By the end of this month, over 95,000 employers in Singapore will receive about $1.9 billion in Wage Credit Scheme (WCS) payouts.
According to a press release, around 10,000 more employers will be benefiting from WCS this year compared to 2015 and about 70% of the total sum will go to SMEs.
This third tranche of WCS payouts will co-fund 40% of the wage increases given in 2013, 2014 and 2015 to more than 730,000 qualifying Singaporean employees who earned a gross monthly wage of $4,000 and below.
By 31 March 2016, employers who are eligible for the payouts will receive letters from the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) informing them of the total WCS payout they will be receiving.
Those who wish to check their eligibility can do so here.
The WCS payouts will be credited directly into the employers’ GIRO bank account, used for income tax and GST purposes, or issued as cheques to employers.
Those wishing to appeal should note that appeals regarding the WCS payouts must be submitted to IRAS by 30 June 2016 for consideration on a case-by-case basis.
Introduced in 2013 as part of the Transition Support Package, the WCS is intended to help businesses cope with rising wage costs so that they can free up resources to invest in productivity, and share their productivity gains with their employees.
"The Government has extended the WCS for two more years, i.e. 2016 and 2017, with 20% co-funding of wage increases given to Singaporean employees.
"Employers who give qualifying wage increases to Singaporean employees in 2016 and 2017, and/or who sustain qualifying wage increases given in 2015 and 2016, will be eligible for the WCS payouts in 2017 and 2018 respectively," the press release stated.