliation meeting between employer and yourself to help solve the dispute.
Alternatively, you can send a letter to:
Minister for Manpower
Ministry of Manpower
18 Havelock Road
Include the following details:
Date and subject
Contact or mobile number
Expected date of delivery
Service period (start date to last day of service)
Last drawn salary
Also include information about your case:
The reasons your employer gave for the dismissal or termination.
Why you think you have been unfairly dismissed or terminated (you can cite specific incidents to support your appeal).
Whether your employer has given you notice of dismissal or termination.
Relevant documents related to your appeal, such as employment contract, letter of termination or warning letters.
You can contact MOM for more information at 6438 5122