Singapore: Additional Employment Related COVID-19 Subsidies
In light of the COVID-19 situation stabilising in Singapore but noting the weakness of the labour market in Singapore, the Singapore government announced additional support for workers and jobs (“Support“) on 17 August 2020. The Support is designed to provide flexibility for adjustments as the COVID-19 pandemic progresses.
A summary of the employment-related subsidies provided by the Support is set out below:
- Extension of Jobs Support Scheme (commonly known as “JSS”)
The Jobs Support Scheme has been extended by a further 7 months from August 2020 until March 2021.
The Jobs Support Scheme support will differ sector to sector ranging from 10% to 50% wage support, with higher wage support provided to sectors that have been severely affected (and expected to continue to be severely affected) (such as aerospace, aviation, tourism and built environment).
Sectors that are managing well such as biomedical sciences, financial services, and information and communications technology will only be provided with 10% wage support until December 2020.
- Jobs Growth Incentive
The Jobs Growth Incentive has been introduced to support hiring in growing sectors such as, amongst others, biomedical sciences, financial services, information and communications technology, healthcare and long-term care.
The Jobs Growth Incentive aims to increase headcount of local workers in these sectors over the next 6 months as follows:
- The Government will co-pay up to 25% – 50% of salaries (depending on age) of all new local hires for 12 months, subject to a cap.
These companies however must maintain a local workforce size of more than 10 if they want to enjoy the incentive for the full 12 months.
The Ministry of Manpower of Singapore is expected to provide further details later in August 2020.
Apart from the above-mentioned employment-related subsidies, the Support also provides for other subsidies to help individuals and businesses in other areas. For more information on the additional support, please refer here.
Part of the extension of the Jobs Support Scheme is to mitigate the risk of retrenchment during this period, which is expected to escalate. Employers should take into consideration the extension of the Jobs Support Scheme before considering whether they would ultimately need to retrench their employees as a last resort.
Written by Thomas Choo and Heather Lim
Clyde & Co Clasis attorneys are available to assist you with these and other workplace issues. For more information, visit clydeco.com/locations/office/singapore.
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