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FAQs on COVID-19

Read the FAQs to get more info about COVID-19, such as general guidelines, precautionary measures, flexible work arrangements, quarantine matters, entry approvals for foreign employees, LOA/SHN and LOA/SHN Support Programme.

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Use the LOA/SHN calculator to calculate the LOA/SHN period.

Guidelines for employees who are travelling

I have Malaysian workers who commute to Singapore daily. What should I do now with the lockdown measures of Malaysia?Show

Please encourage your workers to stay and work in Singapore. They can stay with their relatives or friends.

They can also consider staying at hotels, hostels or dormitories.

If you or your workers need assistance with housing, please contact us. Please be assured that there are available options to meet your workers’ housing needs.

I have Malaysian workers who used to commute to Singapore daily. If they could no longer commute to Singapore for work because of the lockdown measures in Malaysia, how should I handle their leave / salary matters?Show

We advise employers to assess their manpower needs carefully and make a considered decision whether they need their Malaysian workers to remain in Singapore before the Malaysian lockdown takes effect on 18 March 2020. If they do need the workers, employers can encourage them to stay in Singapore and may wish to refer to MOM’s 17 March 2020 press release for the range of options to accommodate these workers.

For workers who do not stay in Singapore and cannot commute here for work on or after 18 March 2020, employers can place them on no-pay leave. Alternative leave arrangements will be by mutual consent.

What are the regions affected by COVID-19?Show

MOH has advised travellers to defer all travel abroad until further notice.

All returning residents (Singaporeans and Permanent Residents) and returning long-term pass holders (work passes, Dependant’s Pass, and Long Term Visit Pass) who fulfil the criteria below will be placed on Stay-Home Notice (SHN):

  • From 18 Feb 2020, 2359 hrs, those with travel history to mainland China (outside Hubei) will be placed on SHN.
  • From 26 Feb 2020, 2359 hrs, those with travel history to Daegu city or Cheongdo county, South Korea will be placed on SHN.
  • From 4 Mar 2020, 2359 hrs, those with travel history to, or transited in South Korea, northern Italy and Iran, will be placed on SHN.
  • From 15 Mar 2020, 2359 hrs, those with travel history to, or transited in Italy, France, Spain and Germany will be placed on SHN.
  • From 16 Mar 2020, 2359 hrs, those with travel history to, or transited in ASEAN countries*, Japan, the United Kingdom and Switzerland will be placed on SHN.
  • From 20 Mar 2020, 2359 hrs, all travellers will be placed on SHN.

From 20 Mar 2020, 2359 hrs, returning employees will have to provide proof of the place where they will serve the 14-day SHN, for example a hotel booking covering the entire period, or a place of residence they or their family members own.

From 23 Mar 2020, 2359 hrs, all short-term visitors (from anywhere in the world) will not be allowed to enter or transit through Singapore. Due to the heightened risk of importing the COVID-19 cases, MOM is restricting the entry of pass holders (work pass and their dependants) into Singapore. Priority to be granted entry approval will be given to companies that provide essential services (e.g. healthcare and transport) and are supported by the relevant government agencies. Those that are not will be rejected.

In the event that travel is unavoidable, travellers should also take precautionary measures.

* List of ASEAN countries besides Singapore: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam.

MOH has advised travellers to defer all travel abroad until further notice.

Employers should take note that all returning residents (Singaporeans and Permanent Residents) and returning long-term pass holders (work passes, Dependant’s Pass, and Long Term Visit Pass) who fulfil the criteria below will be placed on Stay-Home Notice (SHN):

  • From 18 Feb 2020, 2359 hrs, those with travel history to mainland China (outside Hubei) will be placed on SHN.
  • From 26 Feb 2020, 2359 hrs, those with travel history to Daegu city or Cheongdo county, South Korea will be placed on SHN.
  • From 4 Mar 2020, 2359 hrs, those with travel history to, or transited in South Korea, northern Italy and Iran, will be placed on SHN.
  • From 15 Mar 2020, 2359 hrs, those with travel history to, or transited in Italy, France, Spain and Germany will be placed on SHN.
  • From 16 Mar 2020, 2359 hrs, those with travel history to, or transited in ASEAN countries*, Japan, United Kingdom and Switzerland will be placed on SHN.
  • From 20 Mar 2020, 2359 hrs, all travellers will be placed on SHN.

From 20 Mar 2020, 2359 hrs, returning employees will have to provide proof of the place where they will serve the 14-day SHN, for example a hotel booking covering the entire period, or a place of residence they or their family members own.

From 23 Mar 2020, 2359 hrs, all short-term visitors (from anywhere in the world) will not be allowed to enter or transit through Singapore. Due to the heightened risk of importing the COVID-19 cases, MOM is restricting the entry of pass holders (work pass and their dependants) into Singapore. Priority to be granted entry approval will be given to companies that provide essential services (e.g. healthcare and transport) and are supported by the relevant government agencies. Those that are not will be rejected.

For pass holders who transited at or travelled from UK or US and arrive in Singapore from 25 March 2020, 2359 hrs, they are required to serve their 14-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN) at designated facilities. They cannot serve the SHN at their own homes. Once they arrive, they will be informed of the location and sent directly to the facility. The cost for the facility will be absorbed by the Government.

Employees will be required to remain in their place of residence at all times for a 14-day period, under the SHN measures.

Employers should also note and inform employees that any Singapore resident or Long Term Pass holder who leaves Singapore from 27 March 2020, in disregard of the prevailing travel advisories, will be charged at unsubsidised rates for their inpatient stay at public hospitals, if they are admitted for suspected COVID-19 and have onset of symptoms within 14 days of returning to Singapore. Singapore residents will also not be able to claim from MediShield Life or Integrated Shield Plans for these treatments at public and private hospitals.

Employers should evaluate the risks and make a considered decision on whether to proceed with work-related travel plans. Alternatives, such as video conferencing or postponing the trip, should be considered. Employers should also refer to the MOH guidelines on MOH’s website on the measures that travellers should adopt when overseas.

For employees whose work is performed overseas, employers should ensure that employees are adequately protected or monitored in accordance to MOH's guidelines.

In the event that the employee rejects the work trip to places which have travel advisories issued against them due to public health concerns, employers should not penalise employees who reject the work trip due to safety and health concerns.

* List of ASEAN countries besides Singapore: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam.

What should employees returning from travel or planning to travel take note of?Show

From 4 Mar 2020, 2359 hrs, employees should note that those entering Singapore and exhibiting fever and/or other symptoms of respiratory illness are required to undergo a COVID-19 swab test at the checkpoint. They may carry on with their journey immediately after undergoing the test. However, pending the results, which may take between three and six hours, employers should advise employees to minimise contact with others as a precautionary measure. Individuals will be contacted on their swab test results and those with positive results will be conveyed to the hospital in a dedicated ambulance.

From 20 Mar 2020, 2359 hrs, returning employees from all countries will be placed on SHN. Returning employees should note that they will have to provide proof of the place where they will serve the 14-day SHN, for example a hotel booking covering the entire period, or a place of residence they or their family members own.

Employees should also be reminded that from 27 Mar 2020, 0900 hrs, all travellers arriving in Singapore, including residents (Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents), and Long-Term Pass Holders (student’s pass, dependant’s pass, work pass, long-term visit pass holders) must submit a health declaration before proceeding with immigration clearance. They will have to do so via the SG Arrival Card (SGAC) e-Service. The health declaration will be made available before 27 March 2020 as part of the SGAC e-service, so that travellers who are due to arrive in Singapore after 27 March, 0900 hours, can complete it in advance of their arrival.

Upon the submission of their health declaration, travellers will be notified electronically via email on the need to comply with the 14-day SHN on arrival in Singapore. This allows travellers to be notified of their SHN requirements earlier, instead of only during the immigration clearance in Singapore. At the same time, they will be made aware of the penalties under Section 21A of the IDA if they fail to comply with the requirements.

For pass holders who transited at or travelled from UK or US and arrive in Singapore from 25 March 2020, 2359 hrs, they are required to serve their 14-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN) at designated facilities. They cannot serve the SHN at their own homes. Once they arrive, they will be informed of the location and sent directly to the facility. The cost for the facility will be absorbed by the Government.

Employees should also note that any Singapore resident or Long Term Pass holder who leaves Singapore from 27 March 2020, in disregard of the prevailing travel advisories, will be charged at unsubsidised rates for their inpatient stay at public hospitals, if they are admitted for suspected COVID-19 and have onset of symptoms within 14 days of returning to Singapore. Singapore residents will also not be able to claim from MediShield Life or Integrated Shield Plans for these treatments at public and private hospitals.

Precautionary measures

What additional precautionary measures can employers take at the workplace to safeguard the workplace from COVID-19?Show

Employers could consider the following additional measures:

  • Increase frequency of cleaning of areas with high human contact, e.g. countertops used in serving customers, common spaces used for meetings, toilets, lifts, refuse bins and handrails;
  • Provide additional guidance on handling customers who are unwell, e.g. frontline staff can encourage customers who are unwell to see a doctor and to return another day, or advise the customer to put on a mask;
  • Obtain travel declaration from employees on travel history / upcoming plans to the affected region(s);
  • Encourage employees to take temperature regularly and monitor for respiratory symptoms; and
  • Encourage employees to observe good personal hygiene by reminding them to wash their hands regularly, cover mouth if coughing or sneezing and to avoid touching their faces.

What advice can employers give to employees who are traveling overseas during this period in light of the virus situation?Show

Employers should inform employees that from 20 Mar 2020, 2359 hrs, all travellers are required to comply with a Stay-Home Notice (SHN) upon arrival in Singapore. Under SHN, the employee shall not leave the place of residence for a period of 14 days from the date of his/her arrival in Singapore.

Employers should also inform that from 4 Mar 2020, 2359 hrs, employees entering Singapore and exhibiting fever and/or other symptoms of respiratory illness are required to undergo a COVID-19 swab test at the checkpoint. They may carry on with their journey immediately after undergoing the test. However, pending the results, which may take between three and six hours, the returning employees are advised to minimise contact with others as a precautionary measure. Individuals will be contacted on their swab test results and those with positive results will be conveyed to the hospital in a dedicated ambulance.

Employers should inform that work pass holders (including dependants) who refuse testing may have their immigration facilities and work pass privileges revoked or the validity shortened. Singapore Permanent Residents and long-term pass holders who refuse testing may have immigration facilities revoked or curtailed. All travellers, including Singapore citizens, who do not comply with the testing or who cannot be contacted subsequently may face penalties and can be prosecuted under the Infectious Diseases Act.

In the event that overseas travel is unavoidable, employers should advise employees to exercise caution and practice the following when travelling:

  • Avoid contact with live animals including poultry and birds, and consumption of raw and undercooked meats;
  • Avoid crowded places and close contact with people who are unwell or showing respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, runny nose, fever, sore throat, shortness of breath);
  • Observe good personal hygiene at all times;
  • Practise frequent hand washing with soap (e.g. before handling food or eating, after going to the toilet, or when hands are dirtied by respiratory secretion after coughing or sneezing);
  • Cover mouth with tissue paper when coughing or sneezing at the workplace, and dispose soiled tissue paper in the designated rubbish bins at the workplace immediately;
  • Wear a mask if employees have respiratory symptoms; and
  • Seek medical attention promptly if you are unwell.

What can employers do to safeguard other employees who may have been in contact with an employee who has travelled?Show

Employers should inform employees that from 20 Mar 2020, 2359 hrs, all travellers are required to comply with a Stay-Home Notice (SHN) upon arrival in Singapore. Under SHN, the employee shall not leave the place of residence for a period of 14 days from the date of his/her arrival in Singapore.

