SINGAPORE: More than 98,000 employers will receive S$940 million in Wage Credit Scheme payouts by Mar 31, said the Ministry of Finance (MOF) and Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) on Thursday (Mar 18).
The Government will co-fund 15 per cent of qualifying wage increases given in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 to more than 800,000 Singaporean workers earning a gross monthly wage of up to S$5,000, said the authorities in a press release.
Employers do not need to apply to receive the payouts. Those eligible will receive letters from IRAS by Mar 31 informing them of their payout amount, which will be credited directly to employers' registered bank accounts through PayNow Corporate or GIRO.
The Wage Credit Scheme, introduced in 2013, co-funds wage increases to support business transformation efforts and encourage sharing of productivity gains with workers. Its extension was announced in Budget 2021.
MORE THAN S$2 BILLION DISBURSED DURING PANDEMIC
Including the upcoming payouts, more than S$2 billion in wage credits would have been disbursed during the COVID-19 pandemic, said Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat in a Facebook post.
Last year, more than S$1 billion was disbursed to more than 95,000 employers for wage increases in 2019, said MOF and IRAS. A payout was made in June 2020 in addition to the annual payout in March 2020.
This followed enhancements to the scheme, which were announced in the Unity Budget 2020. The Government raised its co-funding for qualifying wage increases in 2019 and 2020 by 5 percentage points to 20 per cent and 15 per cent respectively.
The gross monthly wage ceiling for employees was also raised from S$4,000 to S$5,000 for both years.
"It is heartening that many employers, despite having to cope with the stresses and strains posed by the pandemic, are continuing to do their part to uplift their workers," said Mr Heng, who is also Finance Minister.
"These are uncertain times for many workers and businesses. I encourage employers to continue to make use of this and other schemes to redesign jobs and upskill their workers.
"By continuing to put the well-being of our workers at the heart of what we do, businesses will build stronger bonds with their workers, and emerge stronger together in a post-pandemic world."
Any appeals regarding the Wage Credit Scheme payouts must be submitted to IRAS by Jun 30 and will be considered on a case-by-case basis, said the authorities.