Higher EP minimum pay puts strain on workers, companies
Shift to S Pass spells PR worries for staff, cost woes for firms
Filipino assistant retail manager Jovie Pascual, 36, is unsure about his future in Singapore.
He is unlikely to get permanent residency as he was downgraded from holding an Employment Pass (EP) to a lower-skilled S Pass in August. Non-EP holders usually find it difficult to become permanent residents.
His monthly pay of $2,800 did not make the EP cut after the qualifying salary was raised from $2,800 to $3,000 in January last year.
"I love living here. If possible, I want my daughter to take up citizenship. But I am not sure if this will happen now," he said.
Recent tightening measures
EMPLOYMENT PASS CHANGES JANUARY 2014
- Minimum salary to be raised to $3,300 for young graduates. Older applicants must earn more.
- Firms must advertise on a government jobs bank for 14 days before applying for an Employment Pass.
S PASS CHANGES JULY 2013
- Minimum salary raised from $2,000 to $2,200.
- Tiered system introduced so that older applicants must earn more to qualify.
- S Pass holders can form no more than 15 per cent of a service firm's headcount, down from 20 per cent.
- Levies raised to $300 a worker if S Pass holders are less than 10 per cent of headcount, and $450 a worker otherwise. They will continue to rise in the next two years, to $330 and $650 respectively in 2015.