3/6/2018 1:44:13 PM
|written By : Team India Se|
Rules for hiring foreign workers are being tightened to improve the quality of the workforce and ensure better job opportunities for Singaporeans, said Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say in parliament on March 5.
More companies will have to give Singaporeans a chance to apply for higher-skilled jobs by advertising these on the national Jobs Bank for at least 14 days before they can hire a foreigner for the role.
Under the Fair Consideration Framework, this rule applied to companies with more than 25 workers and for jobs paying a fixed monthly salary of less than S$12,000 a month. From July 1, it will be extended to cover companies with at least 10 workers and for jobs paying less than S$15,000 a month, said Mr Lim.
He said the government tightened the criteria for Employment Passes (EPs) in 2014 and 2017, resulting in slower growth in the number of EP holders each year, to an average of 3,000 a year in the past three years, down from a peak of 32,000 in 2011.
About 50,000 new EPs were given each year over the past three years and a similar number of passes not renewed, he added.
EPs are meant for foreign professionals, managers and executives (PMETs), and requires candidates to earn at least S$3,600 a month and hold acceptable academic qualifications.
S Pass salary criteria to be raised
To boost the quality of foreign manpower, the government will raise the S Pass salary criteria from S$2,200 a month to S$2,400 a month in phases over the next two years, the minister said. S Passes are for mid-level skilled staff.
Singapore’s workforce of about 3.4 million people currently comprises 2.3 million Singaporeans and permanent residents, and 1.1 million foreigners.
From 2015 to 2017, compared with the previous three years, net job growth slowed from over 100,000 a year to less than 10,000 a year on average. Retrenchments and the unemployment rate for residents both went up.