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Helping businesses on manpower issues

MOM had introduced temporary schemes to help companies manage manpower disruptions cause by COVID-19. With the relaxation of border controls, the schemes have been reviewed as of 1 July 2022. 

Updated as of 6 July 2022

Change of Employer (COE) schemes to allow firms to transfer migrant workers to manage manpower needs

Measures to help firms in the construction, marine shipyard and process sectors to hire new Work Permit holders

During the COVID-19 period, the Government had introduced the Retention Scheme for construction, marine shipyard and process (CMP) sectors to help firms to retain experienced Work Permit holders. This scheme is for workers whose employment has been terminated but wish to continue working in Singapore. In tandem, the (COE) without consent period was also adjusted from the 40 to 21 days before Work Permit expiry, to the 30 days after Work Permit expiry. 

Given the relaxation of COVID-19 border controls, the above temporary COE schemes have ceased on 30 June 2022. 

The following measures have been implemented for all firms in the CMP sectors:

  • From 1 July 2022, the COE without consent period has been adjusted to the 40 to 21 days before the Work Permit expiry.
  • 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. 

Allow transfer of migrant workers (within their own business sectors) in the manufacturing and services sectors, without agreement from current employer

From 1 July 2022, MOM will make permanent the COE scheme to allow workers whose Work Permits are expiring within 40 to 21 days to change their employer without the need to obtain consent from their current employer. 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 migrant 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 sectors. 

For more info, read the FAQs on Change-of-Employer (COE) schemes