Qualifying Salary for Employment Pass Applications to Be Raised from January 2017

July 27, 20163:44 pm1278 views
Qualifying Salary for Employment Pass Applications to Be Raised from January 2017
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From January 2017, the qualifying salary for employment pass applications will be raised from S$3,300 to S$3,600. According to the Ministry of Manpower, this change is a part of its regular updating of the EP qualifying salary to keep pace with rising local wages, maintain the quality of its foreign workforce and “enhance their complementarity” to the local Singaporean workforce.

The previous employment pass salary update was in January 2014, from S$3,000 to S$3,300. With effect from 1 January 2017, only new EP applicants who can command a monthly salary of $3,600 or more, subject to meeting other criteria on qualifications and experience, will be considered.

Those with more years of experience are also required to command higher salaries commensurate with their work experience and skill sets, as per current practice. The MOM is further providing lead time for businesses to make adjustments. Existing employment pass holders, whose passes expire January 1, 2017 will be able to renew for upto 3 years based on existing EP criteria.

Between January 1, 2017 and 30 June 2017 (both dates inclusive) employment pass holders will be able to renew their passes for a duration of one year, based on the existing EP criteria.

However, from July 1, 2017 onwards all employment pass holders will have to comply with the requirements of the new criteria stated by the MOM for renewal of their passes. On renewal, the duration of the EPs will be upto three years.

Employers are further encouraged to use the the Self-Assessment Tool (SAT) on the MOM website to assess if their EP candidates will meet the new salary criteria. The SAT will be updated by November 2016.

Patrick Tay, assistant secretary-general of the National Trades Union Congress called this update a “positive move” in his Facebook post, to keep up with the rising median wages of its Professionals, Managers and Executives (PMEs), to ensure that the quality of foreign workforce on jobs is maintained.

However, Tay also warned MOM to be watchful of companies, who artificially blow up wages of their PMEs through creative means to recruit foreign talent in the management and meet the new criteria enforced by the Ministry. The bottom line is to make sure that “the local PMEs should be better off and not worse off.”

The MOM’s manpower policy framework is designed to meet the manpower needs of the economy, so that businesses can stay competitive and grow, and ultimately create more and better jobs in Singapore.

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