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Final Reminder – Employers to Ensure Workers Undergo Routine Testing by 5 September [New 1 Sept] 

Workers staying in dormitories, workers in the Construction, Marine and Process sectors and personnel who go into the work sites, are required to undergo Rostered Routine Testing (RRT) every 14 days. 

To date, around 1,500 employers (8%) have yet to log into the Health Promotion Board’s Swab Registration System (SRS) to schedule their workers for RRT; 62,000 workers yet to be scheduledThose who have not done so by 5 Sep will have their AccessCode Status reflected as Red and will not be able to return to work. 

Employers are reminded to quickly schedule appointment slots for their workers to avoid disruption to business operations; check SRS regularly for new workers whom appointments need to be scheduled for. 

  • Available test locations are indicated in the SRS, when booking appointment dates. 
  • Employers who face issues with using the SRS can write in to AskSRS@hpb.gov.sg 
  • Employers who behave irresponsibly and persistently fail to schedule workers for RRT may have their work pass privileges curtailed. 
  • BCA has taken action against a group of firms and their workers who have failed to undergo RRT for a prolonged period of time, despite multiple reminders; rescinded approval to resume work for 1,148 workers thus far.  

More details here.

Advisory to employers on providing upkeep and maintenance of foreign workers living in dormitories (New 30 Aug) 

MOM has received feedback about employers who failed to pay for rental and arrange for meals for their foreign workers living in dormitories. Employers are responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of their foreign workers in Singapore even after their Work Permits have been cancelled.  

They must continue to provide the workers with acceptable accommodation, medical treatment, food and access to daily supplies. 

  • Employers are to pay rent promptly to their dormitory operators and landlords according to the rental contracts or tenancy agreements.  
  • Employers who have hired caterers to provide food should ensure that the cooked meals are safe to eat and sent to the workers on time.  
  • In cases where the dormitory operators are providing food to the workers on the employers’ behalf, employers must pay the dormitory operators accordingly. 
  • Employers who fail to fulfil these responsibilities would be in breach of the Employment of Foreign Manpower (Work Passes) Regulations 2012.  
  • The Controller of Work Passes can disallow them from hiring new or renewing existing foreign workers. They may also have their security bonds forfeited. 

More details here.

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Tightening of Work Pass Requirements [New 27 Aug] 

The Government is providing a strong package of support to businesses that are in a position to retain or expand local employment, as well as comprehensive measures to help local jobseekers secure meaningful work. 

Given the weakness in the job market and uncertain growth outlook, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will update the Employment Pass (EP) and S Pass criteria to suit prevailing conditions. These changes will complement the extension of the Jobs Support Scheme and the introduction of the Jobs Growth Incentive which were announced earlier. 

Tighten Salary Requirements for EP 

  • The minimum qualifying salary for EP was raised to $3,900 from 1 May 2020.  
  • From 1 September 2020, the salary requirement will be raised further to $4,500 for all new applicants.  
  • The qualifying salaries for older and more experienced EP candidates in their 40s will be raised correspondingly and will remain around double the minimum qualifying salary for the youngest applicants.  
  • For renewal applicants, these new salary criteria will come into effect from 1 May 2021

Higher Salary Requirements in Financial Services sector 

  • The new salary criteria for EPs that take effect from 1 September 2020 will equally apply to the Financial Services sector. 
  • However, from 1 December 2020, the minimum qualifying salary for EPs in the Financial Services sector will be further raised to $5,000 for new applicants. 
  • Similarly, the qualifying salaries for older and more experienced EP candidates in the Financial Services sector will be raised, with those in their 40s needing to meet around double the minimum qualifying salary for the youngest applicants. 
  • For renewal applicants, these new salary criteria will come into effect from 1 May 2021. 
  • S Pass Salary Requirements also raised, no changes to levies and quota 
  • The S Pass minimum qualifying salary was raised from $2,200 to $2,300 from 1 January 2019 and to $2,400 from 1 January 2020.  
  • The S Pass minimum qualifying salary will be further raised from $2,400 to $2,500, with qualifying salaries for older and more experienced S Pass candidates revised accordingly.  
  • The changes to S Pass qualifying salaries will apply to new applicants from 1 October 2020, and to renewal applicants from 1 May 2021.  
  • There will be no further changes to levies and quotas in this round of adjustments. The previously announced reductions in the S Pass sub-Dependency Ratio Ceiling (sub-DRC) for the Services, Construction, Marine Shipyard and Process sectors will proceed as planned 

Additional Considerations for EP and S Pass Applications 

  • In evaluating EP and S Pass applications, we therefore take into account whether the employer has  
  • (i) kept up support of local PMETs in their employment and 
  • (ii) been responsive to government efforts to help them recruit and train more Singaporean PMETs.  
  • Conversely, we also take into account whether the employer has discriminated against qualified Singaporeans. 

