Singapore's Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and Singapore Business Federation (SBF) have partnered on a temporary scheme that would help companies in the manufacturing and services sector better manage their manpower needs, in light of the current COVID-19 situation.

This scheme is already in place for the construction, process and marine sectors, and was extended to the above-mentioned sectors following an agreement by MOM, SBF, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Singapore National Employers' Federation, and the National Trades Union Congress.

The scheme will work as follows:

Starting from 2 March 2020, and valid for a period of six months, employers in these sectors will be allowed to hire existing PRC work permit holders (WPH) who are already in Singapore, with the agreement of their current employers. These companies are currently only allowed to hire PRC WPHs after they've left Singapore.

MOM and SBF will work to facilitate the transfer of the PRC WPHs between companies, within the same sector. Employers who wish to hire existing PRC WPHs, or to transfer their PRC WPHs to another employer, they can contact SBF, but do note that all other prevailing WP criteria still apply for new applications.

In line with this scheme, MOM has prepared a list of FAQs for employers to note, such as who this scheme is available for, whether any fees are involved, and if the manpower can be transferred across sectors. These can be found here.

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