28 July 2020

On 17 July 2020, the Ministry of Manpower (“MOM”) issued an “Updated advisory on salary and leave arrangements” (“Advisory”). The Advisory was first issued on 6 April 2020 to provide guidance to employers and employees on salary and leave arrangements amid the heightened safe distancing measures to suspend activities at most workplace premises during the circuit breaker. This article summarises the updates to the advisory in relation to the (1) employer use of Jobs Support Scheme (“JSS”) payouts, and (2) Foreign Worker Levy (“FWL”) waiver and rebates.

Employer use of JSS payouts

The Advisory was updated to state that where employers are not able to adhere to the recommendations on how the JSS payouts received should be applied, and where there is no mutual agreement between the employer and the employees on how the JSS payouts are to be used between ensuring business survival and providing salary support to employees, either party can contractually terminate the employment with notice as required under the employment contract or Employment Act.

FWL waiver and rebates

For businesses not in the Ministry of Trade and Industry’s permitted list to resume full operations on-site, and for all businesses in the construction, marine shipyard, and process sectors, the Government is extending the FWL waiver and rebate for up to two months to July 2020. The Advisory states that based on current projections, the vast majority of the workers in these sectors living in dormitories will be cleared and able to resume work by mid-August, and the FWL waivers will cease from August 2020. However, the levy rebate will be extended at a lower rate to provide continued support to businesses subject to more stringent Safe Management Measures that employ Work Permit holders in the construction, marine shipyard and process sectors. The following sets out details on the FWL rebates that apply from June 2020 to December 2021: 

  • For businesses that are not permitted to resume full operations on-site and businesses in construction, marine shipyard, and process sectors:
  • June 2020: 100% waiver of May levies due in June, and a S$750 FWL rebate per qualifying S Pass and Work Permit holder.
  • July 2020: 50% waiver of June levies due in July, and a S$375 FWL rebate per qualifying S Pass and Work Permit holder.
  • For businesses in construction, marine shipyard, and process sectors:
  • August 2020 to December 2021: S$90 FWL rebate per qualifying Work Permit holder.

Reference materials

The Advisory is available on the MOM website ww.mom.gov.sg or by clicking here.