Employers should inform that from 4 Mar 2020, 2359 hrs, employees entering Singapore and exhibiting fever and/or other symptoms of respiratory illness are required to undergo a COVID-19 swab test at the checkpoint. They may carry on with their journey immediately after undergoing the test. However, pending the results, which may take between three and six hours, the returning employees are advised to minimise contact with others as a precautionary measure. Individuals will be contacted on their swab test results and those with positive results will be conveyed to the hospital in a dedicated ambulance.

Under the SHN, employees will have to remain in their place of residence at all times during the 14-day period. This is stricter than the previous Leave of Absence (LOA) regime, which had allowed returnees to leave their homes briefly, for example for their meals or to buy household supplies. Employers should advise employees on SHN to monitor their health closely, i.e. twice daily for fever (i.e. ≥ 38°C) and respiratory symptoms such as cough and breathlessness. They should also be advised to minimise contact with others and to not invite visitors (e.g. other employees) to their residence. Employees should also be advised to maintain a record of persons they came into close contact with during the period of SHN.

For employees who have been in contact with the employee, employers should monitor their health and inform employees to seek medical attention immediately if they become unwell. Employers can also advise the rest of employees to practice good personal hygiene habits.

Can employers defer periodic medical examinations for employees exposed to the prescribed hazards required under the Workplace Safety and Health (Medical Examinations) Regulations to a later date in view of COVID-19? Is it possible to request for an extension of the submission deadline?Show

Yes, the employer may write in to MOM at mom_oshd@mom.gov.sg to request for an extension of the deadline for submission of the Summary Report and Register of Employees. Please include the workplace number and the name of the hazard in your request.

Eligible claims and medical benefits

Does Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA) cover diseases due to COVID-19? Would it apply if employees fall sick on a work trip?Show

WICA covers employees who contract diseases from biological agents, including COVID-19, arising from and in the course of work.

However, WICA will not cover diseases due to COVID-19 if it was contracted through non-work activities or exposure.

For employees who are issued with 5-day sick leave due to the COVID-19 situation but were ruled out as a COVID-19 case subsequently, what should employers treat the sick leave period as?Show

The 5-day sick leave is granted to individuals who have respiratory symptoms to allow them to rest at home and to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Employers can treat the 5-day MC given as part of their paid outpatient sick leave under the Employment Act. Alternatively, if they wish to provide more support for their employees, employers can also treat the 5-day MC as part of their paid hospitalisation leave entitlements.

If an employee were to have insufficient paid outpatient sick leave in the future, employers are encouraged to be flexible and compassionate and grant additional paid sick leave to the employee taking into consideration the prolonged the sick leave used for the COVID-19 situation.

Is the employer responsible for paying for the treatment of work pass holders who have COVID-19?Show

The Government will cover the cost of inpatient COVID-19 treatment at public hospitals for all long term pass holders, including work pass holders, holders of In-Principle Approvals (IPA), Letters of Eligibility (LOE) and temporary work permits (TWP).

All work pass holders (including those issued with IPA, LOE and TWP) should inform the hospital that he/she is holding on to a MOM-issued work pass and present the work pass, or relevant documents at the public hospital upon admission. Failure to do so could result in the work pass holder being billed as a short-term visit pass holder.

From 27 March 2020, any Singapore Citizen, Permanent Resident and long-term pass holder who leaves Singapore despite the travel advisories issued by MOH will be made responsible for their COVID-19 treatment at unsubsidised rates.

Is the employer obligated to provide medical benefits to employees who travel abroad on personal trips despite MOH's advisory against all travel and contract COVID-19 from the overseas travel?Show

Employers should strongly discourage all employees from travelling for personal reasons and review their HR policies to approve employees’ overseas leave applications only where there are exceptional or compassionate reasons requiring such travel. Employers should also remind employees of the company’s leave policies for employees’ mandatory 14-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN) and that foreign employees who leave Singapore will not be allowed to return without having obtained MOM’s pre-entry approval.

Employers whose existing employment contract or collective agreement provides for hospitalisation benefits should verify with their insurers on their liabilities for medical costs of employees for COVID-19 under these contracts or agreements.

In line with government directive*, employer should direct employees who travelled overseas despite MOH’s travel advisory and company HR policies to pay their own medical costs for COVID-19 infection due to the overseas travel, even if they have a more generous clause for hospitalisation benefits. It is important that the company communicates this exception during COVID-19 to all employees. Employers, however may choose to give more generous benefits if they want to do so.

* MOH had announced on 24 March 2020 that any Singapore resident or Long Term Pass holder who leaves Singapore from 27 March 2020, in disregard of the prevailing travel advisories, will be charged at unsubsidised rates for their inpatient stay at public hospitals, if they are admitted for suspected COVID-19 and have onset of symptoms within 14 days of returning to Singapore. Singapore residents will also not be able to claim from MediShield Life or Integrated Shield Plans for these treatments at public and private hospitals.

Flexible work arrangements (FWAs)

Can employees work remotely in view of the virus?Show

As part of employers’ Business Continuity Plans (BCPs), employees can be encouraged to work from home where feasible. Employers can also consider split teams where some employees would work from the office while others work from home to minimise interaction. Employers may wish to procure the necessary equipment and review their work process to facilitate employees to utilise flexible work arrangements.

If the employee has to be absent from work due to non-work related reasons to the COVID-19 situation (e.g. caregiving needs for family members or for children who are unable to return to school or childcare), employers are encouraged to adopt flexible work arrangements to allow the employee to work from home and minimise work disruptions.

Should employers allow FWAs for employees placed on Leave of Absence (LOA) / Stay-Home Notice (SHN)?Show

Employers could consider allowing employees on LOA/SHN to work from home.

During the LOA/SHN period, employers must ensure that employees stay away from the workplace. To minimise any short term work disruption that may arise due to employees being placed on LOA/SHN, employers could consider adopting flexible work arrangements to allow the employees to work from home.

If working from home is not possible, employers may consider these options.

Quarantine matters

For more FAQs on Leave of Absence and quarantine matters, please refer to MOH’s website.

Do employers need to provide suitable quarantine facilities for foreign workers? What should the employer do if dormitories do not have enough capacity to house a quarantined foreign worker?Show

Foreign workers who are issued with Quarantine Order (QO) may be quarantined at home or within their dormitory. They will first have their existing housing assessed by the Quarantine Order Agent for home quarantine, for whether the housing is suitable for quarantine.

If their housing is assessed to be unsuitable, foreign workers will then be sent to a suitable quarantine facility, which is centrally managed by the Government.

There is no need or employers to provide suitable quarantine facilities for foreign workers.

Are quarantined foreign workers allowed to leave quarantine facilities?Show

No. People under quarantine must not leave their designated location for any reason. Should they require assistance for daily needs beyond what is provided for under the home quarantine package, they should arrange with their relatives / friends to purchase groceries and assist in their daily needs whenever necessary. If they urgently need to leave the place of quarantine for matters needing personal attention which cannot be postponed, they must first seek the permission of the Quarantine Order Agent.

It is an offence if people under quarantine do not comply with the conditions listed in accordance to the Quarantine Order.

Are foreign workers entitled to the $100 Quarantine Order Allowance (QOA)?Show

Claims for the $100 per day can only be made by 2 groups:

  • Self-employed Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents
  • Employers, who have employees issued with Quarantine Order

For employers, they must have a registered company in Singapore, and employees must be Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents or work pass holders.

All employees (whether locals or foreign) who are issued with QO will be treated as being on paid hospitalisation leave and will be paid their salaries as normal. Employees should be cooperative and provide the necessary documentation to their employers for application for QOA.

How will the $100 Quarantine Order Allowance be issued? Does the claim cover non-working days and rest days?Show

At the end of the quarantine, employers should submit the claim form along with proof of payment of CPF to employees issued with Quarantine Order, and the company will be paid the ex gratia.

SEPs should submit the claim form along with proof of self-employment.

The claim covers non-working days and rest days.

Employees may have family members / housemates who are quarantined. What should employers do to safeguard the other employees who may have been in contact with that employee?Show

If the employee has family members / housemates who are confirmed cases, he/she will be quarantined as well if assessed to be a close contact.

If quarantined family members / housemates are not confirmed cases, there is no public health action required of the employer.

However, if any employee has fever and respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath), the employer should advise him/her to wear a mask and seek medical attention promptly. Call the clinic ahead and inform the doctor of symptoms as well as travel history, if any.

If the employee is quarantined, will his/her absence be treated as paid hospitalisation leave?Show

Home Quarantine Orders (HQOs) are served on persons by MOH, the period of absence from work necessitated by HQOs should be treated as paid hospitalisation leave, as part of the employee’s hospitalisation leave eligibility under their employment contracts, collective agreements, or under the Employment Act.

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.

Leave of Absence (LOA) and Stay-Home Notice (SHN) matters

For more FAQs on Leave of Absence and quarantine matters, please refer to MOH’s website.

Are employees being quarantined at home if they have been placed on LOA/SHN by employers?Show

Employees are not being quarantined if they have been placed on LOA/SHN. There is a difference between LOA, SHN and a Quarantine Order (QO).

Use the LOA/SHN calculator to calculate the LOA/SHN period.

Quarantine Order (QO)

A QO is a directive issued to individuals under the Infectious Diseases Act, to quarantine or isolate individuals who are, or suspected to be, carriers or contacts of an infectious disease. It has the aim of limiting spread of virus in the community. QO has legal force with severe penalties for non-compliance, and is far more stringent than LOA.

Leave of Absence (LOA)

LOA is a precautionary measure. Persons placed on LOA are urged to be socially responsible and comply, to prevent possible transmissions of infections. Employees on LOA should remain in their residences as much as possible, minimise visitors and maintain good records of persons with whom they come into close contact. Employees on LOA may leave their residences for daily necessities or to attend important matters, but they must minimise time spent in public spaces and contact with others. Employees should also monitor their health (i.e. for fever ≥ 38 °C and respiratory symptoms such as cough or breathlessness) closely during the LOA period, seek prompt medical attention when necessary and observe good personal hygiene.

Employers are reminded that all returning employees with recent travel history to mainland China (outside Hubei) within the last 14 days, and arrived in Singapore on or after 31 Jan 2020 6pm, but before 18 February 2020, 2359 hrs, will be placed on LOA. This includes those who returned directly from mainland China, and those who entered from other countries.

Employers and employees have a joint duty to ensure that employees behave responsibly during the LOA period. MOM will not hesitate to revoke the work passes and withdraw work pass privileges against errant employers or employees.

Stay-Home Notice (SHN)

All returning residents (Singaporeans and Permanent Residents) and returning long-term pass holders (work passes, Dependant’s Pass, and Long Term Visit Pass) who fulfil the criteria below will be placed on Stay-Home Notice (SHN):

  • From 18 Feb 2020, 2359 hrs, those with travel history to mainland China (outside Hubei) will be placed on SHN.
  • From 26 Feb 2020, 2359 hrs, those with travel history to Daegu city or Cheongdo county, South Korea will be placed on SHN.
  • From 4 Mar 2020, 2359 hrs, those with travel history to, or transited in South Korea, northern Italy, or Iran, will be placed on SHN.
  • From 15 Mar 2020, 2359 hrs, those with travel history to, or transited in Italy, France, Spain and Germany will be placed on SHN.
  • From 16 Mar 2020, 2359 hrs, those with travel history to, or transited in ASEAN countries*, Japan, United Kingdom and Switzerland will be placed on SHN.
  • From 20 Mar 2020 2359 hrs, all travellers will be placed on SHN.

