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Local Qualifying Salary

The Local Qualifying Salary (LQS) determines the number of local employees who can be used to calculate a firm’s Work Permit and S Pass quota entitlement. The LQS is $1,400 today.

From 1 July 2024, the LQS will be raised to $1,600.

The LQS ensures that local workers are employed meaningfully, rather than on token salaries for firms to access to foreign workers. The LQS is reviewed regularly to keep pace with rising local wages and ensure that our quota controls remain effective.

The LQS was previously known as the Full-Time Equivalent salary.

How is the Local Qualifying Salary (LQS) used in the computation of foreign employee quota

A Singaporean or Permanent Resident employee employed under a contract of service, including the company’s director, is counted as:

  • 1 local worker if they earn the LQS of at least $1,400 per month.
  • 0.5 local worker if they earn half the LQS of at least $700 to below $1,400 per month.

New LQS requirement as part of the Progressive Wage moves

Since 1 September 2022, firms employing foreign employees e.g. Work Permit, S Pass or EP holders are required to pay

  • Progressive Wages (PWs) to local employees covered by the relevant Sectoral or Occupational PWs 
  • At least the LQS to all other local employees not covered under the PWs

The LQS requirement is as follows:

For locals working part-time
i.e. < 35 hours/week

≥ $9/hr gross

For monthly rated part-timers, the hourly gross rate is calculated as follows to check if it meets the ≥ $9/hr gross requirement:

(total monthly gross wages) ÷ (total hours worked for the month)

For full-time locals working full time
i.e. 35-44 hours per week

≥ $1,400 gross

For full-time locals working overtime
i.e. > 44 hours/week

LQS requirement will increase for every hour of overtime work. You can refer to the LQS wage schedule.

Employees can check their wage details, job details and if employers are paying them the correct wages using the Progressive Wage Portal (PW Portal).

Calculation of foreign worker quota for firms will remain unchanged with the new LQS requirement.

You hire a part-time local worker:

  • He works 10 hours per week, and earns $450 monthly gross wages (i.e. $10.30/hour).
  • Hence, you will fulfil the new LQS requirement for part-timers.
  • You can continue to hire new foreign workers and renew existing foreign workers.
  • However, your part-time local will not be counted towards your quota entitlement as he earns a monthly gross wage below $700.