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Advisory to employers with Malaysian employees entering Singapore under Periodic Commuting Arrangement

Issued on 5 September 2020

  1. Singapore-based companies that wish to apply for their Malaysian employees to enter Singapore under the Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA) may now submit their applications online1 and can refer to the SafeTravel website for more information on the requirements and application process.
  2. The tripartite partners are issuing this advisory to guide employers and employees on leave and cost arrangements for employees entering Singapore under the PCA. Employers should ensure that they take care of the well-being of all their foreign employees in Singapore as per employer’s responsibilities under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act2.

    Stay-Home Notice (SHN) period
  3. Employees entering Singapore under the PCA will serve at least 7-day SHN at their declared SHN place of residence3.
  4. If feasible, employers may require the employees to work remotely during the SHN period. If employees are unable to work remotely, employers and employees may refer to the table below on the appropriate salary and leave arrangement.

    During SHN period, working remotely is Left Singapore for Salary / leave arrangement
    Feasible N.A. Prevailing salary.
    Not feasible Work Employers are encouraged to provide additional paid leave to cover the SHN period on top of employees’ leave entitlements.
    Not feasible Personal reasons, including employees who left for home leave under the PCA arrangement Employers and employees should come to a mutual agreement on leave arrangement.
    Cost sharing arrangement for entering Singapore
  5. Employers and employees may refer to the table below to determine the cost sharing arrangements of entry requirements (e.g. COVID-19 tests, transport, SHN accommodation, food and other daily essentials) for employees entering Singapore under the PCA.

    Type of employees Purpose of travel Responsible for costs
    Existing work pass holders returning from overseas Left Singapore for work. Employers must bear the costs in full and are not allowed to pass on any cost to the employees.
    Existing work pass holders returning from overseas Left Singapore for personal reasons, including employees who left for home leave under the PCA arrangement. Employers and employees should come to a mutual agreement on who bears or how to share the costs.
    New work pass holders on in-principle approvals Plan to enter Singapore for employment

    For Work Permit holders, employers must bear the costs in full and are not allowed to pass on any cost to the employees.

    For other work passes, employers and employees should come to a mutual agreement on who bears or how to share the costs.

    Sick leave and cost of medical treatment
  6. For employees who are tested positive for COVID-19, they will be entitled to paid sick leave during treatment, up to the contractual or Employment Act limits. For employees who have used up their paid hospitalisation leave, employers are urged to exercise compassion and flexibility by granting additional paid hospitalisation leave as the employees concerned may face hardship during this time.
  7. The Government will cover the cost of inpatient COVID-19 treatment at public hospitals for all long term pass holders including work pass holders. However, if an employee had left Singapore on or after 27 March 2020 and tests positive for COVID-19 or develops COVID-19 symptoms within 14 days of returning to Singapore, the following table indicate the parties responsible for any COVID-19 treatment costs.

    Tests positive for COVID-19 or develops symptoms after returning to Singapore Responsible for any COVID-19 treatment costs for
    Work Permit, S Pass All other passes
    • Within 14 days of return.
      AND
    • Left Singapore on or after 27 March 2020.
    Employers, as per employer’s responsibilities under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act. Employers and employees should come to a mutual agreement on who bears the costs or how to share them.
    • Within 14 days of return.
      AND
    • Left Singapore before 27 March 2020.
    Singapore Government, based on prevailing policy for all Singapore residents.
    • After 14 days of return.
    Singapore Government, based on prevailing policy for all Singapore residents.
    Home leave
  8. Malaysian employees currently in Singapore and who wish to return to Malaysia for home leave can re-enter Singapore under the PCA. Before returning to Malaysia for home leave, employers and employees should mutually agree on the dates and duration of home leave. Employees may use their annual leave entitlements, advance leave or take no-pay leave for home leave.
  9. Employees entering Singapore under the PCA must spend at least 90 days in Singapore for work. Employers will only be able to apply for a new PCA for their employee to re-enter Singapore 90-days after the date of their prior entry.

    Reviewing terms of employment contract to consider housing and other costs
  10. Existing employment contracts may not have considered cost implications arising from commuting arrangements under the PCA. Employers and employees, in consultation with unions, are encouraged to review employment terms and mutually agree on any adjustments made to account for the change in employment circumstances before employees enter Singapore, in particular the housing arrangements in Singapore beyond the SHN period and who bears or how to share the costs of housing. To prevent misunderstandings or disputes, a written agreement on the revised employment terms and conditions clearly stated, whether temporary or permanent, should be signed, where possible (e.g. electronic signature).
  11. If the revised employment terms results in a change of a Work Permit holder’s salary, employers must obtain the Work Permit holders’ written consent to the change in salary and inform MOM of the Work Permit holders’ new salary using WP Online4.
  12. If there is no mutual agreement, either employer and employee may contractually terminate the employment with notice as required under the employment contract or Employment Act.
  13. For further queries, please contact:

    Ministry of Manpower
    Online enquiry
    www.mom.gov.sg

    Ministry of Trade and Industry / Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (for queries related to PCA)
    https://safetravel.ica.gov.sg
    COVID_SafeTravelEnquiries@mti.gov.sg

FOOTNOTE

  1. Employers may choose a date of entry within a 60-day window of their application.
  2. Refer to more information on Work Permit conditions.
  3. Employees are only allowed to serve their SHN in hotels, serviced apartments, or single-occupancy residences (i.e. if there is only one employee in the entire SHN accommodation). However, an exception can be made for employees who are serving their SHN in premises occupied by immediate family members (i.e. parents, siblings, spouse and children), or employees who are cohorting (up to 4 pax) provided that the employees arrive in Singapore on the same day. Employees are prohibited from serving their SHN at a dormitory, hostel or rented room.
  4. Employers who intend to make permanent adjustments to salary are required to inform MOM via WP Online. For temporary salary adjustments as a result of cost-saving measures implemented, employers should continue to notify MOM via the mandatory notifications on cost-saving measures.