Revised Rules for Foreign Employees

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The outlook for Singapore in 2020 has become uncertain not least due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM) key challenges are to prevent large-scale job losses, prevent a scaling back or reversal of wage increases, and prepare Singapore businesses and workers for jobs of the future when the world reopens for business post-pandemic.

Key Takeaways

EP & SPass conditions:

From 1 May 2020, the Employment Pass (EP) minimum qualifying salary criteria will be raised from S$3,600 to S$3,900 per month for all new applications. The salary criteria for older, more experienced candidates will also be raised accordingly. For example, an EP applicant in his early 40s will need to earn around double the new minimum qualifying salary of S$3,900. For existing EPs, the new salary criteria will apply one year later, from 1 May 2021.

S Pass quota cuts for the Construction, Marine Shipyard and Process sectors in 2021 and 2023, and increase in Local Qualifying Salary (LQS) from S$1,300 to S$1,400 with effect from 1 July 2020. LQS refers to the minimum monthly salary payable to local employees for them to be counted towards the employer’s S Pass and Work Permit DRCs.


Under the Fair Consideration Framework, employers who want to submit EP applications must first advertise the job position on to promote labour market transparency and fair employment practices.

Previously, job positions with a monthly salary of S$15,000 and above, were exempted from being advertised on the website. From May 1, 2020, job positions with a monthly salary of up to S$20,000 must be advertised on the site, although, certain senior positions remain exempted.

SkillsFuture Credit:

S$500 SkillsFuture Credit Top-up for Singapore citizens and employers’ hiring incentive to employers to hire local mid-career workers in their 40s and 50s.


Retirement Age (RA) and Re-employment Age (REA) to be raised to 65 and 70 respectively by 2030, and employers’ hiring incentive for early adoption of raised RA and REA as well as grant to promote part time senior employment.

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