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Helping businesses on manpower issues

MOM has introduced temporary schemes to help companies manage the manpower disruptions caused by COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019).

Updated as of 13 August 2021

Temporary schemes to allow companies to transfer foreign workers to manage manpower needs 

New measures to help companies in the construction, marine shipyard and process sectors to retain and hire new Work Permit holders

The Government is introducing new measures to help companies in the Construction, Marine Shipyard and Process (CMP) sectors retain their existing and hire new Work Permit holders. The new measures will ensure that the CMP sectors continue to meet manpower needs for their operations, preserve core capabilities and emerge stronger from COVID-19.

The Government will support all firms in the CMP sectors through the following measures: 

  • Work permits that are expiring between July and December 2021 can be renewed for up to two years, even if they do not meet the renewal criteria. This includes Work Permit holders who are reaching the maximum period of employment, or who are reaching the maximum employment age. Firms also do not need to maintain at least 10% of their Work Permit holders as higher skilled workers.  
  • From July 2021, the validity of In-Principle Approvals (IPAs) of all Employment Pass, S Passes and Work Permits holders who are unable to enter Singapore due to border control measures, will be extended by up to one year.
  • From 1 September 2021 to 28 February 2022, we will partner with Singapore Contractors Association Ltd (SCAL) to introduce a six-month retention scheme for experienced Work Permit holders in the construction sector whose previous employment has been terminated. Employers in the construction sector can visit the SCAL website to learn more about the SCAL Retention Scheme, or email to register their interest.
  • From 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022, the minimum Period of Employment (POE) requirement for Work Permit holders to qualify for Man-Year Entitlement (MYE) waiver will be removed. This will apply to all workers from non-traditional sources (NTS) and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in the CMP sector who are applying or renewing their Work Permits.

The Government will continue to review our measures to support the CMP sectors.

Allow transfer of foreign workers within their own business sectors

Firms in all sectors can hire existing Work Permit holders from their own sector, where the work permits are between 40 days and 21 days (inclusive)* to expiry. Agreement of the current employer is not required. This is an extension of a scheme that exists for the construction and process sectors for transfers within their own sectors.

When there are more than 40 days or fewer than 21 days to Work Permit expiry, firms in all sectors can hire existing Work Permit holders from their own sector, with the agreement of the current employer.

Hiring firms will be required to meet the prevailing Work Permit criteria under their respective sectors.

With more than 40 days or less than 21 days before Work Permit expiry

Between 40 days and 21 days (inclusive) to Work Permit expiry

Firms can submit their request online for transfers.

Manpower-matching assistance

Hiring firms who need assistance to search for an existing Work Permit holder from the same sector who is available for transfer can also approach their respective sector associations:

Sectors Sector associates
Manufacturing Singpore Business Federation
Services Singapore Business Federation (SBF)
Construction Singapore Contractors Association Limited (SCAL)
Process Association of Process Industries (ASPRI)
Marine shipyard Association of Singapore Marine Industries (ASMI)

For more info, read the FAQs on temporary scheme to help businesses manage manpower disruptions due to COVID-19.