From 4 Mar 2020, 2359 hrs, employees entering Singapore and exhibiting fever and/or other symptoms of respiratory illness are required to undergo a COVID-19 swab test at the checkpoint. They may carry on with their journey immediately after undergoing the test. However, pending the results, which may take between three and six hours, the returning employees are advised to minimise contact with others as a precautionary measure. Individuals will be contacted on their swab test results and those with positive results will be conveyed to the hospital in a dedicated ambulance.

Work pass holders (including dependants) who refuse testing may have their immigration facilities and work pass privileges revoked or the validity shortened. Singapore Permanent Residents and long-term pass holders who refuse testing may have immigration facilities revoked or curtailed. All travellers, including Singapore citizens, who do not comply with the testing or who cannot be contacted subsequently may face penalties and can be prosecuted under the Infectious Diseases Act.

Under the SHN, returnees will have to remain in their place of residence at all times during the 14-day period. This is stricter than the previous LOA regime, which had allowed returnees to leave their homes briefly, for example, to buy their meals or household and other supplies.

Those placed on SHN should monitor their health closely, i.e. twice daily for fever (i.e. ≥ 38°C) and respiratory symptoms such as cough and breathlessness. They should minimise contact with others and avoid having visitors (e.g. other employees) to their residence. Employees under SHN should maintain a record of persons they come into close contact with during this period.

Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents and Long Term Visit Pass holders who require special assistance (e.g. for medical attention, food and daily necessities) during the SHN period will be assisted by the People’s Association. Work pass holders should seek assistance from their employers.

Employees who flout the SHN may face penalties and can be prosecuted under Section 21A of the Infectious Diseases Act. Foreign workers may have their work passes revoked and be repatriated. Employers too may have their work pass privileges withdrawn. Permanent Residents, Long Term Visit Pass and Dependant’s Pass holders may have their Re-Entry Permit, Long-Term Visit Pass or Dependant’s Pass revoked or the validity shortened.

* List of ASEAN countries besides Singapore: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam.

For employees who traveled to countries with no travel advisories issued against them, will they be placed on Stay-Home Notice (SHN)?Show

Before 20 Mar 2020, 2359 hrs, travel advisories were issued for the following countries:

  • Mainland China
  • South Korea
  • Iran
  • Italy
  • France
  • Spain
  • Germany
  • Japan
  • ASEAN countries
  • United Kingdom
  • Switzerland

Employees returning before 20 Mar 2020, 2359 hrs with no recent travel history to any of these affected countries will not be placed on SHN.

From 20 Mar 2020, 2359 hrs, employees returning from any country will be placed on SHN. MOH has advised travellers to defer all travel abroad until further notice.

Will Malaysian residents, Singapore residents and long-term pass holders returning to Singapore from Malaysia via land and sea crossings be placed on Stay-Home Notice (SHN)?Show

With immediate effect, returning Singapore residents (Singapore citizens, permanent residents) and long-term pass holders will be issued a 14-day SHN upon entry into Singapore. All short-term visitors will not be allowed to enter or transit through Singapore.

All new and existing work pass holders (including dependants) planning to enter Singapore from Malaysia will be required to obtain MOM’s approval before they commence their journey. This is applicable regardless of the mode of travel into Singapore.

The transport of all types of goods between Malaysia and Singapore will be facilitated during the duration of Malaysia’s Movement Control Order. As such, those conveying essential services, or supplies (e.g. lorry drivers, vegetable supply truckers, frozen supply truckers) via land and sea crossings will be exempted from MOM’s entry approval and SHN requirements.

If an employee holding a Chinese / South Korea / Italian / Iranian passport returns to Singapore, will he/she be placed on Stay-Home Notice (SHN)?Show

If the returning employee is a long-term pass holder who had travelled to the affected region(s), he/she will be placed on SHN.

When do employers start counting the first day for employees who need to go on LOA/SHN?Show

Use the LOA/SHN calculator to calculate the LOA/SHN period.

Employers can start counting from the day of employees’ return to Singapore. The day of arrival in Singapore will be counted as Day 0, regardless of the time of arrival.

To calculate the LOA/SHN period, add 14 days after the employees’ arrival date in Singapore.

If the employee entered Singapore on 19 February 2020:

  • The last day of his/her SHN is on 4 March 2020.
  • The employee can return to work on 5 March 2020.

What should employees do if they are placed on LOA/SHN? Can they run errands since LOA/SHN is not a Quarantine Order?Show

Use the LOA/SHN calculator to calculate the LOA/SHN period.

Leave of Absence (LOA)

During the LOA period, employees may leave the place of residence to purchase daily necessities or to attend to important personal matters, but they should return to the place of residence as quickly as possible. Employers must also ensure that employees stay away from the workplace.

Employers should advise employees to stay at home and avoid social contact. Employees should avoid crowded places and refrain from attending social or public gatherings. They should monitor their health closely, and seek medical attention immediately if they develop any fever or symptoms of acute respiratory illness (e.g. cough, shortness of breath, runny nose, sore throat).

Employers and employees have a joint duty to ensure that employees behave responsibly during the LOA period, and not return to work. MOM will not hesitate to revoke the work passes and withdraw work pass privileges against errant employers or employees.

Stay-Home Notice (SHN)

Under the SHN, returnees will have to remain in their place of residence at all times during the 14-day period. This is stricter than the previous LOA regime, which had allowed returnees to leave their homes briefly, for example for their meals or to buy household supplies.

Those placed on SHN should monitor their health closely, i.e. twice daily for fever (i.e. ≥ 38°C) and respiratory symptoms such as cough and breathlessness. They should minimise contact with others and avoid having visitors (e.g. other employees) to their residence. Employees under SHN should maintain a record of persons they come into close contact with during this period.

Work pass holders on SHN can make their own arrangements to procure daily necessities, such as meals and daily essentials. This could include requesting their house or dormitory mates to help procure these for them or ordering home delivery services. Employers will be responsible for ensuring the well-being of their work pass holders on SHN and will be expected to render any support they require. Work pass holders who face difficulties and contact MOM for assistance.

What should employees do if they require medical attention while on SHN?Show

For life threatening cases such as cardiac arrest, active seizures, breathlessness, major traumas and stroke, employees should call 995 directly for assistance.

For non-emergencies (such as cough or fever, follow-up visits for chronic conditions, refilling of prescription, etc):

  • Singapore Citizens, PRs and long-term pass holders may contact the People’s Association (PA) at 6344 8222. PA will assist in making necessary arrangements with the nearest Public Health Preparedness Clinic (PHPC) or GP clinic. Employees should inform the staff and doctor of travel history and the SHN status.
  • Foreign employees issued with a work pass should contact their employers. Employers should assist in contacting a PHPC or GP clinic, and ensure that foreign employees have sufficient medicines for their needs. Employers / dorm operators should take down the names and contact details (address, telephone number) of all persons who have come into close contact with the foreign employee when he/she had fever, cough or breathlessness, or was feeling unwell. If the worker is confirmed to have COVID-19, MOH officers will contact the dorm operator / management to trace all those who came into contact with the worker.

What should employees do if they need to leave Singapore due to an emergency while in the midst of serving the SHN? Are they required to complete the SHN before returning?Show

Employees on SHN who have critical need to leave Singapore can contact their assigned point of contact (see below) for the SHN period who will advise them on the requirements. Approval must be sought from point of contact, and the appropriate documentation must be submitted as a proof (e.g. death certificate).

  • Singapore citizens, Permanent Residents and long-term pass holders can contact the People’s Association at 6344 8222.
  • Foreign employees with a work pass should inform their employer who should then contact MOM at mom_qops@mom.gov.sg.

The employee should however note that he/she will be subjected to the prevailing restrictions imposed by his/her destination country. For the subsequent return, the employee will be subjected to Singapore’s prevailing requirements for SHN and pre-entry approval, if applicable.

For employers who need to deliver meals and daily essentials to work pass holders on SHN, are they required to wear masks or other protective equipment for self-protection?Show

There is no need for masks or other protective equipment. The delivery can be conducted in such a way as to minimise contact with the person under SHN. The SHN is a precautionary measure and persons under SHN are not close contacts of confirmed cases.

Is the employer required to pay for food for their work pass holders on SHN?Show

The employer has a responsibility to ensure that the returning work pass holder complies with the SHN requirements, one of which is not to leave their residences. As such, the employer should arrange to provide them with food, including bearing the cost of it during the SHN period.

Can employers ask employees to use their annual leave for the LOA/SHN period?Show

Employers may adopt flexible work arrangements to allow employees on LOA/SHN to work from home.

If working from home is not possible, employers are encouraged to provide additional paid leave on top of employees’ annual leave entitlements for the LOA/SHN, especially if the travel was work-related. Eligible employers who provide additional paid leave to their employees on LOA/SHN or treated the period of LOA/SHN as hospitalisation leave will also be able to apply for assistance under the LOA/SHN Support Programme as well as foreign worker levy waiver for the LOA/SHN period.

If that is not feasible, employers can consider the following options, or a combination of the options, for the employees on LOA/SHN:

  • Treat employees’ LOA/SHN as paid hospitalisation leave or paid outpatient sick leave;
  • Allow employees to apply for annual leave;
  • Allow employees to use advanced paid leave or apply for no pay leave, for employees who have used up their leave entitlements; or
  • Other mutually agreed arrangements between the employers and employees / unions.

Employers and employees have a joint duty to ensure that employees behave responsibly during the LOA/SHN period. MOM reserves the right to take action against the employer or employee, if they fail to discharge their duty.

Should employers send employees to the doctor to get tested at the end of the 14-day LOA/SHN period so that they can be cleared to come back to work?Show

Employees who have completed 14 days of quarantine, LOA or SHN, and who remain well, can return to work. It is not necessary for them to undergo additional tests to detect the presence of the COVID-19 virus and doctors / clinics will not issue any letters or memos to certify a person to be free from COVID-19 infection.

Employees may have family members / housemates who are placed on LOA/SHN. What should employers do to safeguard the other employees who may have been in contact with that employee? Should that employee also be granted LOA/SHN?Show

The employee may continue living with family members / housemates placed on LOA/SHN. There is no need for the employee to be placed on LOA/SHN. However, the employer can advise the employee to reduce interaction and minimise contact with persons placed on LOA/SHN. The following precautionary measures can be adopted:

  • Avoid sharing same toilet with persons under SHN where possible. If this is not possible, toilet must be cleaned after each use by the person under SHN. Users may also wish to allow some time to pass between toilet usage, in order to allow any remaining water droplets after showers to settle to the ground. Sharing the same roll of toilet paper is safe as long as the toilet roll is not stained, soiled or wet.
  • Do not share towels.
  • Avoid having visitors to the residence.
  • Avoid sharing food, crockery, utensils and other personal hygiene items.
  • Maintain good personal hygiene at all times. This includes flushing the toilet after use and regular hand washing with soap and water (including before and after handling food or eating, and after going to the toilet).
  • Ensure the home is clean and well-ventilated and ensure that frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs, taps, handles, countertops are wiped down with disinfectant regularly.

If there are vulnerable persons in the households, e.g. seniors aged 60 and above, persons with underlying health conditions, the employee under SHN should be advised to avoid interacting with the vulnerable persons and consider alternative accommodation if these interactions cannot be avoided.

If any member of the household becomes unwell, medical attention should be sought at the nearest Public Health Preparedness Clinic (PHPC) immediately. Inform the doctor hat the household member is living with the employee who has recently returned overseas and is on SHN.

Can foreign workers be asked to work while serving their LOA/SHN? What should dormitory operators do if they found that workers returned to work despite the LOA/SHN?Show

Foreign workers on LOA/SHN are not supposed to be return to work. If employers insist, foreign workers should report the matter to us at mom_qops@mom.gov.sg.

