Extension of Support Measures for Businesses in the Construction, Marine Shipyard and Process Sectors
1. The Government is extending support measures for companies in the Construction, Marine Shipyard and Process (CMP) sectors in view of the continued manpower shortages and elevated business costs arising from COVID-19.
Extension of Foreign Worker Levy (FWL) rebate for CMP Work Permit Holders (WPH)
2. The FWL rebate was introduced in 2020 to help businesses retain their enterprise capabilities amidst challenges caused by the pandemic. It was due to expire in end-March 2022. The Government will now extend the FWL rebate for CMP WPHs for another three months, at $250 per month for April and May 2022, and $200 for June 2022.
3. The lower FWL rebate for June 2022 reflects the improving manpower inflow for the CMP sectors, with manpower costs expected to moderate accordingly. The Government will continue to monitor the situation before deciding closer to June 2022 whether an extension of the rebate is necessary. As the FWL rebate is meant to be a temporary support, we encourage firms to press on with longer-term productivity improvements to be more manpower-lean and resilient against future manpower disruptions.
Extension of COTMA Part 10A for the Construction sector
4. Apart from the FWL rebate, the Government has supported the Built Environment (BE) sector with other measures, including financial assistance through the $1.36 billion construction support package, manpower support and legislative relief through the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act (“COTMA”). This is to ensure that no single segment of the BE value chain bears a disproportionate share of the burden due to COVID-19.
5. The prescribed period for COTMA Part 10A was originally extended till 31 March 2022. COTMA Part 10A allows contractors to seek a determination from an Assessor to adjust the contract sum to address the increase in foreign manpower salary costs, i.e. Construction WPHs’ salaries, due to COVID-19.
6. The relief period under COTMA Part 10A will now be further extended for an additional three months, till 30 June 2022. This will complement the extension of the FWL rebate for the same duration and provide additional assurance to firms in the BE sector. Further details on the process under COTMA Part 10A can be found at http://go.gov.sg/cotma10a.
7. The COTMA relief provided to the BE sector is meant to be time-limited. As the sector continues to recover and Singapore shifts towards living with COVID-19, firms will need to partner one another even more closely to ensure business sustainability and longer-term resilience of the BE sector.
Removal of Period of Employment (POE) requirement for Man-Year Entitlement (MYE)-waiver
8. In August 2021, the Government removed the minimum POE requirement of three years and two years for Construction and Process WPHs respectively, arriving from Non-Traditional Sources (NTS)1 and the People’s Republic of China (PRC), to qualify for the MYE-waiver2. This measure was to help support the inflow and retention of workers and is due to expire in March 2022.
9. The Government will now make the removal of the minimum POE requirement permanent. This is also in line with the dismantling of the MYE framework from 1 Jan 2024. Going forward, all incoming or renewal NTS and PRC WPHs will no longer need to meet the minimum POE requirement to qualify for the MYE-waiver.
10. The CMP sectors are key to Singapore’s economy, and the Government will continue to work closely with the sectors through the Industry Transformation Maps to transform businesses and reduce their reliance on manpower.