Singapore Introduces New Measures to Help Business Cope with COVID-19
Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower has announced a three-month extension of the levy payment timeline for small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) to provide more flexibility in their cash-flow management. It also announced a levy waiver for up to 90 days for foreign workers on overseas leave
In addition, MOM urged firms with excess manpower to prioritise locals to be retained in their jobs. These firms should also give consent for their existing foreign workers to be transferred other employers facing manpower shortages.
Currently, the foreign worker levy incurred in the any month is due for payment by the 14th of the following month. Employers who fail to make payment on the due date will have their new and renewal work pass applications rejected. Two consecutive months of late or non-payment of levies will result in all existing work passes being revoked. With immediate effect, MOM will provide SMEs with an additional three months to make the levy payment. In total, SMEs will have up to 5 months to pay for the foreign worker levy from the month it is incurred before revocation action kicks in. This temporary relief measure will apply to levies incurred in the year 2020. Around 60,000 firms stand to benefit from this measure. Employers who use the extended payment timeline offered by MOM are encouraged to retain existing workers and should not be employing new foreign workers. MOM will hence allow renewals but not new applications of work passes from these firms.