Dormitory operators should advise foreign workers that they are not supposed to return to work while serving the 14 days’ LOA/SHN. Dormitory operators can also remind the foreign worker’s employer and should alert MOM at mom_qops@mom.gov.sg.

Employers and employees have a joint duty to ensure that employees behave responsibly during the LOA/SHN period, and not return to work. MOM will not hesitate to revoke the work passes and withdraw work pass privileges against errant employers or employees.

Employees who flout the SHN may face penalties and can be prosecuted under Section 21A of the Infectious Diseases Act. Foreign workers may have their work passes revoked and be repatriated. Employers too may have their work pass privileges withdrawn. Permanent Residents, Dependant’s Pass and Long Term Visit Pass holders may have their Re-Entry Permit, Long-Term Visit Pass or Dependant’s Pass revoked or the validity shortened.

Is there a need for employers of foreign workers and/or dormitory operators to segregate foreign workers placed on LOA/SHN? Can dormitory operators / landlords evict or refuse entry to workers who have returned from travel and are placed on LOA/SHN?Show

With the raising of DORSCON level to Orange, dormitory operators / landlords should make arrangements for residents on LOA/SHN to reside together with others on LOA/SHN, in a section of the dormitory that is separate from other residents. In the event that this is not possible, there should be dedicated rooms for them. These should not be the rooms set up for quarantine purposes.

For residents on LOA, dorm operators should also stagger the usage of common dormitory facilities where possible, to further minimise cross-interactions between residents. For residents on SHN, they should not leave the room except to use the toilet and shower facilities or to seek medical attention. They should also avoid having visitors to their residence.

Dormitory operators should also ensure that facilities and premises are kept clean with routine cleaning. No special precautions such as masks, gloves or disinfectant use are needed beyond that used for routine cleaning.

Dormitory operators, landlords, and other relevant management of facilities should not evict workers under LOA from their residence.

The relevant authorities will take actions against irresponsible operators and landlords.

For more information, dorm operators may refer to the MOH guidelines:

What should foreign workers placed on LOA/SHN do if they are evicted by dormitory operators / landlords?Show

Please report the matter to MOM at mom_qops@mom.gov.sg or call 1800 333 9999.

If employers choose to segregate their foreign workers on LOA/SHN, are they required to update Online Foreign Worker's Address System (OFWAS)?Show

MOH has advised that it is not necessary to segregate or relocate persons placed under LOA/SHN. However, if employers choose to do so voluntarily, they may update Online Foreign Worker’s Address System (OFWAS) with the affected work permit’s holders new address, (it can include commercial premises such as hotels or serviced apartments), or the Employment Pass Online (EPOL) for EP / S Pass holders.

Employers must update OFWAS / EPOL should there be further changes to the addresses.

If employers encounter technical difficulty in doing so, do contact 6692 4599 or email to mom_fwas@mom.gov.sg for assistance.

If a foreign worker is under Quarantine Order (QO), there is no need to update OFWAS.

If employers choose to segregate foreign workers, are they required to pay for alternative accommodation?Show

Yes, employers are required to pay for the alternative accommodation.

Leave of Absence (LOA) / Stay-Home Notice (SHN) Support Programme

What assistance is the government providing to those affected by Leave of Absence (LOA) / Stay-Home Notice (SHN)?Show

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will provide support to help businesses and self-employed persons who are affected by the Leave of Absence (LOA) requirements due to COVID-19. As of 17 February 2020, this support will be extended to those affected by SHN requirements.

Under the LOA/SHN Support Programme, eligible employers can apply for $100 daily per affected worker for the required duration of paid LOA or SHN granted to the employee. Eligible employers will also qualify for levy waiver for affected foreign workers for the LOA or SHN period.

Affected workers include Singapore Citizens (SC), Permanent Residents (PR) and work pass holders who were placed on LOA or SHN upon return to Singapore after travelling to the following areas at some point in the 14 days before their return:

Regions Returned to SIngapore
Mainland China (outside Hubei) On or after 31 Jan 20201
Daegu city or Cheongdo county, South Korea After 26 Feb 2020
South Korea, northern Italy2, Iran After 4 Mar 2020
Italy, France, Spain, Germany After 15 Mar 2020
ASEAN countries, Japan, the United Kingdom, Switzerland After 16 Mar 2020

Self-employed Singapore Citizens and PRs who have travelled to the above mentioned areas during the specified period and were placed on LOA or SHN upon their return can also apply for the daily support of $100.


  1. For those in the healthcare, elder care and education sectors, the individuals should have travelled to mainland China before 28 January 2020 and returned to Singapore on or after 14 January 2020.
  2. Refers to the following 8 administrative regions of northern Italy: Aosta Valley, Piedmont, Liguria, Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, Veneto, Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Trentino-Alto Adige / Südtirol.

Who is eligible for the LOA/SHN Support Programme?Show

Employers who wish to apply for the $100 daily support for their affected workers must fulfil the following criteria:

  • Employer must be registered in Singapore.
  • Employees must be Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents, or work pass holders (excluding FDWs).
  • Employer must have granted additional paid leave to the affected worker for the entire duration of LOA or SHN period (without requiring the worker to use his/her original paid leave entitlements provided under the terms of employment) or had treated the duration of LOA or SHN as paid hospitalisation leave.
  • Employees must have complied fully with LOA/SHN requirements.
  • Employer must have obtained MOM’s prior approval:
    Workers on work pass with travel history within last 14 days Returned to Singapore
    Mainland China After 8 Feb 2020, 2359 hrs
    Daegu city or Cheongdo county, South Korea After 26 Feb 2020, 2359 hrs
    South Korea, northern Italy or Iran After 4 Mar 2020, 2359 hrs
    Italy, France, Spain or Germany After 15 Mar 2020, 2359 hrs
    ASEAN countries, Japan, the United Kingdom or Switzerland After 16 Mar 2020, 2359 hrs
  • Employees should not have been able to perform work remotely.
  • For employees placed on LOA/SHN due to travel to mainland China1, they must have been in employment as at 31 January 2020 and for the full duration of LOA or SHN.
  • For employees placed on SHN due to travel to Daegu city or Cheongdo county, South Korea2, they must have been in employment as at 26 February 2020 and for the full duration of SHN.
  • For employees placed on SHN due to travel to South Korea, northern Italy or Iran, they must have been in employment as at 4 March 2020 and for the duration of the SHN.
  • For employees placed on SHN due to travel to Italy, France, Spain or Germany, they must have been in employment as at 15 March 2020 and for the duration of the SHN.
  • For employees placed on SHN due to travel to ASEAN countries, Japan, United Kingdom or Switzerland, they must have been in employment as at 16 March 2020 and for the duration of the SHN.

  1. For those in the healthcare, elder care and education sectors, individuals must have travelled to mainland China before 28 January 2020 and returned to Singapore on or after 14 January 2020. For other sectors, individuals must have travelled to mainland China and returned to Singapore on or after 31 January 2020.
  2. Individuals must have travelled to Daegu city or Cheongdo county, South Korea, and returned to Singapore after 26 February 2020.

Will an employer receive LOA/SHN financial support and levy waiver for employees on telecommuting arrangement?Show

The support provides support to help businesses and self-employed persons whose operations and livelihoods may have been disrupted by the LOA/SHN requirements. Employers and self-employed persons should not apply for support if telecommuting arrangements are available for work to be performed remotely by affected persons.

How can I prove that I or my employees are unable to work from home or telecommute? How will MOM monitor and enforce this requirement?Show

Employers and self-employed persons should not apply for support if telecommuting arrangements are available. While there is no requirement to submit proof in your application that you or your employees are unable to telecommute, MOM may investigate applicants for compliance with the eligibility criteria for the support and take action accordingly.

My employee(s) had to travel to (i) mainland China after 31 January 2020; or (ii) the South Korea (Daegu city or Cheongdo county) after 26 February 2020; or (iii) South Korea, Iran, or northern Italy after 4 March 2020 for business / personal reasons. Are we eligible for the support?Show

The support is intended to help employers and self-employed persons affected by the introduction of travel conditions announced at short notice. Individuals travelling to the following areas after the following dates will not be eligible for the support:

  • Mainland China after 31 January 2020
  • South Korea (Daegu city or Cheongdo county) after 26 February 2020
  • South Korea, Iran, or northern Italy after 4 March 2020
  • Italy, France, Spain or Germany after 15 March 2020
  • ASEAN countries, Japan, the United Kingdom or Switzerland after 16 March 2020

My worker was on LOA/SHN initially and was later placed on quarantine order. Can I apply the support for him?Show

You are eligible for support under the LOA/SHN Support Programme for the period that the worker was on LOA or SHN, and for MOH’s Quarantine Order Allowance Scheme (QOAS) for the period that the worker was on quarantine order.

Yes, if your Dependant’s Pass holder is not able to perform work remotely.

How can employers apply for the support?Show

Employers and self-employed persons who wish to apply for support under LOA/SHN Support Programme should submit their applications at www.mom.gov.sg/loasp. Applications should only be submitted after the affected person has completed serving his/her LOA/SHN.

What documents do I need to submit for LOA/SHN Support Programme application for my employees or if I'm self-employed?Show

For employers, please submit:

  • Proof of employment for affected workers:
    • CPF Form 90 for December 2019 and January 2020 (only for locals); and
    • Itemised pay slip(s) for salary payment during LOA/SHN period.
  • Proof of affected workers’ travel to the affected areas:
    • For workers not from the affected countries:
      scan of passport photo ID page, and entry and departure stamps from the affected area.
    • For workers from the affected areas:
      air tickets and/or boarding passes for travel between Singapore and the affected country (including transit stops).

For self-employed persons, please submit:

  • Proof of self-employed status:
    • Income tax returns or Notice of Assessment for Year of Assessment 2020.
  • For SEPs who travelled to the affected areas:
    • For applicants not from the affected countries:
      scan of passport photo ID page, and entry and departure stamps from the affected country.
    • For applicants from PRC:
      air tickets and/or boarding passes for travel between Singapore and the affected country (including transit stops).

Upon submission of the application, how long does it take to process the application? Does the LOA/SHN Support Programme application cover the levy waiver?Show

The application covers both the daily $100 pay out as well as levy waiver (in the case of foreign workers) for the period of the LOA/SHN. The total processing time will be around 4-6 weeks.

How will employers be notified of the outcome of the application?Show

Employers will receive an outcome via the email address provided during the application.

How do we calculate the LOA/SHN commencement date?Show

Use the LOA/SHN calculator to calculate the LOA/SHN period.

To calculate the LOA/SHN period, add 14 days after the employees’ arrival date in Singapore.

If the employee entered Singapore on 19 February 2020:

  • The last of day of his/her SHN is on 4 March 2020.
  • The employee can return to work on 5 March 2020.

Does LOA/SHN Support Programme payment include payment on weekend, if the weekend is a non-working day?Show

Yes. The support is provided for the duration of the LOA/SHN, including non-working days (e.g weekends, public holidays).

Use the LOA/SHN calculator to calculate the LOA/SHN period.

My employee left the company before the 14-day LOA/SHN period ended. Will I be able to apply for support for the days consumed prior to the last day of service? I have paid the employee until last day of service.Show

No, the employee must have been employed with your company for the full duration of the LOA/SHN.

I have employees who are both full-time and part-time, does the LOA/SHN Support Programme applies to both full-time and part-time employees? For part-time employees, is there any minimum working hours or minimum salary required to qualify for the claim?Show

Both full-time and part-time employees are eligible, provided there is proof of employment and travel history to mainland China, South Korea, Iran or northern Italy. There is no minimum working hours or salary to qualify.

What is the cut-off date I need to submit the LOA/SHN Support Programme application?Show

Applications should be submitted within 90 days from the last day of the LOA/SHN.

