Bad news: Work Permit approval process getting stricter

To strengthen a strong Singapore core in the workforce, the Ministry of Manpower has decided to implement measures to ensure that local P.M.E.Ts (Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians) enjoy a fair treatment at work.


There’s no two ways about it. While MOM is giving out generous subsidies to companies that are willing to employ experienced, mature workers to fill in mid-level positions, they are also clamping down hard on companies that are more open to employing foreign professional workers.

To sum it up, the work permit approval process is getting stricter!

Minister for Manpower Lim Swee Say has visualized that the ailing economy might affect those PMETs, and feel that there is a need to help this growing group.

The Career Support Program, also known as the CSP, is one of the counter plans. If employers hire workers that are 40 years and above and have spent at least six months looking for a job, the CSP will subsidize part of a monthly gross salary of at least $4,000 (basic salary plus allowances attracting CPF contribution). The wage subsidy ranges from $400 to $2800.

Chinese worker

This means those candidates – the high salaried PMETs – who are not eligible for the Special Employment Credit scheme can also receive support in the form of wage subsidies. And it’s all thanks to the government really!

In addition, prospective employers looking to recruit on Jobs Bank will now need to declare the salary range. Failure to do so, as Mr Lim stresses, will result in the work permits getting rejected.

The MOM has also rolled out the Fair Consideration Framework (FCF). Employers who are interested in hiring foreign workers might want to take note of this. All companies with more than 25 employees that advertise PMETs posts that pay less than $12,000 a month, must advertise at the Jobs Bank for at least 14 days. This is to attract Singaporeans!

Singapore Worker

Mr Lim also noted that since the FCF was introduced in August 2015, there has only been a small percentage of employers who have not fulfilled the requirements. The exact figure is not known though. These measures are needed as the government looks to boost the employment rate, and reduce the reliance on foreign talent. Bad news or what? You have to choose your next career move wisely!

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