SINGAPORE: Ministry of Manpower announces changes to Foreign Workforce Policy

The Singaporean Ministry of Manpower has announced changes to its Foreign Workforce Policy, including increased salary requirements for S pass holders and an expansion of the Fair Consideration Framework job advertising requirements for Employment Pass (EP).

EP applications

Effective 1 July 2018, jobs advertising Employment Pass applications must comply with new conditions.  One of the changes involves the number of employees a firm must hold to be considered. Where previously only firms with more than 25 employees were considered, with the new changes firms with 10 employees and more will be considered. 

The monthly fixed salary cannot exceed SGD 15,000 which currently sits at SGD 12,000. Therefore, after the regulations have been implemented, firms with 10 to 24 employees and salaries between SGD 12,000 and SGD 15,000 will no longer be exempt from the advertising requirement. 

S Pass Salary Criteria

Following the changes, the minimum salary requirement for S pass holders will be increased in two steps. From January 2019 the minimum qualifying salary will be raised to SGD 2300. From 1 January 2020, the salary will be raised to SGD 2400. 

Transition arrangements

Current S pass holders whose passes will expire between 1 January 2019 and 30 June 2019 can renew their passes for up to one year under the previous year’s criteria. From 1 July 2019 renewals will have to meet the prevailing S Pass criteria.

The same regulations exist for S pass holders whose cards will expire between 1 January 2020 and 30 June 2020. All renewals from 1 July 2020 onward will have to meet the prevailing S Pass criteria.

How does this affect the client?

 It is advisable for employers of foreign nationals to consult their immigration specialist to help planning for these changes.




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