In July 1948, 23 employers in Singapore formed a trade union of employers known as “The Federation of Industrialists and Traders in Singapore”. Its primary objective was to promote and protect the general interest of employers. With the growth in its membership and the rapid expansion of industries at the time, the name of the Federation was changed to the “Singapore Employers Federation (SEF)” in August 1953.
The National Employers Council (NEC) was also formed by a group of employers. It was founded in 1965. The objective of the NEC was also to serve employers.
On 1 July 1980, the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) was established through the amalgamation of the SEF and the NEC. Before the merger, SEF had 591 members and NEC had 226 members. To date, membership figures total to more than 3,300.
SNEF is registered as a trade union under the Trade Unions Act. It is the national trade union of employers, representing the interests of all sectors of the economy (and is thus the counterpart of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC). It is an independent, autonomous not-for-profit organization funded by membership fees and revenue from consultancy, training, research and other activities.