SINGAPORE: More than 100 queries have been made on a service that facilitates the transfer of work permit holders, said the Singapore Business Federation (SBF).
The six-month scheme, announced last week by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and starting on Monday (Mar 2), allows companies in the manufacturing and services sector to hire mainland Chinese work permit holders who are already in Singapore.
Previously, manufacturing and services companies were only allowed to hire work permit holders from mainland China after they leave Singapore.
READ: COVID-19: Manufacturing, services sectors to be allowed to hire work permit holders from mainland China already in Singapore
The ministry is working with the SBF to run this temporary programme aimed at helping companies manage their manpower needs amid the COVID-19 situation.
Firms with excess manpower during this period can tap on the scheme to move their workers without incurring repatriation costs.
“The interest we’ve seen so far is a clear reflection of the need for this temporary measure for these sectors,” said CEO of SBF Ho Meng Kit.
Companies that want to apply for the programme have to contact SBF with information like the workers’ skillset or the type of workers needed.
SBF said it will respond to either parties within five working days.
Information of available workers will be collated in a database, which will be shared with prospective employers. They have to liaise directly with the worker’s current employer to obtain consent for the transfer.
Once an agreement has been made, SBF will inform MOM and the hiring company can submit a work permit application to the ministry.
Employers who wish to hire or transfer a work permit holder from mainland China can contact SBF at email@example.com. The service will be free for the first month, and a nominal fee may apply after that.