On 13 August 2021, the Ministry of Manpower (“MOM”) announced that the Government is introducing new measures to help companies in the construction, marine shipyard and process sectors retain their existing work permit holders (“WPHs”) and facilitate the inflow of new WPHs.
The following measures were announced:
- WPHs whose work permits are expiring between July and December 2021 will be allowed to renew their permits for up to two years, even if they do not meet the renewal criteria. This includes WPHs who are reaching the maximum period of employment, or who are reaching the maximum employment age. Firms also do not need to maintain at least 10% of their WPHs as higher skilled workers.
- From July 2021, the validity of In-Principle Approvals (IPAs) of all work pass holders, including employment passes, S passes and work permits, who are unable to enter Singapore due to border control measures, will be extended by up to one year.
- The Government will partner the Singapore Contractors Association Ltd to introduce a six-month retention scheme (1 September 2021 till 28 February 2022) for experienced construction WPHs whose previous employment has been terminated.
- From 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022, the minimum Period of Employment (POE) requirement for WPHs to qualify for Man-Year Entitlement (MYE) will be removed for new and renewal WPHs from non-traditional sources and the People’s Republic of China for firms in the construction and process sectors.
These measures provide a measure of relief to various players in the built environment sector who have been affected by the manpower crunch that has been exacerbated by Covid-19, in particular, employers, contractors and subcontractors of construction projects.
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