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What is the foreign worker levy

If you employ Work Permit holders you may be limited by a quota for your industry. You will also have to pay a monthly levy for each worker.

The foreign worker levy, commonly known as “levy”, is a pricing mechanism to regulate the number of foreign workers in Singapore.

The levy liability will start from the day the Temporary Work Permit or Work Permit is issued, whichever is earlier. It ends when the permit is cancelled or expires.

As an employer, you don’t have to pay Central Provident Fund (CPF) contributions for foreign workers. However, you must pay a monthly levy for Work Permit holders.

Levy rate and quota

The levy you pay depends on two factors:

  1. The worker’s qualifications.
  2. Dependency ceiling or quota (for manufacturing and services sectors).

Find out the levy requirements by sector:

There are ongoing yearly changes to the levy rate as announced in Budget 2016. For details, check the schedule of changes.

Worker’s qualifications

Workers who possess relevant academic or skills-based test qualifications and certificates will be considered as higher-skilled workers and qualify for higher skilled worker levy.

Dependency ceiling

A dependency ceiling, or quota, is the maximum ratio of foreign workers to the total workforce that a company in a given sector can employ.

The quota for the manufacturing sector is 60%. Hence, up to 60% of a manufacturing company’s total workforce (sum of local workers, S Pass and Work Permit holders) may consist of S Pass and Work Permit holders.

Calculate your quota