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Levies & quotas for hiring Foreign Workers

The Foreign Worker Levy, commonly known as 'levy' is a pricing mechanism to regulate the number of Foreign Workers (including Foreign Domestic Workers) in Singapore. While they are not required to pay Central Provident Fund (CPF) contributions for Foreign Workers, employers are liable to pay monthly levies to hire employees who hold Work Permits or S Passes.

If a Foreign Worker on the Foreign Worker Levy Scheme is subsequently granted Singapore Permanent Resident status, he will be placed on the CPF scheme. This will take effect from the day he is granted Permanent Resident status.

For your information

  • Read here to estimate the quota for Foreign Workers that apply to your industry and your company.
  • Click here for a schedule of changes in Dependency Ratio and levy rates from Jul 2013 to Jul 2015.
  • From 1 July 2013, Work Permit holders in the Services Sector who earned a fixed monthly salary of at least $1,600 AND have worked in Singapore for at least four years will be upgraded to Skilled status. Employers can update their worker's salary via WPOL. Read here for more information.

Foreign Worker Levies applicable to Work Permit holders

The following factors will determine the amount of levy to be paid:

  • Worker's qualification
  • Dependency Ceiling (for selected sectors only)

MOM will first look at the worker’s qualifications to decide if the worker is skilled. Workers who possess relevant academic or skills-based test qualifications and certificates, will be classified as skilled workers.

For construction, process & marine sectors:
Employers pay the foreign worker levy according to the qualification of these workers.

For manufacturing & service sectors:
Workers will be further assigned to different tiers within the company Dependency Ceiling limits. Read up on how this works.

The following illustrates the levy you pay for each foreign worker.

 
 

Levy rate ($)

Sector Dependency Ceiling Segmentation Worker category Monthly *Daily
Manufacturing Basic Tier / Tier 1: Up to 25% of the total workforce Skilled 250 8.22
Unskilled 350 11.51
Tier 2: Above 25% to 50% of the total workforce Skilled 350 11.51
Unskilled 450 14.80
Tier 3: Above 50% to 60% of the total workforce Skilled 550 18.09
Unskilled
Note to employers in manufacturing sector:
Employers in this sector are entitled to skilled levy rates for their foreign workers, up to 50% of the total workforce.

 
 

Levy rate ($)

Sector Dependency Ceiling Segmentation Worker category Monthly *Daily
Services Basic Tier / Tier 1: Up to 10% of the total workforce Skilled 300 9.87
Unskilled 400 13.16
Tier 2: Above 10% to 25% of the total workforce Skilled
400 13.16
Unskilled 500 16.44
Tier 3: Above 25% to 40% of the total workforce Skilled 600 19.73
Unskilled
Note to employers in service sector:
Employers in this sector are entitled to skilled levy rates for their foreign workers, up to 25% of the total workforce.

 
 

Levy rate ($)

Sector Dependency Ceiling (DC) Worker category Monthly *Daily
Construction

1 local full-time worker to 7 Foreign Workers Higher Skilled (1) and on MYE 300 9.87
Basic Skilled (2) and on MYE 450 14.80
Higher Skilled, Experienced and exempted from MYE (3) 600 19.73
Basic Skilled, Experienced and exempted from MYE (3) 750 24.66
Process 1 local full-time worker to 7 Foreign Workers Skilled and on MYE 250 8.22
Unskilled and on MYE 350 11.51
Experienced & exempted from MYE (3) 550 18.09

 
 

Levy rate ($)

Sector Dependency Ceiling (DC) Worker category Monthly *Daily
Marine 1 local full-time worker to 5 Foreign Workers Skilled 250 8.22
Unskilled 350 11.51

* Daily levy rate only applies to Work Permit holders who did not work for a full calendar month. From 1 January 2011, the daily levy rate is computed based on the following: (Monthly levy rate x 12) / 365 = rounding up to the nearest cent.

(1) Higher skilled workers in the Construction sector refer to workers who are:

(2) Basic skilled workers refer to workers who possess SPM and/or Building and Construction Authority’s Skills Evaluation Certificate (SEC) or Skills Evaluation Certificate (Knowledge) i.e. SEC(K).

(3) To be exempted from MYE, the foreign worker must have at least two years of working experience in Singapore. This must be relevant to the sector they are employed under.

Where renewal of Work Permits involves change between Prior Approval to MYE waiver option or vice versa, the change in levy rate will be effective on the 1st of following month from the date of expiry of the permit.

Foreign Worker levies applicable to Foreign Domestic Workers

Details about levies applicable to Foreign Domestic Workers can be found here.

Foreign Worker levies applicable to S Pass holders

    Levy rates ($)
Sector Dependency Ceiling Segmentation Monthly *Daily
Services
Basic Tier / Tier 1: Up to
10% of the total workforce (1)
300 9.87
Tier 2: Above 10% to 15% of the total workforce (1) 450 14.80

    Levy rates ($)
Sector Dependency Ceiling Segmentation Monthly *Daily
All (excluding Services)
Basic Tier / Tier 1: Up to
10% of the total workforce (1)
300 9.87
Tier 2: Above 10% to 20% of the total workforce (1) 450 14.80

* Daily levy rate only applies to S Pass holders who did not work for a full calendar month. From 1 January 2011, the daily levy rate is computed based on the following:
(Monthly levy rate x 12) / 365 = rounding up to the nearest cent.

(1) For all sectors, S Passes' sub-Dependency Ceiling (DC) will be counted within the Work Permits' DC.

Note
There are only two levy rates applicable to S Pass holders, for all sectors.

Levy bill computation

Company that is under the tiered system may refer to the pdfGuidelines on the Calculation of Quota & Levy Bill for an estimate breakdown of the levy bill.

Skills Development Levy

Under the Skills Development Levy Act, every employer is required to pay a monthly Skills Development Levy (SDL) for his foreign employees, e.g. Work Permit and S Pass holders.

Last updated on 09 October 2013 01:13:37