Tightening Singapore’s Foreign Workforce Policy

Following the recent announcement by Singapore Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on 27 August 2020, multiple changes and tightening measures were implemented for Singapore’s foreign workforce policy.

Salary requirement for Employment Pass (EP) holders

From 1st September 2020, the minimum qualifying salary for new Employment Pass candidates will be raised by $600 to $4,500. In addition, starting from 1st December, employment pass holders in the financial service sector will have to meet a higher salary requirement of $5,000. Qualifying salaries of older and more experienced Employment Pass candidates in their 40s have also seen an increase, calling an amount double of the minimum qualifying salary for the youngest applicants. For renewal applicants, these new salary criteria will come into effect from 1st May 2021.

Salary requirement for S Pass holders

From 1st October 2020, the minimum qualifying salary for new S Pass candidates will be raised by $100 to $2,500. There will be no further changes to levies and quotas in this round of adjustments. Similarly, qualifying salaries of older and more experienced S Pass candidates in their 40s will be revised accordingly. For renewal applicants, these new salary criteria will come into effect from 1st May 2021.

Changes to Fair Consideration Framework (FCF)

From 1st October 2020, the FCF job advertising requirement will be extended to S Pass applications. In addition, the minimum FCF job advertising duration for EP and S Pass applications will be doubled from 14 to 28 days. Employers whose PMET workforce profiles suggest a bias against locals will be put under a Watchlist and their work pass applications will be subjected to greater scrutiny.

Summary

The slew of changes to Singapore’s foreign workforce policy is implemented in the efforts to combat rising retrenchments and address concerns about the competition between Singaporeans and Foreigners in the job market. The expansion of FCF advertising requirement is done in a bid to promote greater awareness of openings for mid-skilled jobs among local candidates. Reference: Ministry of Manpower website 

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