SME Business Conference: 19th and 20th of August

Singapore Chinese Chamber of CommerceThe Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry is organizing a 3 day bilingual SME Business Conference on the 19th and 20th of August in the Exhibition Halls of Suntec Singapore. The event is co-organized by iDA Singapore and Lianhe Zaobao. The theme of the event is “Think Creatively, Act Innovatively”.

The SME community in Singapore gathers every year to share ideas about how to boost productivity, cut down costs and more. This year, the conference caters towards transforming businesses in Singapore through innovations in productivity.

With that theme in mind, the event will feature speakers from all facets of the business world, from startups to large corporations. They will speak about why businesses need to be agile in order to keep up with ever-changing global trends. One of the interesting sessions is on integrating technology like cloud computing, business analytics, social media and customer relationship management so that small businesses can scale smartly.

Singapore SME Conference AugustNow here is the awesome part. In an event like this, you can’t expect PayrollHero to be left behind, can you? Steve Jagger from PayrollHero will be speaking in a forum on “Innovation and Value Creation from Buzzwords to Actions for Business”. Steve will be joined by a panel comprising Dr Christopher Holmes, managing director of IDC Insights Asia Pacific, Ms Jenny Jang, manager of Jiransoft, Mr Law Chee Keong, director of Asia Pacific Partner Sales in Apigee. The discussion will focus on how Singapore businesses can transform their business plan into a reality by adopting technology.

The forum will be between 2.15pm to 5pm. in Hall 404. Mr Stephen Lim, CEO of SQL View will be moderating the discussion. Mr. Lim has a wealth of experience behind him: he is a member of the board of SPRING Singapore and NTUC Fairprice. He has 25 years of experience in the IT industry and is the perfect person to host this forum.

We’re excited about the event and hope to see many business personalities participating and networking over the two days of the programme. It will be interesting to see academics, notable members of the government and business people discuss the way forward for small and medium enterprises in Singapore. We look forward to the event and wish the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry good luck for hosting the conference!

How do I open a restaurant in Singapore? Presenting the PayrollHero Knowledge Kit!

The PayrollHero blog aims to be the knowledge repository for any restaurant owner or retailer in Southeast Asia. We have built our database with things you need to know while doing business in Singapore.

With that in mind, we have been working on a little project. Presenting the PayrollHero Knowledge Kit!

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Download now… Free!
This starter kit was put together to give you high level information about Singapore, share some thoughts from restaurant owners, and present relevant statistics from our market research.

The information here includes research that will help you open a restaurant in Singapore or expand into the country.

  • We talk about what CPF contributions are with information about the different Ethnic Funds that require contributions.The pages are linked to relevant tax forms and websites that offer more detailed information if you want it.
  • There is an industry overview and analysis on the latest consumption trends in the country. We give you a salary table to refer to for your Human Resources (HR) team in Singapore.
  • We also give you practical write-ups on how to get an import license, food hygiene requirements and the best internet service provider for your restaurants.

But we don’t want to give you simple hard facts that you could just Google anyway. The Knowledge Kit has a wealth of information in the form of personal stories and experiences in these countries. We interviewed the president of SaladStop!, Mr. Adrien Desbaillets. He gave advice on how he chooses locations in Singapore among other practical nuggets of information. We see it as a way to help the community because there is no better way to learn than from people who have gone through the same roadblocks as your are facing right now.

We hope this information is useful to you. We would love to hear back from you with what you think about the Knowledge Kit, how we can make things better and how you use this Kit for your own research into the restaurant industry.

Lastly, we are releasing more of these for the retail industry. Watch out for more information about these industries and countries. We have also created a Knowledge Kit for the Philippines.

So go ahead and click on the image above to access the Knowledge Kit. Let us know what you think. And good luck with your new business!

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Food Hygiene Regulations in Singapore


In Singapore, food hygiene is monitored by the National Environment Agency (NEA). All food retail businesses must be registered to the NEA and regulated by the organization to prove that any food sold or produced by the food retail businesses is safe for consumption (retail businesses include restaurants, cafes, and more but excludes hawker centres).

Grading System

The NEA grades food service establishments based on personal and food hygiene and housekeeping of the premises. The grade must be displayed somewhere within the premises where it can be visible to the public. This is a method for the NEA to encourage establishments to improve their grade by adopting better practices. The assessment of the premises by the NEA results in the following grades:

  • A – a score of 85% or higher
  • B – a score of 70% to 84%
  • C – a score of 50% to 69%
  • D – a score of 40% to 49%

In order to help food service establishments to improve their cleanliness, the NEA has published the Food Handler’s Handbook and other practices and guiding materials.

