Singapore further extends levy rebate on foreign workers till June

Singapore, Mar 27: Acknowledging that labour-intensive industries in the country continue to face manpower shortage, the Singapore government on Sunday again extended foreign worker levy rebate for three months, a move which will help companies dependent on imported workers.
The levy rebate extension is part of several support measures that were put in place to help alleviate the pressures of continued manpower shortages and high business costs for the labour-intensive CMP sectors, said the Ministry of National Development (MND) and Manpower Ministry (MOM).
These measures were set to expire at the end of this month, including the foreign worker levy rebate. Introduced in 2020, the rebate was to help businesses amid challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The SGD 250 per month worker levy is being extended for April and May and SGD 200 for June for CMP sectors that import labour from Asian countries, including India.
Singapore draws most of the foreign labours from India, Bangladesh and China.
In the joint release, the ministries said that the lower foreign worker levy rebate for June this year 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,” said the statement.
“As the foreign worker levy 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,” the Strait Times quoted the Ministries as saying.
Also being extended is a provision under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act – allowing contractors to seek a determination from an assessor to adjust the contract sum, to take into account an increase in foreign manpower salary incurred due to reasons relating to Coronavirus.
While it was meant to conclude at the end-March, the relief period under this provision will now be further extended for an additional three months, till June 30.
MND and MOM said that this relief, provided to the built environment 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 built environment sector,” they said.
Meanwhile, Singapore reported 6,434 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday (Mar 26), comprising 122 infections that arrived here.
There were seven fatalities, taking the death toll from coronavirus complications to 1,246.
Singapore has recorded 1,067,157 COVID-19 infections since the start of the pandemic. (PTI)