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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 26 April 2022

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 1 September 2021 to 30 June 2022, we are partnering with Singapore Contractors Association Ltd (SCAL) on 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. From 21 March 2022 to 30 June 2022, MOM will also partner with the Association of Singapore Marine Industries (ASMI) and the Association of Process Industries (ASPRI) to introduce a similar retention scheme for the marine shipyard and process sectors respectively. 
  • From 1 October 2021 to 31 December 2023, 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 without agreement from current employer

Firms in the manufacturing and services 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. Firms can submit their request online for such transfers. 

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

Allow transfer of foreign workers within their own business sectors with agreement from current employer

  • Firms can continue to use WP Online to hire existing Work Permit holders with more than 20 days before Work Permit expiry. 
  • For transfers with less than 21 days before Work Permit expiry, firms can submit this form if they are in the construction, process and marine shipyard sector. 
  • Firms in the manufacturing and services sector can contact SBF or visit SBF’s website for more information. 

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 Singapore Business Federation (SBF)
manpowerconnect@sbf.org.sg
Services Singapore Business Federation
manpowerconnect@sbf.org.sg
Construction Singapore Contractors Association Limited (SCAL)
scmx@scal.com.sg
Process Association of Process Industries (ASPRI)
coe@ipi.org.sg
Marine shipyard Association of Singapore Marine Industries (ASMI)
events@asmi.com

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