COVID-19: Firms can hire existing work permit holders from all sectors under temporary scheme

(PHOTO: Dhany Osman / Yahoo News Singapore)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said it is expanding a temporary scheme with effect from Wednesday (1 April) to help more firms hire workers who are already in Singapore amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Firms in all sectors can hire existing work permit holders (WPHs) who are in Singapore from other sectors, with the agreement of their current employers. The previous rule only allows transfers within the respective sectors.

Firms in all sectors can also hire existing WPHs from their own or another sector, where the work permits are within 40 days of expiry. This is an extension of a scheme that exists for the construction and process sectors for transfers within their own sectors. An agreement from the current employer is not needed.

The measures come after the MOM announced on 25 February that it was partnering the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) to allow companies in the manufacturing and services sectors to hire existing Chinese work permit holders here starting from 2 March for six months with the agreement of their current employers. As of Monday, MOM and SBF have helped 490 companies in these sectors hire 280 WPHs from China.

For the expanded temporary scheme, which will be in place until 31 August, the hiring firms will need to meet prevailing criteria under their respective sectors. 

“These new measures will give firms in all sectors even more flexibility to manage their manpower needs. Firms facing a shortage of manpower can tap on a bigger pool of experienced WPHs and save on search and recruitment costs,” MOM said. 

For inter-sectoral transfers (earlier than 40 days before work permit expiry), firms can approach SBF at manpowerconnect@sbf.org.sg or visit their website for more information. For transfers of WPHs from 40 days before work permit expiry (including inter-sectoral transfers), firms can make a request via an online form or visit MOM’s website for more information.

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