Is there cap on the LOA/SHN support?Show

Each eligible application is up to $1,400 ($100 per day for the 14 days of LOA/SHN).

Can I apply for LOA/SHN support for my employees who are on LOA/SHN due to local transmission?Show

No. The support is only for employees who have travelled to the affected regions during the defined period.

I am employee on LOA/SHN, can I submit the application myself directly without going through employer?Show

No. The LOA/SHN Support Programme provides support for employers that provided their employees on LOA/SHN with additional paid leave for the duration of the LOA/SHN period. Hence, your employer should submit the application.

I have placed my workers / myself on company-imposed / self-imposed following my return from overseas. Am I eligible for LOA support?Show

Employers and self-employed Singapore Citizens (SC) and Permanent Residents (PR) are eligible to apply for $100 daily support under the LOASP for workers or persons who were not required to serve mandatory SHN but went on company-imposed LOA or self-imposed LOA, and who meet the following criteria:

  • Returned to Singapore between 14 March 2020 and 20 March 2020;
  • Must not have commenced travel to:
    • Mainland China after 31 January 2020;
    • South Korea (Daegu city or Cheongdo county) after 26 February 2020;
    • South Korea , Iran, or northern Italy after 4 March 2020;
    • Italy, France, Spain or Germany after 15 March 2020;
    • ASEAN countries, Japan, United Kingdom or Switzerland after 16 March 2020.
  • Unable to perform work remotely during the company-LOA or self-imposed LOA period;
  • Must have served at least seven days of company-LOA or self-imposed LOA.

Employers that choose to implement company-LOA for Malaysian workers will be eligible for LOA support, provided that they do not also tap on the temporary housing support for employers affected by Malaysia’s Movement Control Order for the same Malaysian workers.

How much support will I be eligible for if I implement company-imposed / self-imposed for my workers / myself?Show

Employers or self-employed Singapore Citizens / PRs can receive $1,400 for workers and individuals who served 14 days of company-LOA or self-imposed LOA.

For workers and individuals who served between 7 and 14 days of company-LOA or self-imposed LOA, the total amount of LOA support that employers or self-employed Singapore Citizens / PRs can receive will be capped at $700.

Employers / SEPs will not be eligible for support for workers and individuals that served fewer than 7 days of company-LOA or self-imposed LOA.

Why must I notify MOM by 26 March that I / my worker(s) will be going on company-imposed / self-imposed? Can I still apply for support if I did not notify MOM by 26 March? Why can't the deadline be extended?Show

MOM will be conducting checks on workers and SEPs who are supposed to be on company-imposed / self-imposed, in order to ensure compliance with LOA requirements during the period. MOM hence requires advance notice that you will be placing yourself / your workers on company-imposed / self-imposed.

As individuals must have returned between 14 and 20 March to be eligible for company-imposed / self-imposed support, MOM must be notified promptly of your / your company’s intention to place the individuals on company-imposed / self-imposed, so that MOM can conduct checks to ensure compliance. We are hence unable to extend the deadline for notifying MOM. Employers and SEPs who did not notify MOM by the deadline will not be able to apply for support.

Do I need to do anything else once I have notified MOM that I / my worker(s) will be going on company-imposed / self-imposed?Show

Upon completion of the company-imposed / self-imposed, employers and self-employed persons will be required to submit further supporting documentation to MOM for assessment of eligibility for company-imposed / self-imposed support, within 90 days of the last day of the company-imposed / self-imposed.

Entry approvals for foreign employees

Can employers still bring in pass holders (work pass holders and their dependants) from overseas into Singapore?Show

With immediate effect, employers of pass holders coming from Malaysia (all modes of travel) must also obtain MOM’s entry approval before the pass holders can enter Singapore. Upon entry, these pass holders must serve the 14-day SHN.

However, those who provide essential services or supplies (e.g. lorry drivers, vegetable or frozen supply truckers) coming from Malaysia by land or sea crossing are exempted from the entry approval and SHN requirements.

To reduce the risk of importing the COVID-19 virus, we are restricting the entry of pass holders into Singapore.

All employers are strongly urged to defer bringing pass holders into Singapore. To facilitate this, we will automatically extend the validities of all in-principle approvals (IPAs) by 2 months. You can check the new validities using:

  • WP Online for Work Permit holders.
  • EP Online for Employment Pass, S Pass holders and their dependants.

We ask for your understanding and cooperation in doing your part to safeguard the interest of Singapore’s public health and the health of your other employees.

If you are unable to defer the pass holders’ entry, you may proceed with the following. However, please note that chances of getting an entry approval are very slim:

  1. Ensure you can fulfil the additional responsibilities to bring your work pass holders in. If they have dependants who are not issued any work passes, including Letter of Consent (LOC), they must also fulfil their responsibilities towards their dependants.
  2. Request for MOM’s entry approval before the pass holders can enter Singapore. Use our entry approval calculator to plan when to submit your request.

    For new or existing Who needs to request for entry approval Who is responsible to ensure SHN is observed
    Work pass holders, including those with LOC* Employer Employer and work pass holder
    DP or LTVP* holders who are not employed
    i.e. not issued a work pass, including LOC
    Local sponsor
    i.e. employer of EP / S Pass holder
    EP / S Pass holder and DP / LTVP holder
  3. * From 29 March 2020, 2359 hours, those with LTVPs issued by ICA need to request for ICA’s entry approval, even if they have LOCs issued by MOM.

  4. Wait for MOM’s approval before arranging for the pass holders to enter Singapore.

Note: For pass holders with Hubei-issued passports or with recent travel history to Hubei, please defer their entry into Singapore as far as possible.

When should employers submit their requests?Show

Applications open daily from 12:01pm and close at 12pm the next day.

Requests received during this period are for arrivals within 10 days after the application closes (e.g. for arrivals in Singapore from 17 Mar 2020 to 26 Mar 2020, you can submit the request from 15 Mar 2020, 12:01pm to 16 Mar 2020, 12pm).

Use our entry approval calculator to plan when to submit your request.

Can employers submit multiple requests on the same day for an employee?Show

Employers should not submit multiple requests for an employee within the same application window (from 12:01pm today to 12pm tomorrow) using the same or different arrival dates. We will only process the first request and notify you on the outcome for it, and disregard the rest.

How will employers be notified of the outcome of the application?Show

Employers will receive the outcome via email on the same day if applications are submitted by 12pm, and on the next day if application is made after 12pm.

The email approval must be sent to the pass holder. He/She must show a print-out of this approval to the airline staff upon check-in before boarding the plane and at the Singapore Immigration & Checkpoints Authority’s (ICA) checkpoint upon arrival in Singapore.

Is there a need to submit a new application for approval if the employee's flight is delayed or changed?Show

MOM’s approval already includes flexibility to deal with possible flight delays, which is stated in the email. However, you will need to make a new application if the arrival date falls outside the dates given in the approval.

Can employers get a levy waiver if their Work Permit or S Pass holder is quarantined?Show

Employers can get a levy waiver for Work Permit or S Pass holders who are given quarantine orders by MOH, as it is a form of hospitalisation leave.

Apply for levy waiver

Can employers get a levy waiver for Work Permit or S Pass holders who went on home / overseas leave for more than 60 days, as they are not able to enter Singapore when the travel restrictions are in place?Show

Employers can get a levy waiver for foreign employees on home or overseas leave up to 90-day cap if they unable to return due to travel restrictions.

You can apply for levy waiver after the worker enters Singapore.

Can employers apply work passes for new Chinese employees who are currently not in China (e.g. those who are currently studying in another country)?Show

Since 31 January 2020, MOM will reject all new work pass applications for foreign employees from mainland China until further notice. Employers may appeal with documentary proof that the applicant has not been to China recently.

Can employers apply for a work pass to hire an existing Chinese employee who is currently working with another Singapore employer, and has not travelled out of Singapore recently?Show

Employers can apply for an Employment Pass or S Pass for an existing Chinese employee who is currently working with another Singapore employer and has not travelled out of Singapore.

Companies in the construction, process or marine sectors can hire existing PRC Work Permit holders from the same sector who are in Singapore, with the agreement of their current employers. Please refer to the sector-specific rules for Work Permit for details.

From 2 March 2020, companies in the manufacturing and services sectors can also do the same. The Singapore Business Federation (SBF) will link up interested companies who may want to hire or transfer their excess PRC Work Permit holders. Interested companies can approach the SBF at manpowerconnect@sbf.org.sg. Find out more about this temporary scheme.

My pass holders are unable to enter Singapore due to the travel restrictions. Can MOM extend the validity of their in-principle approvals (IPAs)?Show

We will automatically extend the validities of all IPAs by 2 months. You can check the new validities using:

  • WP Online for Work Permit holders.
  • EP Online for Employment Pass, S Pass holders and their dependants.

No, pass holders must complete their 14-day SHN before their employers can send them for any of the above-mentioned issuance-related procedures. If their Short-Term Visit Passes (STVP) are expiring soon, for:

  • Employment Pass, S Pass, Dependant’s Pass or Long Term Visit Pass holders, please request for an extension of the STVP within 2 weeks before it expires.
  • Work Permit holders, we will automatically extend their STVP by 2 weeks and email employers the extension letters.

MOM will not hesitate to take enforcement measures against any parties who do not comply with the SHN requirements. Measures include criminal proceedings, work pass revocations and withdrawal of work pass privileges.

Use the SHN calculator to calculate the SHN period.

Can MOM extend the Short-Term Visit Pass (STVP) of pass holders who enter Singapore and are required to serve the 14-day SNH?Show

For Employment Pass, S Pass, Dependant’s Pass or Long Term Visit Pass holders, please request for an extension of their STVP within 2 weeks before it expires.

For Work Permit holders, we will automatically extend their STVP by 2 weeks, and email employers the extension letters.

Can MOM extend or renew work passes nearing expiry if the foreign employees cannot return to Singapore because of the travel restrictions?Show

We advise employers to submit a new work pass application for such employees after the situation stabilises.

Can MOM allow foreign employees to stay longer if employers are unable to send them home due to travel restrictions imposed by their countries?Show

Employers can apply for extension of Special Pass / Short-Term Visit Pass. We will extend the employees’ stay for another month.

My foreign employee intends to travel out of Singapore. What risks should I consider and how should I advise the employee?Show

Any foreign employee or his/her dependant who leaves Singapore from 27 March 2020, will be deprioritised for entry approval, and could see significant delays before they are allowed to return to Singapore.

If your foreign employee leaves Singapore from 27 March 2020 and subsequently develops symptoms within 14 days of returning to Singapore, you are responsible for any COVID-19 treatment costs that your foreign employee incurs in Singapore if your foreign employee is a Work Permit of S Pass holder. This is in line with employers’ responsibilities under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act.

Temporary scheme to help businesses manage manpower disruption

Why is MOM introducing this temporary scheme for employers to hire existing Work Permit holders who are available for transfer?Show

MOM has introduced this scheme following consultation with the industry, trade unions and partner agencies. This is to give companies in the manufacturing and services sectors more flexibility to manage their manpower. This scheme is an extension of a similar scheme for the construction, process and marine shipyard sectors.

Companies in the manufacturing and services sectors will be allowed to hire existing Work Permit holders (who are in Singapore) within their respective sectors, with the agreement of their current employers. Companies that are facing manpower shortages can save on search and recruitment expenses, while those with excess manpower can give their workers an opportunity to continue working in Singapore and save on repatriation costs.

Why is MOM expanding the temporary scheme from 1 April 2020 to allow inter-sectoral transfers of Work Permit holders, as well as transfers of Work Permit holders whose work permits are nearing expiry, for all sectors?Show

With entry approvals for work pass holders into Singapore being restricted to a very small number to reduce the risk of COVID-19 importation, MOM has expanded the temporary scheme from 1 April 2020 to allow firms in all sectors to:

  • Hire Work Permit holders from all sectors with the agreement of the current employers;
  • Hire Work Permit holders from all sectors whose work permits are nearing expiry (agreement from the current employers is not needed).

