MOM Will Impose Stricter Employment Pass Requirements To Secure Jobs For Locals

Amidst a projected economic slowdown due to the Covid-19 crisis, many are starting to worry about their livelihoods.

Perhaps to quell citizens’ concerns, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has started to implement measures such as stricter employment pass (EP) requirements.

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By controlling the influx of foreign workers, jobs and salaries for locals will hopefully be more secure.

Here’s a look at what they discussed in Parliament today (3 Mar), according to The Straits Times (ST).

Higher minimum salary to qualify foreign workers for employment pass

Foreigners who wish to get a job in Singapore will need to qualify for an EP, which has a minimum pay requirement.

Now, foreign workers will have to find jobs that pay a minimum of $3,900 up from the previous $3,600 to get an EP.

Minister for Manpower Josephine Teo explained that the increase will free up jobs in that pay range for fresh graduates.

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This would certainly be good news for university grads who’ve been struggling to find work that doesn’t require much experience.

Tougher requirements for experienced workers too

ST reports that MOM will also enhance minimum EP qualifications for older and more experienced workers.

A worker in his early 40s for instance, will have to earn at least $7,800, double the revised amount, to qualify for an EP.

The higher number takes the applicant’s experience and skill sets into account, to ensure equal footing for local professionals.

The above changes will only take effect from 1 May 2021, to give businesses time to prepare and adjust.

Stricter monitoring to ensure more local hires

Aware that the new rules may influence employers to freeze local workers’ salaries in favour of increasing EP holders’ pay, MOM will look into restricting their work-pass privileges.

This is to ensure that companies keep to the local and foreign employee quota.

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In providing more opportunities for locals, openings for jobs will expand to include those offering up to $20,000 monthly salary, up from the current $15,000.

This update, effective from May 2021, will open up higher end jobs to local professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs).

MOM enforces new regulations strictly

While the revisions are mostly future plans, MOM has already started taking strict action.

According to ST, they have rejected roughly 3,000 EP applications since 2016.

In turn, firms on the Fair Consideration Framework (FCF) watchlist have reportedly hired over 4,400 local PMETs.

Hopefully once the new EP regulations kick in on 1 May 2021, the number of local hires will increase, adding to the statistic so far.

Finding work in such a challenging economy is difficult, and we appreciate the government’s effort to help the people.

Featured image adapted from Business Insider.