Points Demerit System (PDS)

The PDS system is used in order to establish precedence for revoking licenses. Offences are categorized as minor, major and serious. Offences lead to demerit points. If an establishment collects 12 demerit points within 12 months, the establishment can be suspended for 2 to 4 weeks or its license can be revoked based on previous records. However this is a general guideline. The punishment differs for the type of establishment. For example, coffeeshops, food courts and canteens that accumulate 12 points over 12 months will be suspended for three days. Here is a detailed list of offences and the demerit points that they cost.

Food Handlers

The term food handlers refers to any person who is directly involved with food preparation: like the chefs, sous chefs, kitchen assistants, staff that handles beverages. Food handlers need to be registered by the NEA. As the owner of the establishment, you need to register all food handlers by filling up this form and submitting it to the nearest Regional Office. To find your nearest Regional Office, you must call 1800-2255 632 (1800-CALL NEA). In order to qualify as a food handler, a basic food hygiene course must be completed. The Food & Beverage Workforce Skills Qualification (WSQ) takes 6 hours of course work and 1.5 hours of assessment. Upon completion of assessment, the food handles will be given a Statement of Attainment. There are 2 subsequent refresher training sessions after 5 years and 10 years. The details on refresher training are on this page.

Food Safety Management System (FSMS)

The FSMS is used to ensure that manufacture, distribution and storage of food is safe for consumption. Every food service establishment must have an FSMS plan. The components of the plan are the following:

1. FSMS Plan 

a.    Flow diagram: with Critical Control Points identified

b.    Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points: charts for Critical Control Points (CCPs)

2. “WSQ Apply Food Safety Management System for Food Service Establishments Certificate (Statement of Attainment)

For more information on the FSMS and the requirements for your FSMS plan, click here. The link also gives information on different rules for new caterers and caterers that need to renew their license.

Finally, the NEA along with Spring Singapore has created a Singapore Standard for food service establishments so that they can make their FSMS plans by referring to the guideline. The guideline is $42 and can be purchased here. The process of creating the FSMS plan involves a workshop which includes 14 hours of course work and 5 hours of assessment.

That sums up the brief introduction to food hygiene regulations in Singapore. Hope that helps!

Singapore Payroll Software | Video

Our newest video for Singapore Restaurants and Retailer’s looking to learn more about our time, attendance, roster and payroll platform. What do you think the video? Let us know in the comments below. (
(30 seconds)

PayrollHero Singapore:

– PayrollHero is eligible for Singapore’s Spring Innovation & Capability Voucher (ICV) – Integrated Solutions (IS) (more details)

– Check out our Singapore specific website at

Crash Course for Hiring a Singapore Intern

Editors Note: Introducing Pragya Gupta, Business Development Intern at the PayrollHero Singapore office. She will be contributing to the PayrollHero blog from time to time.

“To get a job you need experience; to get experience, you need a job.”

That pretty much sums up a college kid’s life-crisis. Enter: internships.

Singapore PayrollI am an intern at PayrollHero. Today marks the second day of my internship. I have been studying in a university in Singapore over the last two years. The importance of internships cannot be stressed enough to a college student. Universities even have an internship requirement that must be completed in order to graduate. So it is worth exploring how this works and what both parties, the intern and the company are required to do.

Internships, in general, are quite a messy affair. The first question that should/would strike anyone is: Why should I hire you? You’re just a kid, probably not a smart one, probably irresponsible and probably not good at what I need to get done. Most importantly, I am going to spend all these resources on you for two months or more, just to see you walk out that door by the end of it. What’s the point?

Great question. So here is the thing: companies take two or three months to train their newly hired staff just so they can get used to the way things work. And while that is true for interns as well, some companies use internship programmes to really judge how good a student is in order to hire them once they have graduated. By this time most of the training is already done and the company can be sure that the student fits the bill. Other companies need interns to help them with a particular project. In both cases, it’s a cost effective way to get things done. To give you a student’s perspective: an intern is always excited to do something new and get some experience. It is mutually beneficial, if all goes well.

Step 1: Who Can You Hire?

The Ministry of Manpower states rules that are different for a local student and an international student studying in a local university and looking for an internship. Local students in universities do not have binding requirements on the hours that they can work during term time. As an international student, I have a Student Pass that is valid for four years of college. During the term, I can work part-time for only 16 hours a week regardless of where I work: banks, startups, the neighbourhood Subway, anywhere. During holidays, there is no solid requirement that prevents me to work.

