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MOM's announcement about work passes in 2020

Covid-19 undoubtedly has left a negative impact on Singapore, including the employment market. In order to secure more jobs for local employees, along with the Job Support Scheme and Jobs Growth Incentive, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has decided to tighten the requirements of work passes offered to foreigners, namely Employment Pass and S Pass.

1. Employment Pass

From 1 September 2020, MOM has increased the salary criteria for Employment Pass from $3,900 to $4,500.

Moreover, for the first time ever, MOM has announced a higher salary requirement for a specific sector. Particularly, the salary threshold for foreign professionals working in the financial services sector has been increased to $5,000.

For the renewal of Employment Pass, these new salary criteria will take effect from 1 May 2021.

Note: The qualifying salary for older experienced applicants in their 40s will be higher, around twice as high as the minimum threshold of the youngest applicants.

2. S Pass

From 1 October 2020, the salary requirement of S Pass will be raised from $2,400 to $2,500. Similar to Employment Pass, the minimum salary threshold for older experienced applicants will be higher. For the renewal of S Pass, the salary requirement will apply from 1 May 2021.

No changes apply to levies and quotas.

3. Fair Consideration Framework (FCF)

The FCF is set up to prevent employers in Singapore from favoring foreign applicants when it comes to hiring. In order to secure more job opportunities for local staff, the framework requires employers to first advertise jobs on MyCareersFuture.sg to give first priority to local jobseekers.

MOM also take two further steps to support their local workforces:

  • Extending the FCF job advertising requirements to S Pass applicants
  • Extending minimum FCF job advertising duration for EP and S Pass applicants from 14 days to 28 days (to give local applicants more time to react to job opportunities and give employers more time to consider)

Any hiring discrimination toward local Singaporeans is not allowed. Employers who have this negative hiring practice will have their work passes cut off, or even face legal prosecution.

4. Conclusion

Changes to salary requirements for Employment Pass and S Pass are meant to secure job opportunities for local jobseekers. Enterprises or businesses in Singapore are encouraged to hire and train more local PMETs (professionals, managers, executives and technicians).

Should you have any further questions about work passes in Singapore, please contact us for answers!

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