Fair Consideration Framework (FCF) 

  • Before submitting EP applications, employers must have fairly considered all candidates.  
  • The FCF requires employers to first advertise jobs on MyCareersFuture.sg (MCF) to make these positions known to local jobseekers 
  • We will be taking two further steps:  
  • Extend the FCF Job Advertising Requirement to S Pass Applications  
  • Minimum FCF Job Advertising Duration for EP and S Pass Applications will be Doubled to 28 Days 

These updates to our EP and S Pass criteria are meant to keep them responsive and current. We will continue to provide businesses strong support for growing and strengthening the Singaporean core, complemented by a diverse foreign workforce. 

More details here.

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Job Situation Report (as of August 26) 

This week’s Jobs Situation Report focuses on job, traineeship and attachment, and training opportunities available in the manufacturing sector, with a focus on the biomedical science sub-sector.  

Manufacturing remains a significant engine of the Singapore economy, contributing about 20 per cent to its GDP and employing about 472,000 workers. To sharpen manufacturing competitiveness, Singapore has embarked on a series of transformation initiatives. 

To date, close to 1,000 companies in the manufacturing sector have come onboard SGUnited Jobs and Skills programmes, offering more than 6,300 jobs, traineeship and attachment, and training opportunities to local jobseekers. Among which, close to 5,100 are for PMETs and more than 1,200 are for non-PMETs.  

Between April 2020 and June 2020, more than 730 jobseekers have entered the manufacturing sector with support from the SGUnited Jobs and Skills programmes. About 62% are mid-career individuals who participated in WSG’s Professional Conversion Programmes.  

SGUnited Jobs and Skills Opportunities in the Biomedical Science Sub-Sector 

  • To date, there are close to 400 opportunities offered by more than 50 companies in the biomedical science sector under the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package.  
  • In anticipation of an increase in manpower demand as the biopharmaceutical manufacturing industry – one of biomedical science subsectors – continues to grow, WSG and the Economic Development Board (EDB) have worked with industry stakeholders to launch the new PCP for Advanced Biopharmaceuticals Manufacturing Professionals and Executives. 
  • Together with the PCP for Medical Technology Engineer and Assistant Engineer, an additional 450 mid-career jobseekers can look forward to new careers in the biomedical science sector over the next three years.

Assisting more jobseekers through Career Matching Services 

  • From January to July 2020, 36,400 jobseekers received basic career advisory or job search assistance through WSG and NTUC-e2i’s career matching services. This is 30% more than the same period in 2019.  
  • Together with other career conversion and reskilling programmes and activities to address mismatches, WSG placed a total of about 19,000 jobseekers from January to June 2020. This is about 15% more than the same period in 2019.  

More details here.

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Addendum – Advisory for employers and dormitory operators to submit essential errands form for migrant workers to carry out essential errands  

MOM had earlier issued separate advisories (to employers and dormitory operators) on 1 August 2020 to facilitate migrant workers’ exit for a list of essential errands. (Advisories available on MOM website)Following feedback that we received, we have updated the list of essential errands at www.mom.gov.sg/essential-errands-form. 

For further queries, please refer to the FAQs or alternatively, please contact us at Online enquiry 

More details here. 

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MOM’s Addendum to the President’s Address 2020 [New 26 Aug] 

With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting jobs and livelihoods, MOM will continue to help workers and employers tackle immediate challenges and prepare them for the future of work, while deepening and expanding efforts to ensure fairness at work. 

The key initiatives highlighted in MOM’s addendum are: 

  • Ensuring a fair chance for meaningful employment 
  • Fostering an inclusive and healthy workforce 
  • Championing family-friendly workplaces

More details here. 

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Queries on Covid-related matters  

Refer to MOM’s FAQs here.

For advices on further queries, contact MOM through online form here.