Why are part time jobs and contract jobs in MedTech growing in Singapore?

Singapore's medical technology (MedTech) industry has experienced exponential growth even in times of a global pandemic with a strong focus in digital transformation and innovation.

In Singapore, the MedTech ecosystem is also growing. The MedTech sector contributed S$13.3 billion to Singapore’s economy in 2018, from S$3.1 billion in 2008. Enterprise Singapore (ESG) reported a growth in home-grown MedTech companies, increasing from 100 in 2014 to more than 250 in 2018.

With its push for a Smart Nation, Singapore is leading the region in MedTech research and development. According to the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), Singapore is home to over 60 multinational MedTech companies operating as regional headquarters, manufacturing, or research and development.


The MedTech market might be crippled by chronic talent shortage

The market for medical devices is expected to top $500 billion globally this year. However, despite growing hiring demands, the number of available candidates remains stagnant. Other challenges like limited access to resources and bandwidth constraints also impact the recruiting process and management.

Nonetheless, trends have shown that companies would rather hire someone part time than have no one to fill the full-time job now.

At the same time, employees are also yearning for more control over their time which means that more roles are now turning into part time jobs to suit the preferences of employees. In the past, many were working part time because they couldn’t find full-time jobs. These days, by contrast, many more people are working part time because they want to. Find out what the differences are between part time jobs and contract jobs, and why your company should start employing freelancers below.


Part time jobs vs Contract jobs in Singapore

Definition of part time jobs by Ministry of Manpower (MOM)

A part time employee is one who is under a contract of service to work less than 35 hours a week.

Part time employees are covered by the Employment Act (except for those who are domestic workers or seamen).

Contract of service

As a part time employee, your contract of service must specify your:

  • Hourly basic rate of pay.
  • Hourly gross rate of pay (the hourly basic rate plus allowances).
  • Number of working hours per day or per week.
  • Number of working days per week or per month.


Definition of contract jobs by Ministry of Manpower (MOM)

In a nutshell, contract jobs run for a fixed duration. They will be automatically terminated upon expiry unless renewed.

Such contract jobs can be as short as a few days to as long as six months or even a year.

Given that these are temporary positions, companies may not offer the same benefits as a full-time position unless you meet certain criterias. This means that those on contract jobs might miss out on paid medical leave and annual leave. Freelancers may also fall under this category if they have signed a fixed-term contract with a company.


Similarities of part time jobs and contract jobs

1. Attain flexibility and autonomy with Contract jobs and part time jobs

This is an obvious benefit given the shorter number of working hours as well as autonomy to plan your work schedule on a weekly and monthly basis. Whilst there are clear deliverables to fintech projects, one would be able to plan out your focus for the week and allocate your time appropriately to achieve maximum productivity.

This differs for a permanent role, given that there may be KPIs and long-term goals that is set for the individual. If you are someone that enjoys the freedom to plan your work schedule yet still meet your targets and deadlines, part time or contract jobs in Singapore will suit you.


2. Employees can acquire new skills through Contract jobs and part time jobs

Part time and contract jobs in Singapore allows employees to stay with a company for short stints for a project basis and this allows them to pick up unique skillsets that might be valuable to many companies out there, particularly amongst MedTech start ups and larger pharmaceutical plants. These skills are often transferable even if they are looking to move from one sector to another within the same industry, or within the MedTech space.


3. High demand for Contract jobs and part time jobs in Singapore

There are many different high paying part time and contract jobs in Singapore. In particular, the fintech industry is expected to flourish in 2021 and 2022. Due to the Jobs Growth Incentive, finding a job is just a matter of filling out applications, having a good resume, and being ready to accept short-term job offers such as contract jobs in the gig economy.

Tech talent in the financial industry is in such demand that many candidates receive multiple job offers and are putting an upward pressure on salary increments in Singapore. Firms are not just looking for medical devices developers or engineers, they are increasingly sourcing for people with a combination of skills. As such, part timers and contract workers who have moved from project to project would possess a myriad of skills that firms are looking for.

This is a good move for companies who are looking to maximise their cost by hiring talent who possess the right skills, to deliver on particular projects.


Terms of CPF contribution Differences vary between part time jobs vs contract jobs

CPF contributions are not payable if a person is providing his services under a "contract for service" as part timers.

A contract for service is an agreement in which a person or an entity is engaged as an independent contractor, such as a self-employed person or a vendor engaged for a fee to carry out an assignment or a project for a company on a freelance basis. For such contract jobs, there is no employer-employee relationship, and the person will not be covered under the Employment Act and will therefore not be entitled to the statutory benefits under the Act.

As statutory benefits do not apply, the terms of engagement will be according to the contract agreed upon by both parties. The contractor, however, is required to pay compulsory Medisave contribution as a self-employed person.


Should your company offer part time jobs or contract jobs in Singapore?

Choosing whether you are going to hire a permanent employee for your company or just recruit a fixed-term contractor to help with work instead can be a difficult decision. Everyone’s situation will be different but have a think about the duration of the job scope, objectives of a particular project, scalability of workloads and development of your people before concluding.

Here are our top reasons to employ on a part time or contract job basis:

  • Your company functions on short-term projects
  • You require short turn-around time to replace vacancies
  • Your company prefers to assess a candidate on the job
  • Your company is looking to save on long-term costs
  • Your company prioritise creativity and innovation
  • Your company embraces flexibility


What mix is right for your company?

Contractors, freelancers, and part time workers alike are a useful outsource solution for employers looking to successfully navigate periods of transition or steer a business in a new direction. You may have a big project coming up for which you will require an extra pair of hands, or maybe a key member of your team has gone on medical or vacation leave. Understanding this, consolidating your job specifications around your revised requirements, and forming expectations is key. Ultimately, you can also choose to extend or convert them to full-time if they bring consistent value to your team.

If you wish to engage talent on a contract job, or have questions on the type of contract you should be offering to your employees, reach out to us via the form below and our team will get in touch:

Get in touch

Whether you’re a professional looking for a job or a business seeking highly skilled talent, the team at Real is here for you.



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