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Tightening of work pass requirements for foreigners in Singapore

  • 31 août 2020 31 août 2020
  • Asie Pacifique

  • Coronavirus

Written by Thomas Choo and Heather Lim

To further support employment opportunities of locals in Singapore (i.e. Singapore citizens and Singapore permanent residents), the Ministry of Manpower of Singapore ("Ministry") announced on 27 August 2020 changes to the Employment Pass ("EP") and S Pass requirements.   

A summary of the changes is set out below:

  1. Increase in EP minimum qualifying monthly salary

From 1 September 2020, the minimum monthly salary requirement for all new EP applicants will be raised from S$3,900 to S$4,500, with more experienced candidates requiring higher salaries.

For all EP renewal applicants, this new salary requirement will only take effect from 1 May 2021.

  1. Increase in EP minimum qualifying monthly salary for Financial Services Sector

Following the abovementioned increase of the minimum monthly salary requirement for all EP applicants, the minimum monthly salary requirement for new EP applicants in the Financial Services Sector will be raised to S$5,000 with effect from 1 December 2020, with more experienced candidates requiring higher salaries.

For EP renewal applicants in the Financial Services Sector, this new salary requirement will only take effect from 1 May 2021.

  1. Increase in S Pass minimum qualifying monthly salary

From 1 October 2020, the minimum monthly salary requirement for all new S Pass applicants will be raised from S$2,400 to S$2,500, with more experienced candidates requiring higher salaries.

For all S Pass renewal applicants, this new salary requirement will only take effect from 1 May 2021.

There will be no changes to S Pass levies and quotas.

  1. Considerations for EP and S Pass applications

The Ministry has emphasised that in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and to encourage employers to build and retain a core of Singapore employees, it would be strictly taking into account the following when considering EP and S Pass applications:

  1. Whether the employer has kept up support of local PMETs (i.e. professionals, managers, executives and Technicians) in its employment; and
  2. Whether the employer has been responsive to government efforts to help recruit and train more Singaporean PMETs.
  1. Fair consideration framework

Currently, under the fair consideration framework, before submitting a new EP application, employers are required to advertise the job vacancy on MyCareersFuture.sg for 14 days and consider local applicants fairly.

With effect from 1 October 2020, the fair consideration framework job advertising requirement will be changed as follows:

  1. The job advertising requirement will extend to new S Pass applications as well; and
  2. The minimum duration that the job vacancy is required to be advertised on MyCareersFuture.sg for both EP and S Pass applicants will be extended to 28 days (from 14 days).

Apart from the above-mentioned changes, the Ministry will put employers whose PMET workforce profiles suggest a bias against locals on the fair consideration framework watchlist, with greater scrutiny given to their EP and S Pass applications.

For more information, please refer to the Ministry's press release, which can be accessed here.

Fin

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