Jobs Support Scheme Extended By Up To 6 Months, Current Scheme Was Supposed To End In Mar
Part of that package is aimed at giving more support to sectors that have been worst-hit by the Covid-19 pandemic — aviation, land transport and arts, culture and sports.
More help will also come in the form of the Jobs Support Scheme (JSS), which will be extended by up to 6 months to Sep for the worst-hit sectors.
The scheme that helps companies retain local workers has helped 155,000 employers so far.
JSS was supposed to end in Mar
The JSS was introduced during Budget 2020. Under the scheme, the Government pays part of workers’ wages so that their employers can afford to keep them on the payroll.
The JSS was initially supposed to cover workers’ wages till Aug 2020, with the last payout in Oct.
In Aug, it was extended till Mar this year, with the last payout in Jun.
Now, it will be extended till Sep – an extension of up to 6 months.
But the support will be tailored to maintain resilience and support growing areas, said Mr Heng, who is also Minister for Finance.
Companies split into tiers
Not all companies will receive the same amount of support.
They’re split into 3 tiers (or rather, 4), depending on how badly they’ve been hit by the pandemic.
Those who’re not as badly hit, or doing well, will understandably get less support than those who’re struggling.
Tier 1 sectors to receive the most help
Tier 1 sectors are those who’re the worst hit by the crisis – i.e. aviation, aerospace and tourism.
For them, the JSS will be extended by the maximum 6 months.
For the 1st 3 months from Apr-Jun, they will get 30% wage support.
From Jul-Sep, the wage support will decrease to 10%.
Tier 2 sectors will get only 3-month extension
Tier 2 sectors are those who’re still hit badly.
They include sectors like retail, arts and culture, food services and built environment.
For them, the JSS will be extended for 3 months only.
From Apr-Jun, they will get 10% wage support.
Tier 3A will get no extension, Tier 3B support ended in Dec
Tier 3A is for all other sectors. They’re deemed to be “generally recovering”.
Thus, their support will be discontinued in Mar, after already being previously extended.
Then there’s the Tier 3B companies.
They’ve been deemed to be “managing well”, and include supermarkets like Sheng Siong and Internet companies.
Unsurprisingly, their JSS had already been stopped since Dec.
New support to cost $700m, 155,000 employers aided so far
This new injection of support will cost the Government $700 million, said Mr Heng.
So far, more than $25 billion has been spent.
But it’s been worth it, as 155,000 employers have been supported for up to 17 months.
He’s also “heartened” to see many employers retaining and reskilling their workers.
$5.4b more allocated to SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package
Mr Heng also announced the extension of other schemes within the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package.
That package has placed nearly 76,000 people in jobs, traineeships, attachments and skills training by the end of 2020, he added.
Thus, the Government will allocate $5.4 billion more to the next phase of the Jobs and Skills Package. This is after $3 billion was allocated last year.
This next phase will help 200,000 locals to get jobs this year, and up to 35,000 locals to get traineeships and training opportunities.
It’ll also help Singaporeans take on jobs in new growth areas.
$5.2b to be set aside for Jobs Growth Incentive
$5.2 billion of that will be set aside for the Jobs Growth Incentive (JGI), which encourages companies to hire more local workers.
This will extend the hiring window by 7 months till Sep.
About 110,000 local job seekers were hired in the 2 months after the JGI was implemented, Mr Heng said.
For workers who’ve lost their jobs or a significant chunk of income, the Covid-19 Recovery Grant will continue to help them.
More than 5,000 applications have been approved as of 15 Feb, added Mr Heng.
Existing enhanced financing schemes such as the Temporary Bridging Loan Programme and Enhanced Enterprise Financing Scheme will also be supported via the Covid-19 Resilience Package.
Protecting Singaporeans’ jobs
While people are concerned about their health amid Covid-19, they’ll also be concerned for their livelihoods, especially if they work in a sector that’s badly hit.
So as the pandemic shows little sign of slowing in the world more than a year after it started, it’s comforting that the Government is doing all they can to protect Singaporeans’ jobs.
Hopefully, local companies use the rebate well.
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