Leave of Absence: A student may take a Leave Of Absence for an entire term in order to get some internship experience, which can be a full-time internship. For an international student, this is possible only if the university’s internship requirement has not been completed. For a local student, the LOA has no binding requirement.

Step 2: Where Do You Look For Interns?

I applied for an internship using the standard internship search portals: StartupJobs.Asia, internsSG, the university jobs portal. Usually companies post about internship positions on these websites. Some of these companies partner up with universities and post job positions through the university portal or email. Some internships are structured while others are spontaneous and depend on the project that the company is currently working on. Companies specify the job scope in the search portals. PayrollHero worked a bit differently. It was featured on one of these sites. I clicked on the website, loved the look and content and decided to email them.

Step 3: Details, Payment, Contracts

The job applications have been posted; you have called the applicants in for an interview; you have picked a prospective intern. What’s next? Once an intern is hired, a contract must be drawn up. The contract specifies what the job requirement is, the number of weeks in the internship, number of hours in a day and the amount that the intern will be paid. An intern is covered by the Employment Act that entitles him or her to a stipend, a fixed number of hours and a few more entitlements (check links below). A regular internship is anywhere between 8 to 10 weeks. The regular stipend is between SGD800 and SGD1200 a month, depending on the hours and the job scope and excluding over-time pay. SPRING Singapore is an agency that supports SMEs to fund internships for local students. This is a good resource in case businesses have trouble paying for interns.

If the internship position was posted on the university portal, then the company and the university liaise together and the university directly clocks in the weeks for the student. In a self-sourced internship, if the student wants to clock in weeks, he or she keeps the university in the loop and they contact the company for details. Some universities require forms to be filled for the internship to be approved. Once the internship ends, the university sends a feedback form to the company for details on how the internship went and how the student performed.

Finally, internships are a great way to get people to know about your company. When a company ties up with a university, it can participate in career fairs and feature in promotional emails that the university sends out. Students get a chance to gain some experience and build skills for their future jobs. All in all, Singapore has a straightforward infrastructure set up to hire interns which makes it a worthy option for companies to explore the existing talent pool.

Happy Hiring!

For More Information:

Employment Act and who it covers:

Hours of work, over time pay and rest day:

SPRING Singapore:

Singapore Payroll Software Show & Tell

Singapore Payroll EventWe are holding another event at our office in the Ocean Financial Centre at Raffles Place in Singapore on May 14th 2015. At this free event you will learn about the pitfalls of manual time and attendance systems, how PayrollHero can help and the amazing business intelligence that can be delivered to your iPhone in real time.

The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, RedMart, BGC and many others are happy clients… come learn why they and many others subscribe to PayrollHero for their time, attendance, scheduling, HR and payroll needs.

Register Here

Learn How to be a Retail Hero | Singapore

We are holding another free event in Singapore where you will learn about the costs and challenges involved with traditional time keeping methods as well as see how PayrollHero is designed to not only streamline your HR operations but add some fun into them as well.

In this session you will learn;

– How you can gather Customer Feedback using a time and attendance tool
– Gather Applicants using a time and attendance tool
– Built company culture
– Digitize your HR departments so that all employee records are online in a safe and secure manner
– Get access to real time business intelligence from your data so that you can make better decisions.

With PayrollHero, you can be a super hero of an HR/Payroll Manager!

Register here to attend.

Singapore Payroll EventDid you know PayrollHero can qualify for Singapore’s Spring Innovation & Capability Voucher (ICV) – Integrated Solutions (IS). (Read More)

Singapore’s Spring Innovation & Capability Voucher (ICV) – Integrated Solutions (IS)

spring-logo2Fantastic news! SMEs in Singapore who are keen to adopt the PayrollHero solution for their business can apply for the Innovation & Capability Voucher (ICV) – Integrated Solutions (IS) offered by Spring Singapore. That means that you can potentially get S$5000 or more back from your purchase of PayrollHero.

Companies need to meet the following SME criteria to be eligible for ICV application:

  • Registered and operating in Singapore
  • Have a minimum of 30% local shareholding
  • Have group annual turnover of not more than $100 million OR group employment size of not more than 200 employees

You can learn more about ICV on SPRING’s website. If you want to find out if your company is eligible and how the process works, contact PayrollHero for more details.