Negotiate and resolve issues with unions through a practical application of industrial relations in Singapore


In Singapore, industrial relations are based on a tripartite system. This is evident at the national level with our tripartite partners, NTUC and the unions representing labour, SNEF and other employer organisations representing employers and the Government working together issuing guidelines and recommendations on wages, retirement and reemployment, retrenchment and many more on employment related matters. Tripartism has worked well for Singapore to attract investments and businesses to excel.

However, we are well aware that industrial relations issues at the Company level are determined by a combination of many factors, both at the national and the industry levels. Relationship based on mutual trust between management and employees takes a long time to build.

Preparations and negotiations for a collective agreement can be a daunting exercise, even for the most experienced human resource practitioners. Knowing management-union relationship, communication skills and problem solving skills learnt in this workshop will give you an added advantage to the effective negotiations for a collective agreement.

In this workshop, you will also learn how industrial relations issues and disputes are resolved. For instance, in the event that management and union reach a deadlock over their negotiations, how your case need to be referred for conciliation with the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and arbitration with the Industrial Arbitration Court (IAC).

At the end of this one day workshop, you will have a better understanding of the industrial relations legislations and their practical applications, especially in the area of collective bargaining and collective agreement and the role of MOM and IAC.

Course Details: 


• Understanding industrial relations and the legal framework

• Tripartism and the role of employers, unions and the government

• Trade union recognition and their rights in collective bargaining

• Understanding the collective bargaining process

• Discussion on management’s prerogatives and negotiable issues

• Analysing union’s proposal for a collective agreement

• Preparations for a collective agreement negotiations with the union

• Conducting a win-win collective agreement negotiation

• Formal process of negotiating and counter proposing with the union

• Drafting clauses in the collective agreement and certification of the agreement by the Industrial Arbitration Court (IAC)

• Improving workplace relationship partnering with the union


1. Overview of the Industrial Relations System in Singapore

• Difference between employee relations and industrial relations

• Maintaining industrial peace through legislations

• Tripartism in Singapore

- Role of employers and Employer Associations

- Role of NTUC and the unions

- Role of Government – Ministry of Manpower (MOM)


2. Recognition of Trade Unions

• Definition of recognition

• Process for Trade Union recognition

• Determining Union recognition by Secret Ballot


3. Collective Bargaining

• Purpose of Collective Bargaining

• Definition of Collective Bargaining

• Process of Collective Bargaining

• Understanding Management Prerogatives and Negotiable Issues

• Invitation to commence Collective Bargaining


4. Preparation Prior to Collective Bargaining

• Setting-up the Negotiation Team

• Analysing Union’s proposal for a Collective Agreement

• Doing the Research o Getting a Mandate

• Strategies and Tactics – proposing and counter-proposing


5. Negotiating for a Collective Agreement

• Contexts of Negotiations

• Administrative Arrangements

• Scheduling the Meetings

• Meeting Premises

• Recording of Proceedings



6. Drafting a Collective Agreement

• Principles of Drafting a Collective Agreement

• Guidelines for Drafting a Collective Agreement

• Duration of Collective Agreement, Backdating and continuity upon expiry of Collective Agreement

• Scope of representation of employees in a Collective Agreement

• Variations and Renewal of Collective Agreement

• Tripartite Guidelines and its application to the Collective Agreement

• Effect of Changes in the Law

• Process of certification by the Industrial Arbitration Court (IAC)


7. Dispute Settlement Between Employers and Trade Unions

• Definition of Trade Dispute

• Involvement in a Trade Dispute

• Role of Ministry of Manpower (MOM)

- Conciliation process

- Representation at Conciliation Meetings

• Role of Industrial Arbitration Court (IAC)

- Arbitration process

- Ex-parte application

- Joint application

- IAC Awards



• Presentation

• Exercises

• Case studies

• Discussion


Who should attend

• Human Resource Practitioners

• Human Resource Managers & Executives

• Line Managers

• Supervisors & Executives

• Any other persons keen to learn about Collective Bargaining and Collective Agreements



Othman Marican

Othman Marican

Othman Marican has more than 30 years of experience as a practitioner in human resource management and industrial relations. He has spent many years in the labour movement and also held senior human resource management positions during his tenure of work.

During the span of his career, he has held several appointments at the national level including being a Member of the NTUC Central Committee, National Wages Council, National Productivity Board (now known as SPRING Singapore), Skills Development Fund Advisory Council. Among others, he has also served as a panel member of the Industrial Arbitration Court.

Othman has been a trainer / lecturer in many varied local training institutions since 1993 and currently serving as member of the board of directors in a community-based professional organisation and chairman of the human resource committee.

Administrative Details:

Scheduled Dates

• 26 June 2024  (Face-to-Face)  (1st Run)


• One day

• 9 am to 5:30 pm



A Certificate of Attendance will be awarded at the end of the course.



• S$ 566.80 w/GST (S$520.00) for Community/Corporate

• S$ 599.50 w/GST (S$550.00) for Non-Subscriber


Grants/Subsidies/SkillsFuture Credit are not applicable.


• Coffee & tea with snacks during the morning and afternoon breaks

• Lunch will be provided

Past Participants:

Past Participants' Comments

Past Participant Organisations