Last night, Minister of Manpower, Josephine Teo, announced that the government will provide companies in Singapore affected by Malaysia’s COVID-19 lockdown with an allowance of S$50 per worker per night for 14 nights.

This comes on the back of Malaysia’s COVID-19 lockdown from today (18 March 2020) to Tuesday, 31 March 2020.

At a press conference, attended by CNA, she said: “MOM (Ministry of Manpower) has been working with tripartite partners to support the affected companies. If they need their workers to stay in Singapore, the way to help them is to find suitable accommodation.”

Minister Teo added that affected workers should first try to stay with friends, family and colleagues who can accommodate them, and if not – hotels or dormitories.

More details on how to apply for the financial support will be shared soon, she said, adding that the support put together was a temporary relief measure and companies will be given time to assess what they want to do in terms of their manpower and to work out “sustainable arrangements”.

In a press release yesterday, MOM revealed the Singapore government has worked with private and public sectors to make available a range of short-term housing options for workers who cannot stay with relatives. These include:

  • Hotels or dormitories: There is a range of hotel/dormitory options currently available. The Government is working with the hotel/dormitory providers on providing lower-cost rentals.
  • Accommodation, such as rooms and whole property in both the HDB flats and private residential property market.

Employers are advised to assess their manpower needs carefully and make a considered decision as to whether they need their affected workers to remain in Singapore.

The MOM noted that firms that provide essential services such as healthcare, security, cleaning, waste management, facilities management, logistics and transport will be prioritised when providing assistance.

Employers who require housing assistance can apply for support for their Malaysian work pass holders here.

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