Firms in need of additional manpower can now tap on a larger pool of Work Permit holders from different sectors while reducing their search and recruitment costs. Firms with excess manpower can also transfer their WPHs to other firms more quickly.

When will the scheme be implemented?Show

This scheme will be in place till 31 August 2020, subject to further review.

The Ministry has announced that this is a temporary scheme till 31 August 2020 for firms to hire existing workers. Does that mean the worker's Work Permit validity upon transfer will only be for 6 months?Show

The duration of a Work Permit is generally 2 years, subject to the validity of the worker’s passport, the security bond and the worker’s employment period, whichever is shorter.

How can I apply for this scheme?Show

For transfers of Work Permit holders with more than 40 days to Work Permit expiry (including inter-sectoral transfers), firms can approach SBF at manpowerconnect@sbf.org.sg or visit SBF’s website for more information. Agreement from the current employers is required. All prevailing Work Permit criteria apply for new applications.

Note: Firms in the construction, process and marine shipyard sectors can continue to use WPOL to hire existing Work Permit holders within their respective sectors, with the agreement of the current employers. There is no need to go through SBF.

For transfers of Work Permit holders with 40 days or less to Work Permit expiry (including inter-sectoral transfers), firms can submit their request to MOM online. Agreement of the current employer is not needed. All prevailing Work Permit criteria apply for new applications.

Note: Firms in the construction and process sectors can continue to use WPOL to hire existing WPHs whose Work Permits are expiring in 21 to 40 days’ time. There is no need to submit a request via the online form.

Is this scheme also applicable to Malaysian Work Permit holders?Show

Firms are already allowed to hire Malaysian Work Permit holders who are in Singapore, from any sector. Agreement from the current employer is not required. Hiring companies can continue to use WPOL to hire existing Malaysian WPHs who are in Singapore.

How does the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) administer the scheme?Show

Companies will have to mutually agree on a suitable transfer arrangement for the worker. Thereafter, the hiring company is required to submit to SBF a Letter of Consent, endorsed by the current employer to transfer the employment of its worker to the hiring company. Once SBF has verified the consent, SBF will inform both MOM and the hiring company. The hiring company can then proceed to submit a Work Permit application to MOM using Work Permit Online (WPOL) after 3 working days but no later than a month.

The releasing company does not need to cancel the worker’s Work Permit. The Work Permit will be auto-cancelled once the hiring company issues the Work Permit for the worker.

For more information, please visit SBF’s website.

Do I need to be a member of SBF to be eligible to hire or release Work Permit holders under SBF's scheme?Show

Companies who are not members of SBF can also register their interest with SBF.

Are there any fees involved in this scheme?Show

The hiring company will need to submit a new Work Permit application. The current application fee of $35 per application applies.

SBF is providing the facilitation service for free for the whole period of the temporary scheme until 31 August 2020.

What are the criteria to get an approval if I intend to hire a transfer worker?Show

All parties (i.e. existing employer, worker and new employer), must agree to the transfer arrangement, unless the worker’s Work Permit is expiring within 40 days or less.

For all transfers, all other prevailing criteria under the respective sectors (e.g. dependency ratio ceiling, source country controls, maximum employment age, etc.) will still apply.

Stay-Home Notice (SHN) for FDWs

I want to bring in an FDW to Singapore. What should I do?Show

If the FDW is arriving in Singapore from 16 March 2020, 2359 hrs, the EA / employer must obtain MOM’s approval before the FDW can enter Singapore.

Before obtaining MOM’s approval, the party applying for the entry approval must:

  • Secure a suitable place of residence for her to complete the 14-day SHN. The FDW should be housed in a dormitory, hostel, or hotel.
  • Ensure she has a SIM card with a Singapore phone number for MOM to contact her.

MOM’s approval application is open daily from 12:01 pm and closes at 12 pm the next day.

Requests received during this period are for arrivals within 14 days after the application closes (e.g. for arrivals in Singapore from 18 Mar 2020 to 31 Mar 2020, the employer can submit the request from 16 Mar 2020, 12:01 pm to 17 Mar 2020, 12 pm). Applications submitted:

  • By 12 pm: Will receive the outcome on the same day.
  • After 12 pm: Will receive the outcome the next day.

EAs / employers should obtain MOM’s approval before confirming the FDW’s flight to Singapore.

For new FDWs who are holding on to an in-principle approval (IPA), the FDW will need to complete their 14-day SHN before they can get their medical examination done and Work Permit issued. MOM will automatically extend their Short-Term Visit Pass and IPA by 14 days and notify employers when the extension is done. First-time FDWs should complete the Settling-in Programme (SIP) within 3 days from the completion of their SHN.

MOM has granted approval for my FDW to come to Singapore. Is there anything I should follow up?Show

The party applying for the entry approval will be responsible to explain and ensure that the FDW understands and fully complies with the additional conditions imposed for the SHN period, including:

  • Arrange to send her from the airport directly to her temporary accommodation or place of residence to serve the 14-day SHN immediately upon arrival in Singapore.
  • Ensure she downloads WhatsApp on her mobile phone and responds to MOM’s phone calls, WhatsApp video calls or SMSes within 1 hour during the 14-day SHN period. This includes ensuring that she is given Wi-Fi access, or her prepaid card has enough funds.
  • Arrange to provide her with food and other daily necessities during the SHN period as she is not allowed to leave her place of residence.
  • Cater to her medical needs, where necessary (e.g. visits to a clinic nearest to her place of residence).

If you are unable to fulfil the obligations above, you should not bring the FDW into Singapore.

Is my FDW subject to SHN if she is arriving in Singapore from Malaysia by land and sea?Show

FDWs of all nationalities, regardless of the countries from which they are travelling to Singapore, are subject to the new entry approval and SHN requirements.

My FDW is returning from home leave. If she does not already have a mobile phone and local SIM card, do I need to provide her with them for the SHN?Show

Yes, you will need to provide your FDW with a mobile phone (that can be installed with WhatsApp) and a local SIM card during the SHN period. MOM will be contacting the FDW to ensure that she is abiding by the SHN requirements.

Can FDWs who are returning from home leave work during the SHN period?Show

FDWs who are serving their SHN at their employers’ residence can work during the SHN period. However, the FDW is not permitted to leave the residence.

FDWs who are serving their SHN in alternative accommodation will not be allowed to leave their SHN residence.

Should I still pay my FDW her salary while she is serving her 14-day SHN?Show

The current requirements will still be applicable.

New FDWs

For new FDWs, employers are required to start paying the FDW her salary once she is deployed to your household. Employers are not required to pay the FDW her salary during SHN as she has yet to be deployed to the household.

FDWs returning from overseas

For FDWs returning from overseas, employers should continue paying FDW her salary once she returns to Singapore.

My FDW is new and is supposed to be serving her 14-day SHN. Must she attend medical examination and Settling-In Programme before she starts the SHN?Show

Upon arrival in Singapore, FDWs will be placed on a mandatory 14-day SHN. New FDWs holding on to an in-principle approval (IPA) need to complete their SHN before they can complete their medical examination, attend the Settling-in Programme (SIP) and get their Work Permit issued.

MOM will automatically extend FDW’s Short-Term Visit Pass and IPA by 14 days and notify employers when the extension is done. First-time FDWs should complete the SIP within 3 days from the completion of their SHN.

My FDW just arrived in Singapore and has not started working for me. She has to serve her 14-day SHN. Where should she stay during this period? Who should arrange for this accommodation?Show

Employers and EAs can apply for entry approval online. Employers of direct-hire FDWs and employers of FDWs returning from overseas may also engage the services of an EA to assist in the entry approval and SHN arrangements.

The party applying for the entry approval will be responsible for ensuring proper housing and upkeep arrangements for the FDW to serve the SHN without leaving the SHN residence.

New FDWs have to serve their SHN at dormitories, hostels or hotels. EAs and employers can look for alternative accomodation or email mom_qops@mom.gov.sg if they need assistance on accommodation options.

If my FDW is housed at an alternative location (not my house) for the 14-day SHN, who should bear the cost of her accommodation?Show

Employers are responsible to bear the cost of the FDW’s accommodation during the 14-day SHN.

MOM will provide a SHN support to help Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents employers who are affected by these measures and were not able to factor in these requirements in their hiring decisions.

Eligible employers will receive $60 daily and have their FDW levy waived for the required duration of the SHN. This will help employers offset some of the costs incurred.

Employers will be eligible for the support if:

  • Your FDW is arriving in Singapore from overseas from 16 Mar 2020, 2359 hours; and
  • Your FDW is housed in a dormitory, hostel or hotel.

Your FDW’s work pass application was submitted before 15 Mar 2020, 2359 hrs; or your FDW has a valid work pass and left Singapore prior to 15 Mar 2020, 2359 hrs.

Employers can apply for the support within 90 days after the FDW completes her SHN. MOM will provide more details on the application process later.

Why can't I house my new FDW at my household during SHN?Show

Similar to today, new FDWs should complete the necessary procedures (e.g. medical examination, Settling-In Programme) before being deployed to households.

As these procedures can only be done after the FDWs have completed their SHN, it would be better for the FDW to be housed at an alternative accommodation for the duration of the SHN.

I'm an EA. Can I house FDWs at my boarding house for the 14-day SHN?Show

EAs can only house FDWs in their boarding house if it is a hostel, dormitory or hotel.

My FDW just returned from home leave, and she is serving the 14-day SHN in my house. Am I eligible for MOM's SHN support?Show

Employers whose FDWs are returning from overseas and serving their SHN in their own residence are not eligible for the SHN support.

I'm an EA. Am I eligible for MOM's SHN support?Show

Employers are responsible to bear the cost of the FDW’s accommodation during the 14-day SHN.

The SHN support is for employers (Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents) who are affected by the SHN requirements. EAs that have been engaged by employers to assist with entry approval and SHN arrangements should discuss the costs involved with employers.

I voluntarily placed my FDW on SHN at an alternative location before 16 March 2020. Am I eligible for MOM's SHN support?Show

No. The SHN support is for employers whose FDWs are arriving in or returning to Singapore from 16 Mar 2020, 2359 hrs, and are subject to the entry approval and SHN requirements.

I'm an FDW employer. How can I apply for the SHN support?Show

Employers can apply for the SHN support within 90 days after the FDW completes her SHN. MOM will provide more details on the application process later.

What will happen if the FDW's SHN is breached?Show

EAs, employers and their FDWs have a collective duty to ensure that the entry approval and SHN requirements are fully complied with.

Enforcement action, including revocation of work passes and suspension of work pass privileges, will be taken if the requirements are not complied with. Demerit points will also be imposed on EAs whose actions result in violation of the requirements by the FDW.

What should I do if my FDW falls sick during SHN?Show

You should ask your FDW to don a mask and take her to the GP clinic closest to her SHN residence. The GP will make an assessment and take necessary steps to transport her to the hospital for further tests if necessary.

Please do not send the FDW directly to the hospital unless it is a medical emergency.

Guidelines for employers of FDWs

Some FDWs go out regularly to the market or to meet friends on their rest days. What advice can be given to them to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19?Show

In view of the introduction of social distancing measures, we strongly encourage FDWs to spend their rest day at home during this period. We recommend that employers discuss with their FDWs to reach a mutual agreement on rest day arrangements:

  • If FDWs agree to spend their rest day at home, employers should not assign work to their FDW on the rest day.
  • If FDWs agree to forgo their rest days, employers must provide compensation in lieu of the rest day.
  • If FDWs have errands that they need to attend to on their rest day, they should be encouraged to take their rest day on a weekday, when public spaces are less crowded.
  • Employers should also encourage their FDWs to not gather in public areas when they go out on their rest days.

