As Minister Tan explains, the suggestion to grant additional foreign worker quota for firms to hire non-peak night hour workers is effectively a loosening of the Dependency Ratio Ceilings (DRCs).
Singapore's Minister for Manpower Dr. Tan See Leng has addressed whether the Ministry (of Manpower) will consider an increase in the number of work passes for some specific job types such as production line operators, which can be performed during non-peak night hours.
As Minister Tan explains, the suggestion to grant additional foreign worker quota for firms to hire non-peak night hour workers is effectively a loosening of the Dependency Ratio Ceilings (DRCs), ) which refers to the maximum permitted ratio of foreign workers to the total workforce that a company in the stipulated sector is allowed to hire.
The DRCs were implemented to regulate the size of Singapore's foreign workforce and ensure that businesses do not become over-reliant on foreign workers, which could leave businesses vulnerable to various disruptions.
At the same time, introducing concessions for this category of workers would mean that they need to return home on a daily basis (for example, in Johor Bahru or Batam) instead of staying in Singapore so as to avoid straining Singapore’s infrastructure. Therefore, Minister Tan states that enforcing such a rule would be "impractical and resource intensive".
"Nonetheless, we understand that some businesses may require additional foreign manpower on a transitional basis for reasons such as business expansion."
Minister Tan urges such employers to tap on existing schemes such as the Manpower for Strategic Economic Priorities (M-SEP) scheme, which provides temporary flexibilities for businesses that contribute to Singapore’s strategic economic priorities. Businesses that participate in specified programmes or activities relating to investments, innovation or internationalisation, and commit to hiring or training locals, can hire S Pass and Work Permit Holders above the prevailing DRC for two years.
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