To help employers cope with Singapore’s extended Circuit Breaker period, the Government has introduced a series of support measures including an extended Job Support Scheme (JSS) wage subsidy, and an extension of the Foreign Worker Levy (FWL) waiver and FWL rebate.

In a press release yesterday, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) revealed additional details of the FWL levy rebate.

As part of the Solidarity Budget, employers are also given an FWL rebate of $750 for each S Pass or Work Permit holder employed as of 29 February 2020. In addition, levies due to be paid in April 2020 have been waived.

The Government has extended these measures by providing: FWL rebate of $750 for each S Pass or Work Permit Holder employed as of 1 May 2020.

To receive additional support, employers are to acknowledge that levy rebate and waiver will be used to support FWs

MOM noted that the financial support to employers is to help them continue paying migrant workers’ salaries, as part of  Singapore’s commitment to look after their livelihoods during this difficult period.

The MOM is appreciative of the cooperation of most employers who have understood and fulfilled their obligations to their migrant workers.

However, to ensure consistency of understanding and practice, before receiving the rebate, MOM requires employers to make an acknowledgement at this link by logging in with their CorpPass.

The FWL rebate will be processed and credited as follows:

  • Companies with PayNow Corporate accounts must acknowledge by 8 May 2020 to receive the FWL rebate on 29 May 2020; those that acknowledge by 22 May 2020 will receive the FWL rebate on 19 June 2020.
  • Companies without PayNow Corporate accounts must acknowledge by 22 May 2020 to receive the payment by cheque from 3 July 2020.

Reminder to treat all their employees fairly and responsibly

MOM reminds employers to treat all their employees regardless of nationality, fairly and responsibly.

With regards to feedback that companies have not paid salaries during the Circuit Breaker period, MOM stated: “While we understand that employers may themselves face difficulties, it is not reasonable to implement extended no-pay leave or other wage-saving measures without engaging or seeking the consent of their employees. It is also unacceptable to threaten employees with termination should they report such issues to MOM.”

MOM noted that valid complaints will be investigated and JSS/FWL payouts for these companies may be suspended until investigations complete.

Where there is evidence of irresponsible or unfair treatment, employers may be denied future employment support (including JSS, FWL rebate and waiver) and have their work pass privileges curtailed.

Additionally, MOM urged employers to keep their employees’ interests in mind even as they make adjustments during this challenging period.

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Photo / 123RF