Singapore to temporarily loosen hiring rules for foreign workers

Out-Law News | 19 Aug 2021 | 4:41 am |

Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is temporarily lifting some work permit renewal and other conditions to ease labour shortages due to Covid-19 related border closures. 

The affected sectors are the construction, marine shipyard and process (CMP) sectors. As part of these temporary measures, employees who hold work permits expiring between July and December are able to renew their permits for two years even if they do not meet the usual renewal criteria including caps on employment period or employment age, according to a statement.

All work passes in the CMP sectors including high-skilled S passes and employment passes, will get in-principle approval for validity extensions of up to one year, if the pass holders are unable to enter Singapore because of Covid-19 border restrictions.

It is reported that experienced construction workers whose work permits have been terminated will be given a 30-day window to find new jobs rather than being promptly repatriated to their home countries under a new scheme supported by the Singapore Contractors Association Ltd (SCAL).

Companies in the construction and process sectors have also been waived from a minimum work experience requirement to employ work permit holders from India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bangladesh, Myanmar, the Philippines and mainland China.

Mayumi Soh of Pinsent Masons MPillay, the Singapore joint law venture between MPillay and Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law, said: “The CMP sectors play a key role in the country’s economy, and these measures are intended to support the CMP sectors through these tough periods.”