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Written Answer by Mrs Josephine Teo Minister for Manpower to PQ on statistics on adoption of absentee payroll under Workfare Training Support Scheme

NOTICE PAPER NO. 1935 OF 2019 FOR THE SITTING ON 6 JAN 2020
QUESTION NO. 1531 FOR WRITTEN ANSWER

MP: Mr Zainal Sapari

To ask the Minister for Manpower since the absentee payroll under the Workfare Training Support (WTS) Scheme was first introduced (a) how many companies and workers have benefitted and what is the total amount disbursed on a yearly basis; and (b) what is the breakdown of the companies by industry sectors that have benefitted from WTS.

Answer

  1. Over the past 5 years, an average of around 3,000 companies and 31,000 workers have benefited from absentee payroll funding[1] each year under the Workfare Training Support (WTS) Scheme. The average amount disbursed yearly is about $6 million. See Table 1 for details.

    Table 1
    Year  Number of unique companies  List of unique workers  Total amount disbursed for absentee payroll 
     2010 (July to December) 900 6,800 $784,000
     2011  1,300 18,300  $2,438,000
     2012 1,300 18,800  $3,256,000
     2013 1,600 20,000 $3,309,000
     2014[2] 2,900 31,000 $5,577,000
     2015 2,900 32,500  $5,574,000
     2016 2,900 35,100  $6,509,000 
     2017 3,200 30,100  $6,142,000 
     2018 2,900 28,200  $6,572,000
  2. The breakdown of the top industry sectors with the most number of companies benefiting from absentee payroll funding is in Table 2. These are broadly sectors with a higher proportion of low-wage workers.

    Table 2
    Industry sectors Number of unique companies (2010 to 2018) 
     Administrative and Support Service Activities[3]  1,228
     Manufacturing  1,184
     Accommodation and Food Service Activities  1,130
     Wholesale Trade  874
     Other Service Activities[4]  847

FOOTNOTE

  1. Absentee payroll covers 95% of an employee’s hourly basic salary, and is disbursed to companies for employer-sponsored training upon application.
  2. From 2014 onwards, training requirements under the Progressive Wage Model were introduced in phases.
  3. Examples include Cleaning, Security and Landscape Services.
  4. Examples include Hairdressing, Beauty and Other Personal Care Services.