As with the general population, FDWs are advised to practise good personal hygiene.

  • Wash hands frequently with soap, especially before handling food or eating, or after going to the toilet;
  • Cover one’s mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and dispose of soiled tissue in the bin immediately;
  • Avoid sharing food/drinks, utensils, toothbrushes or towels with others; and
  • If one is feeling unwell or develops symptoms like cough or shortness of breath, to wear a mask and see a doctor immediately.

I have young children / elderly / someone with weak immune system at home. What should I do if my FDW insists on going for her rest day, even though I am not comfortable with her doing so? Can MOM impose a requirement for FDWs to stay home during this period?Show

We encourage employers to have an open discussion with their FDW. Help her understand your concerns and that this is a temporary arrangement to safeguard her and the family against possible risks during this period.

If FDWs have errands that they need to attend to on their rest day, employers should encourage them to take their rest day on a weekday, when public spaces are less crowded.

Employers should also remind her to continue to practice good hygiene habits while she is out, such as washing her hands frequently with soap and to avoid sharing food/drinks. She should also avoid crowded places and large gatherings and avoid close contact with those who display flu-like symptoms.

What should employers do if their FDW wants to go on home leave?Show

For FDWs who have plans to travel back home, employers and FDWs should discuss and come to a mutual agreement for the FDWs to postpone their home leave until the situation stabilises.

Employers should inform FDWs that they would be subjected to the new SHN requirement upon return to Singapore if they travel back home.

Employers should also inform FDWs upfront that the employer is not obligated to pay for accommodation costs should the FDW serve the SHN in an alternative accommodation upon their return.

What should employers do if their FDWs are feeling unwell and start to cough or have runny nose, fever, sore throat or breathlessness?Show

Employers should bring their FDWs immediately to seek medical attention at GP clinics, who will advise you on the next course of action. Please do not send the worker directly to the hospital unless it is a medical emergency.

Employers should also monitor the health condition of everyone in the household, including the FDW, and take their temperature at least twice a day, and check for any flu-like symptoms.

If an employer suspects that his FDW or any family member is exposed to COVID-19, the employer should provide the individual with a surgical mask if available, and seek medical attention immediately.

My FDW is scheduled for classroom Settling-In Programme (SIP) and I am concerned about COVID-19 transmission risks. Can my FDW attend an online SIP instead?Show

All new and returning FDWs, including first-time FDWs, FDWs will be placed on a mandatory 14-day SHN. This means that all FDWs who attend SIP would have completed their SHN so employers need not be concerned with transmission risks.

All SIP training providers have also taken additional precautionary measures to protect and ensure the well-being of FDWs undergoing SIP training. Temperature screening is in place for all staff and FDWs, and any person who is unwell will be isolated immediately. The FDWs also have their meals in the classroom and not in communal areas.

Some FDWs are due for their six-monthly medical examination (6ME). Some employers may prefer not to send their FDWs to GP clinics due to concerns over transmission risks. Can such employers postpone the 6ME?Show

Employers who are concerned may wish to consider using the home-based 6ME service which allows the 6ME to be done at home. The service provider’s healthcare personnel will go to the FDW employer’s residence to collect the FDW’s blood sample and 6ME form. Employers will receive the test results when they are ready and need not collect them from the clinic.

Is the employer responsible for paying for the treatment of work pass holders who have COVID-19?Show

The Government will cover the cost of inpatient COVID-19 treatment at public hospitals for all long term pass holders, including work pass holders, holders of In-Principle Approvals (IPA), Letters of Eligibility (LOE) and temporary work permits (TWP).

All work pass holders (including those issued with IPA, LOE and TWP) should inform the hospital that he/she is holding on to a MOM-issued work pass, and present the work pass or relevant documents at the public hospital upon admission. Failure to do so could result in the work pass holder being billed as a short-term visit pass holder.

From 27 March 2020, any Singapore Citizen, Permanent Resident and long-term pass holder who leaves Singapore despite the travel advisories issued by MOH will be made responsible for their COVID-19 treatment at unsubsidised rates.

Entry approvals for FDWs and confinement nannies

Do I need to apply for MOM's entry approval before the FDW or confinement nanny can enter Singapore?Show

Yes, employers or employment agencies must obtain MOM’s entry approval before FDWs or confinement nannies arriving from overseas can enter Singapore.

To reduce the risk of importing the COVID-19 virus, we are restricting the entry of foreigners into Singapore.

All employers and employment agencies are strongly urged to defer bringing FDWs or confinement nannies into Singapore. Alternatively, employers can consider hiring FDWs or confinement nannies who are already in Singapore, instead of hiring those from overseas.

Do also note that upon arrival in Singapore, FDWs or confinement nannies from overseas must serve a 14-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN). Thus, there could be significant delays before they can work.

If you still wish to bring the FDW or confinement nanny into Singapore, you may proceed with the following. However, please note that chances of getting an entry approval are very slim:

  1. Ensure you can fulfil the additional responsibilities to bring her in:
  2. Request for MOM’s approval before she can enter Singapore using the relevant links for: The party who submits the entry approval request is responsible for the following:
    • Housing for the FDW or confinement nanny to serve the 14-day SHN and ensuring she has a Singapore mobile number. Her phone must also have internet connection and WhatsApp installed. This must be done before you submit the entry approval request, otherwise you will not be able to proceed.
    • Fulfilling the additional responsibilities to bring the FDW or confinement nanny in.
    Use our entry approval calculator to plan when to submit your request.
  3. Wait for MOM’s approval before arranging for her to enter Singapore.
  • For a new FDW, you need to wait for her to complete her 14-day SHN before you can get her Work Permit issued. To facilitate this, we will automatically extend the validity of her Short-Term Visit Pass and in-principle approval by 14 days, and notify the employer when the extension is approved.
  • The confinement nanny must complete her 14-day SHN before she can work. If her Visit Pass is expiring, please request for an extension at least 2 weeks before it expires.

Why are FDWs and confinement nannies subject to entry approval and Stay-Home Notice (SHN) requirements?Show

In view of the rapid spread of COVID-19 across the world, additional precautionary measures have been introduced to protect Singapore’s public health. These measures take into account that these workers live with families and many look after young children and the elderly.

My FDW or confinement nanny is coming from Malaysia (e.g. Johore Bahru), do I need to apply for entry approval before she can enter Singapore?Show

Yes, you need to apply for MOM’s entry approval so long as your FDW or confinement nanny is overseas and plans to enter Singapore.

When should employers / employment agencies submit the entry approval request?Show

Applications open daily from 12:01pm and close at 12pm the next day.

Requests received during this period are for arrivals within 14 days after the application closes (e.g. for arrivals in Singapore from 17 Mar 2020 to 30 Mar 2020, you can submit the request from 15 Mar 2020, 12:01pm to 16 Mar 2020, 12pm).

Use our entry approval calculator to plan when to submit your request.

As FDWs and confinement nannies from overseas need to serve a 14-day SHN upon arrival in Singapore before they can work, do factor the additional time needed in your planning.

What must I do to submit the entry approval request?Show

Before submitting the entry approval request, employers or employment agencies must ensure the following:

If employers need help with the entry approval and SHN arrangements, what can they do?Show

Employers who are unable to fulfil the additional responsibilities for FDWs or confinement nannies may get employment agencies to help with the entry approval and SHN arrangements. In this case, the employment agency needs to fulfil the additional responsibilities.

If no party is willing and able to fulfil the additional responsibilities, the FDW or confinement nanny should not enter Singapore.

Can employers / employment agencies submit multiple requests on the same day for the same FDW or confinement nanny?Show

Employers or employment agencies should not submit multiple requests for an FDW or confinement nanny within the same application window (from 12:01pm today to 12pm tomorrow) using the same or different arrival dates. We will only process the latest request and notify you on the outcome for it, and reject the earlier ones.

Employers with multiple FDWs must submit 1 request per FDW.

How will employers / employment agencies be notified of the outcome?Show

Employers / employment agencies will receive the outcome by email:

  • On the same day if the request is submitted by 12pm.
  • On the next day if the request is submitted after 12pm.

The email approval must be sent to the FDW or confinement nanny. She must show a print-out of this approval to the airline staff upon check-in before boarding the plane and to the Singapore Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) upon arrival in Singapore.

Is there a need to submit a new application for approval if the flight is delayed or changed?Show

MOM’s approval already included flexibility to deal with possible flight delays, which is stated in the email when approval is given. However, you will need to submit a new request if the arrival date falls outside the dates given in the approval. Use the relevant links for:

Can employers get a levy waiver for FDWs who are overseas or on home leave for more than 60 days, as they are not able to enter Singapore when the travel restrictions are in place?Show

Employers can get a levy waiver for their FDWs who are overseas or on home leave up to 90-day cap if they are unable to return to Singapore due to travel restrictions.

You can apply for levy waiver after the worker enters Singapore.

Can I apply for levy waiver for my FDW for the 14-day SHN?Show

MOM will provide an assistance package to support employers (Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents) who are affected by the SHN requirements. Employers can apply for $60 support daily per affected FDW and have their levy waived during the SHN period. Employers will be eligible for the assistance package if the FDW does not serve her SHN at the employers’ registered residential address (i.e. if they serve their SHN at an alternative accommodation such as dormitories, hostels or hotels), and:

  • The FDW’s work pass application is submitted to MOM on or before 15 March 2020; or
  • The FDW has a valid work pass, and left Singapore on or before 15 March 2020.

Employers can apply for the assistance and levy waiver within 90 days after the FDW has completed her SHN. More details on the application process will be provided at a later date.

My FDW or confinement nanny intends to travel out of Singapore. What do I need to consider?Show

Please discourage your FDW or confinement nanny from going overseas as any worker who leaves Singapore from 27 March 2020 will be given lower priority in the grant of MOM’s entry approval for her to enter Singapore. The country she is visiting may also have travel restrictions. Thus, there could be significant delays before she can return to Singapore.

If she still decides to go overseas and subsequently develops symptoms within 14 days of returning to Singapore, you will be responsible for any COVID-19 treatment costs that she incurs in Singapore.

I am unable to hire an FDW due to the travel restrictions and have urgent caregiving needs. What can I do?Show

Given the COVID-19 measures implemented by countries worldwide, families who hire FDWs are also affected.

Those with urgent caregiving needs can consider home or institutional care options.

If you need help with caregiving for children aged 0-6 years, you can search for a preschool using the Early Childhood Development Agency’s Preschool Search Portal. The portal allows you to search for centres, find out if a centre has vacancies and register your interest with the centre. You can also refer to the ECDA website for more information.

If you need help with caregiving for children aged 7-14 years, you can consider Student Care Centres (SCCs). You can search for SCCs based on locations using the postal code filter.

If your child is currently enrolled in a Special Education (SPED) school and you wish to explore a temporary care arrangement, you can consider Special Student Care Centres (SSCCs), which offer before and after school care services for children and youths between age 7 to 18. You can search for SSCCs online.

If you need help with caregiving for seniors, you may contact the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) at 1800 650 6060 for referrals to home and centre-based care services. This includes day care centres which provide care and support to seniors in the day, including those with dementia. Transport to and from day care centres is available.

Managing excess manpower measures

Cost savings measures which affect foreign workers

What should I do if I wish to reduce the salaries of my foreign employees?Show

You should notify MOM on the cost saving measures your company implemented first, before seeking approval from Controller of Work Passes to reduce your foreign employees’ salaries.

