Singapore - Tightening Of Rules On The Employment Of Foreign Employees.

Legal News & Analysis - Asia Pacific - Singapore - Labour & Employment

13 April, 2018


MOM introduced new measures to moderate the intake of foreign manpower and ensure that Singaporeans have fair access to better job opportunities: 


Changes to the qualifying salary requirement for work pass holders to sponsor their dependants in Singapore 


With effect from 1 January 2018, the salary criteria for work pass holders to qualify for dependant privileges increased from S$5,000 to S$6,000 (for spouses and children) and S$10,000 to S$12,000 (for parents). 


Increased scrutiny over recruitment practices in employment pass applications 


In November 2017, MOM added several new questions in the Employment Pass (“EP”) online application form requiring employers to disclose information about their efforts to hire Singaporean candidates for the job. For example, employers have to provide information on how many Singapore citizens, permanent residents and foreign nationals applied for the job, what recruitment channels the employer has used, how far each candidate reached in the hiring process (distinguishing between Singapore citizens, permanent residents and foreigners), and up to three reasons why the company decided not to hire a local candidate from a prescribed list of reasons. 


Jobs Bank advertisement 


Under the Fair Consideration Framework, companies must advertise job vacancies on the Jobs Bank for at least 14 days before they can submit EP applications for their foreign hires. Currently, companies with 25 or fewer employees and jobs that pay fixed monthly salary of S$12,000 and above are exempted from the Jobs Bank advertising requirement. From 1 July 2018, the Jobs Bank advertising requirement will be expanded to cover companies with at least 10 employees and jobs that pay up to S$15,000 a month. 


Updates to S-Pass Eligibility


The minimum qualifying salary to apply for a S-Pass for foreign mid-level skilled staff will be raised from S$2,200 to S$2,400. To allow companies more time to adjust, the hike will take place over two phases: (i) the S$2,300 qualification will kick in on 1 January 2019 and (ii) the S$2,400 qualification will take effect on 1 January 2020.



For further information, please contact:


Laure de Panafieu , Counsel, Head of Employment & Incentives, Asia , Linklaters