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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.

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 LQS used in the computation of foreign worker 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

From 1 September 2022, firms employing foreign workers e.g. Work Permit, S Pass or EP holders will need to pay

  • Progressive Wages (PWs) to local workers covered by the relevant Sectoral or Occupational PWs (i.e. in cleaning, security and landscape maintenance sectors, and new Progressive Wage Models (PWMs) which are introduced progressively from 1 September 2022),
  • at least the LQS to all other local workers.

The LQS requirement is as follows:

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

≥ $9/hr

How is it calculated for monthly rated part-timers:

(monthly gross wages × 12 mths) ÷ (52 weeks × avg hrs worked per week)

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

≥ $1,400

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

LQS requirement will increase for every hour of overtime work.

You can read the detailed wage schedule in Appendix C of the Tripartite Workgroup on Lower-Wage Workers report for the new LQS requirement.

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.