Can the amount of salary adjustment for my foreign employees be different from my local workers?Show

As outlined in the Tripartite Advisory on Managing Excess Manpower and Responsible Retrenchment, employers should exercise fairness across all workers when implementing cost-saving measures, regardless of whether they are local or foreign employees.

I need to renew the work passes of my employees during the period the cost-saving measures are in place. Should I declare my work pass holder’s original or reduced fixed monthly salary in the renewal application?Show

You should declare the work pass holder’s actual fixed monthly salary (i.e., salary they are intended to be paid before the reduction due to cost-saving measures) in the renewal application. You must pay them their actual salary at the end of the cost-cutting measures.

I have Work Permit holders who qualify for higher skilled worker levy today, under the Market-Based Skills Recognition Framework (MBF). If I reduce their salaries as a cost-saving measure, will I need to pay more levy?Show

No, any temporary salary reductions done fairly in accordance to the Tripartite Advisory on Managing Excess Manpower and Responsible Retrenchment, and are approved by the Controller of Work Passes, will not affect the levy status of the R1 work permit holders.

You should not use WP Online to update the salary. Instead, you need to apply to MOM for approval.

Temporary housing support

What kind of rented or short term accommodation are allowed under the Temporary Housing Support?Show

Employers must ensure that their affected workers are housed in proper accommodation. Proper accommodation includes the following:

  • Hotels
  • Dormitories
  • HDB flats
  • Private residential property

You can find general information on various types of proper housing and their specific requirements.

If your affected workers are staying in workplaces which are converted for temporary housing, you need to seek MOM’s approval to be eligible for the Temporary Housing Support by 25 March 2020. MOM will contact eligible employers to advise them on the application.

I have converted a part of my workplace premises (e.g. office or factory) into temporary accommodation facilities (e.g. putting in bedding, etc) so that my affected workers can stay here during this period. Can I apply for the Temporary Housing Support?Show

Employers must ensure that their affected workers are housed in proper accommodation. If your affected workers are staying in workplaces which are converted for temporary housing, you need to seek MOM’s approval to be eligible for the Temporary Housing Support by 25 March 2020. MOM will contact eligible employers to advise them on the application.

My affected workers are housed in multiple types of proper accommodation, e.g. some are staying in hotels, some in converted premises that have been verified and approved by MOM. Can I apply for the Temporary Housing Support?Show

Yes, you can apply for the Temporary Housing Support.

Employers must ensure that their affected workers are housed in proper accommodation. If your affected workers are staying in workplaces which are converted for temporary housing, you need to seek MOM’s approval to be eligible for the Temporary Housing Support by 25 March 2020. MOM will contact eligible employers to advise them on the application.

My affected workers paid for their short-term housing in HDB flats or private residential properties, and claimed the full cost from me. Can I apply for the Temporary Housing Support? What documents do I need to submit for proof of accommodation?Show

Yes, you can apply for the Temporary Housing Support.

You would also need to submit the following documents for proof of accommodation:

  • Copy of transaction receipts from owner of HDB / private residential property showing names of all affected workers, period of accommodation and address of proper accommodation. The period of accommodation must minimally cover 25 March 2020 to 31 March 2020.
  • If the accommodation is paid by the affected worker upfront, you will also need to show proof of reimbursement to the worker.

See the full list of documents that you need to submit.

My affected workers paid for their short-term housing in hotels or dormitories, and claimed the full cost from me. Can I apply for the Temporary Housing Support? What documents do I need to submit for proof of accommodation?Show

Yes, you can apply for the Temporary Housing Support.

You would also need to submit the following documents for proof of accommodation:

  • Copy of bills / receipts showing names of all affected workers, period of accommodation and address of proper accommodation. The period of accommodation must minimally cover 25 March 2020 to 31 March 2020.
  • If the accommodation is paid by the affected worker upfront, you will also need to show proof of reimbursement to the worker.

See the full list of documents that you need to submit.

I have workers who are both full-time and part-time, does the Temporary Housing Support apply to both full-time and part-time workers? For part-time workers, is there any minimum working hours or minimum salary required to qualify?Show

Yes, you can apply for the THS for affected workers who are full-time or part-time, as long as they meet the criteria to be classified as an affected worker.

You must also have paid the housing cost for these workers during the affected period in full.

Is this Temporary Housing Support applicable to all business sectors?Show

Yes.

Can I claim for both the voluntary LOA Support Programme and the Temporary Housing Support for the same affected workers?Show

No, you can only claim for one.

My worker is a Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident but staying in Johor Bahru. Will I still be able to apply for Temporary Housing Support?Show

Yes, you can apply for the Temporary Housing Support by providing a copy of your worker’s NRIC, indicating that his/her residential address is located in Malaysia, and supporting documents showing the residential address in Malaysia.

Upon submission of the application, how long does it take to process the application?Show

The processing time for the application will be around 4-6 weeks.

How will employers be notified of the outcome of the application?Show

Employers will receive an outcome via the email address provided during the application.

My employer has arranged for me to stay in a short-term housing. Can I submit the application myself directly without going through my employer?Show

No. The Temporary Housing Support aims to help employers who provide their workers short-term housing between 18 March 2020 and 31 March 2020. Hence, your employer should submit the application.

My affected workers are staying in my factory / shop which has been converted for short-term housing and verified by MOM. How can I claim for Temporary Housing Support?Show

MOM will contact eligible employers who have submitted their application for MOM’s approval of the temporary housing by 25 March 2020 to advise on the application.

Malaysia's Movement Control Order will be extended to 14 April 2020. Will the Temporary Housing Support be extended beyond 31 March 2020?Show

No, it will not be extended beyond 31 March 2020. For long term sustainability and business continuity reasons, employers will need to decide on how best to house their affected workers in Singapore, and sharing of the additional cost with their workers.

Temporary relief measures to help companies – Three-month extension of levy payment timeline for SMEs

How does the levy payment deferment work?Show

Currently, employers who fail to pay levy for two consecutive months will have their work passes revoked in the following month. With the levy payment deferment measure, SMEs have up to five months to pay their levies incurred every month. Employers who fail to make the payment by the end of the 5th month will have their work passes revoked.

We encourage employers to plan out their cashflow and pay their levies in a timely manner to avoid late payment penalty and rejection of their new work pass applications. See illustration using levy incurred for the month of March 2020.

Under this measure, will employers still incur late payment penalty charges when they defer their levy payment?Show

Payment of levy continues to be due by the 14th or 17th of the following month for non-GIRO and GIRO payment respectively. Deferment in levy payment is considered late payment and will attract, as usual, a late payment penalty of 2% per month (capped at 30% of total outstanding levy). This is to ensure employers settle their levy liabilities as soon as possible.

When will the levy payment deferment measure end?Show

This measure applies to all levies incurred in 2020. This means the last levy payment applicable for the deferment is December 2020 levy. Thereafter employers should pay their January 2021’s levy in February 2021, and so on. To avoid work pass revocation, employers will need to ensure that levies incurred up to December 2020 are paid by May 2021.

The measure takes effect immediately. What happens if the employer's January and/or February 2020 levy remains outstanding?Show

This measure applies to levies incurred in 2020. Employers with outstanding levy for the January 2020 will have up to June 2020 to make the levy payment. Levy for February 2020 needs to be paid by July 2020. Otherwise, MOM will revoke the work passes.

How do SMEs apply for the levy payment deferment?Show

There is no need to apply for the deferment.

GIRO deductions for levy payment may not provide the flexibility employers need for managing cash flow. Are employers allowed to terminate GIRO?Show

Employers who want flexibility in managing their cash flow can opt to terminate the GIRO arrangement for paying levy. Please make the levy payment via other payment methods by the 14th of the month to avoid a late payment penalty of 2% per month.

Employers with GIRO arrangement will continue to have their levy deducted from their GIRO account on the 17th of every month. Employers should ensure that their GIRO account has sufficient funds for the deduction as unsuccessful deduction will result in bank charges and late payment penalty charges.

Who is eligible for the 3-month extension of levy payment?Show

Only small-and-medium size enterprises (SMEs) incorporated in Singapore employing not more than 200 workers are eligible.

How do employers check their levy liabilities?Show

Employers can log in to check and pay foreign worker levy eService to check.

Safe distancing measures and submission of information

I received an email on 26 March from noreply@mom.gov.sg on safe distancing measures and submission of information to MOM. Is this an official email, and why is MOM requesting for these information?Show

Yes, this is an official email from MOM.

In view of the high number of imported COVID-19 cases, MOM will be stepping up the monitoring of foreign work pass holders who entered Singapore between 14 and 20 March 2020 and were not issued a Stay-Home Notice.

I am required to submit the contact details of foreign workers who recently entered Singapore to MOM by 26 March 2020. I am unable to meet the required deadline, can I request for an extension?Show

If you need more time to collate the information, you can submit the returns to MOM by 27 March 2020, 2359 hrs.

What should I do if my Malaysian worker does not have any local number? Can I provide a Malaysian contact number instead?Show

A local number is required as MOM will be sending SMSes to the worker to check on their whereabouts.

Do I need to provide details of foreign work pass holders who are not sick in the health declaration?Show

MOM only require details of foreign work pass holders who are unwell in the health declaration. However, you should still monitor the health of your work pass holders and inform MOM whether the temperature checks have been done.

Is this exercise applicable for all my workers who return between 14 March and 20 March?Show

The exercise is only applicable to foreign work pass holders (including Work Permit holders, S Pass holders and Employment Pass holders) who had entered Singapore between 14 and 20 March 2020 and not issued with a Stay-Home Notice. This is an additional precautionary measure in view of the high number of imported cases.

Second job arrangements

As the first employer, how do I help my affected employees find a second job during this period?Show

Workforce Singapore has launched the SGUnited Jobs Virtual Career Fair (VCF) on MyCareersFuture.sg on 27 March 2020. The VCF is focused on short-term temporary jobs that are immediately available.

We also encourage employers who have immediate manpower needs to post their job vacancies on MyCareersFuture.sg.

My employee fell sick on the day they were only working for their second employer. As the first employer, am I required to provide sick leave and medical benefits?Show

No.

The first employer is only required to provide sick leave and medical benefits for days when the employee is scheduled to work for them.

My employee has secured a second job and suffered from a work injury while working for the second employer. Which employer should be responsible for the workplace injury compensation?Show

The second employer is responsible for workplace injury compensation as the employee was injured during the course of employment for the second employer.

An employee worked for first employer in the morning, and second employer in the afternoon. The employee fell sick and was unable to report to work. Are both employers required to provide sick leave and medical benefits?Show

Yes.

However, both employers would only be required to provide a pro-rated day of paid sick leave, assuming that the employee has worked for more than 3 months for both employers.

Can I deploy my foreign employees (Work Permit and S Pass holders) to another company?Show

You should seek MOM’s approval.

Can my foreign employee take on freelance service contract as a second job?Show

No, foreign employees are not permitted to work as freelancers.

If I cease my operations when my employees are at their second job, do I need to make special arrangements?Show

No.

However, you should communicate the intentions of retrenchment to your employees early, and pay all wages due including payment in lieu of notice and retrenchment benefit by the last day of work.

Can I stop my employees from taking on a second job?Show

No, unless the employment contract prohibits moonlighting or there is a conflict of interest.

Employers should be considerate and supportive towards employees’ circumstances during this period. Employers are encouraged to waive contractual prohibitions against taking on a second job and help employees resolve conflicts of interest where possible given that they initiated the reduced work hours and reduced salaries to save costs.

As the first employer, how do I send my employees for training, but some of them took on a second job?Show

You should discuss with your employees on the training commitments that may fall on days that he/she is not working for you, and work out a mutually agreeable arrangement.

Employers should be flexible and supportive when employees take on a second job to supplement their income.