Government simplifies Jobs Growth Incentive scheme to further encourage firms to grow local workforce

Government simplifies Jobs Growth Incentive scheme to further encourage firms to grow local workforce

Singapore CBD crowd
Workers in Singapore's CBD. (File photo: Sutrisno Foo)

SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will simplify the parameters for the Jobs Growth Incentive scheme to ensure qualifying companies can expand their manpower needs and bring forward hiring plans, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said on Friday (Sep 4).

In a Facebook post, she said that instead of looking at the average number of local employees in a company from January to August 2020, MOM will now look at the number of local workers employed in the month of August alone. 

"This will make the qualifying criteria easier to understand," Mrs Teo said.

In a news release on Friday, MOM said that to be eligible for the Jobs Growth Incentive firms must achieve an increase in their local workforce from September 2020 until end-February 2021, compared to the size of their local workforce in August 2020. 

The increase in local workforce must be accompanied by an increase in jobs that pay at least S$1,400 in gross monthly wages, MOM said.

To encourage firms to retain their existing employees as far as possible, the Jobs Growth Incentive payout will be reduced if any person under the firm’s employment as at August 2020 leaves the firm after August 2020.

READ: Singapore jobless rate hits 2.9%, highest in more than a decade; retrenchments double

"For the Jobs Growth Incentive, the purpose is clear - it is a big push for businesses, regardless of firm size, to expand their manpower and bring forward their hiring plans, to create more jobs for Singaporeans," Mrs Teo said.

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat announced the introduction of the Jobs Growth Incentive scheme in August, in which the Government set aside S$1 billion to support businesses - especially those that continue to do well despite the impact of COVID-19 - to hire Singaporeans.

For each new local hire aged below 40, the Government will co-pay 25 per cent of the first S$5,000 of gross monthly wages for 12 months from the month of hire. For each new mature local hire aged 40 and above, Government support is doubled to 50 per cent. 

In total, eligible firms can receive up to S$15,000 for each local hire aged below 40, and S$30,000 for each local hire aged 40 and above, MOM said. 

READ: Extension of Jobs Support Scheme among S$8 billion worth of measures announced by Heng Swee Keat

ELIGIBLE FIRMS TO RECEIVE JOBS GROWTH INCENTIVE AUTOMATICALLY FROM MARCH 2021

To receive the full amount of support, firms must continue to meet the eligibility criteria for the 12-month period.

Eligible firms would not need to apply and would receive the Jobs Growth Incentive payouts automatically from March 2021.

MOM said the Jobs Growth Incentive payments will be over and above the Jobs Support Scheme payments that a firm would receive for all its local employees. 

"The Jobs Growth Incentive provides substantial salary support to enable these firms bring forward their hiring plans and grow their local workforce over the next six months," MOM said in its news release.

"Together with the extension of the Jobs Support Scheme, this is a major boost for job creation for locals."

The Jobs Growth Incentive is a step up in terms of the level of salary support compared to the Enhanced Hiring Incentive announced earlier in May. The Enhanced Hiring Incentive will therefore be replaced by the Jobs Growth Incentive with effect from Sep 1, MOM said.

Source: CNA/kv(rw)

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