COVID-19: Employers to get almost S$675 million in levy rebates to help in 'upkeep' of foreign workers

COVID-19: Employers to get almost S$675 million in levy rebates to help in 'upkeep' of foreign workers

The Leo 02
Foreign workers seen along the corridors of The Leo dormitory at Kaki Bukit road on Monday (Apr 20) (Photo: Jeremy Long)

SINGAPORE: Almost S$675 million will be disbursed to 62,000 employers of foreign workers on work permits or S Passes starting from Tuesday (Apr 21), said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

The money makes up the first wave of foreign worker levy rebate payouts, and comes on top of the waiver for the monthly foreign worker levy that is due in April.

The initiatives, which were announced by the Government on Apr 6 as part of the Solidarity Budget, will help employers "care for the upkeep of our foreign workers during the Circuit Breaker period", said MOM in a press release.

Rebates of S$750 per worker will be given to eligible employers who have paid at least of one month of levy due in 2020, added MOM.

READ: COVID-19 - 75% wage subsidy for firms in all sectors to be extended till May, measures to cost S$3.8 billion

Employers need not make any applications to get the rebate, and those who have successfully signed up for PayNow Corporate will receive the payouts on Tuesday. They will be informed once the rebate is successfully credited, said the ministry.

It also urged employers who have not signed up for PayNow Corporate to do so by Apr 29, in time for the second transfer scheduled on Apr 30.

Otherwise, they will receive the rebate via cheque from May 15, it added.

READ: COVID-19 circuit breaker extended until Jun 1 as Singapore aims to bring down community cases ‘decisively’ - PM Lee 

EMPLOYERS TO ENSURE SUFFICIENT FOOD

Employers must ensure their foreign workers in the construction sector who are serving stay-home notices, have sufficient food and daily essentials, said MOM and the Building and Construction Authority (BCA).

All work permit holders and S Pass holders in the construction sector have been placed on stay-home notice since Monday, to prevent further spread of COVID-19, which has infected several people at construction sites.

In an advisory released on Tuesday, the authorities said meals should be catered for workers who are not allowed to use communal cooking facilities. This refers to those living in factory-converted dormitories, construction temporary quarters, temporary occupation license quarters and temporary living quarters.

For employees living in private residential properties and HDB flats, employers can arrange for groceries or meals to be delivered, or ask the workers to place orders.

"Employers may choose to reimburse their employees for the cost of food or groceries provided, or come to a mutual agreement on how the costs will be borne between the employer and employee," said the advisory.

The authorities also advised employers to take into account the fasting period of Ramadan in making food arrangements for Muslim workers.

READ: COVID-19 - Banks to lend money to SMEs at lower interest rate under MAS, Enterprise Singapore initiative

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Source: CNA/jt(ac)

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