HR WhatNow: S$700mn extension to the Jobs Support Scheme & More February 27, 2021

Singapore’s latest budget speech was delivered on 16th February 2021 by Finance minister, Heng Swee Keat in parliament, an array of funds were announced to put together a framework to build resilience and prepare for the life post-pandemic.

Measures are taken to include a 6 months extension on the jobs support scheme, salaries for specific sectors and job growth incentives.

Here are the key excerpts of how the budget will support HR aspects for Companies.

Extended Jobs Support Scheme

There will be an extension of 6 months for the Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) to support businesses that were particularly hit hard due to the pandemic situation, such as;  aviation, aerospace and tourism these industries are considered Tier 1 sectors for the scheme where else sectors such as; retail, arts & culture, food services and the built environment are considered Tier 2 sectors.

  • Firms in the Tier 1 sectors will receive 30% support for wages paid from April to June 2021, and 10% support for wages paid from July to September 2021.
  • Firms in Tier 2 sectors, the JSS will be extended at 10% for three months, covering wages paid up to June 2021. However supermarkets in particular will be excluded as they are classified as Tier 3B.

Some other industries in Tier 3B are Biomedical, Precision Engineering, Financial Services, Electronics etc. For full list please read here

  • For firms in Tier 3A sectors, JSS will continue covering wages up to March 2021.
  • Nightlife establishments such as pubs, and karaoke outlets, are not yet permitted to re-open.

Additional S$5.4bn funding on SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package

On top of the JSS package, the Government will also extend specific schemes under the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package. An additional S$5.4bn will be allocated to a second tranche of this Package.

  • The hiring window under the this Incentive will be extended by seven months, up till end-September 2021.
    • Companies hiring mature workers, persons with disabilities, and ex-offenders will be given more support – up to 18 months of enhanced wage support.
    • Companies hiring eligible locals will be given up to 12 months of wage support from the month of hire.
  • Support for the SGUnited Skills, SGUnited Traineeship, and the SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways Programmes, will also be extended.

Through this extensions, the Government targets to support the hiring of 200,000 locals this year and up to 35,000 traineeship and training opportunities.

Enhanced salaries for healthcare workers

Apart from the above, the Government will be enhancing the salaries of nurses and other healthcare workers, who have been at the frontline of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. This will apply to workers across the various healthcare institutions, including public healthcare institutions, publicly-funded community hospitals, and long-term care service providers.

Additional : Local-foreign worker mix

For sectors that predominantly requires foreign workers in their work force, several schemes will be in place and extended:

  • One-year extension to the Wage Credit Scheme, which supports wage increments for firms to retain or hire locals,at a co-funding level of 15%.
  • Manufacturing S Pass Sub-Dependency Ration Ceiling will also reduced to 18% from 1 January 2022, and subsequently to 15% from 1 January 2023.
  • Sectors in new growth areas, the Capability Transfer Programme will be extended to support foreign-to-local skills transfer, up till end-September 2024.

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