Mediation & Arbitration

Quick Facts
  • Fees:$20
  • Processing Time: Date of mediation meeting - 2 to 3 weeks after filing of application

When to Refer a Dispute to IAC

Where a dispute arises between an employer and a union with regard to employment, non-employment or terms and conditions of employment, they should in every case try to resolve the dispute through discussion and negotiation between themselves. If that fails, they should seek the assistance of the Ministry of Manpower to conciliate between the parties. Only where these efforts are not successful should the dispute be referred to IAC.

IAC's Powers to Arbitrate Disputes

The Industrial Relations Act provides for the IAC to hear, inquire into and investigate every dispute submitted to the Court and settle the dispute by arbitration. Depending on the nature of the dispute, the Court may be constituted either by the President of the IAC and a member each from the Court's Employer and Employee Panels, or by the President alone. Arbitration provides an economical and relatively fast, simple means of settling disputes fairly and impartially between employers and unions, thus minimizing the need for the parties to resort to industrial action.

How to Refer a Dispute to IAC

A dispute may be referred to IAC for arbitration by:

  • Employer and union jointly submitting the dispute, which may arise from the operation of a CA or outside of a CA
  • Either employer or union submitting a dispute on matters specified in the Industrial Relations Act e.g. dispute over annual wage increase, AWS or bonus; application for a Referee of the Court to hear a dispute arising out of the operation of the CA while the CA is in force etc.
  • Minister for Manpower by notification in the Government Gazette
  • President of Singapore by proclamation where referral of the dispute is deemed to be in the public interest