Coronavirus pandemic

Employers seeking levy rebates must let MOM deploy foreign workers

Employers must also continue paying the salaries of foreign workers who are unable to work due to the Covid-19 situation.
Employers must also continue paying the salaries of foreign workers who are unable to work due to the Covid-19 situation.PHOTO: ST FILE

Employers here will have to let the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) move their foreign workers to different dormitories or work at another company in need of manpower, in order to get the foreign worker levy rebates announced in last week's Fortitude Budget.

In a statement on Saturday, MOM said that in view of the support given, employers must also continue paying the salaries of foreign workers who are unable to work due to the Covid-19 situation.

"In such cases, employers should work out mutually agreed salary and leave arrangements with the unions and workers. Foreign workers who are assigned to work full-time should be paid their prevailing salaries," said the ministry.

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, who is also Finance Minister, had announced last Tuesday that the Government will extend the foreign worker levy waivers and rebates for up to two months for businesses not allowed to resume operations after the circuit breaker period.

The waiver will be 100 per cent this month and 50 per cent next month, while the rebate will be $750 this month and $375 next month.

These apply to businesses not in the Ministry of Trade and Industry's permitted list on the GoBusiness portal, along with all businesses in the construction, marine shipyard and process sectors.

To receive the rebates, MOM said the employers will have to accept two conditions.

First, they must allow the ministry to move work permit holders and S Pass holders cleared of Covid-19 from existing dormitories to a cleared dormitory, to facilitate workers returning to work.

"Employers may be required to terminate the leases with their current dormitory operator to recontract with a new dormitory operator," said the ministry.

 
 
 

Second, the employers must allow MOM to second or transfer their workers to another company that needs workers, but whose own workers are in dormitories that have not been cleared.

All employers must make an online acknowledgement of the conditions by June 10.

"This support will taper off as we ease out of the circuit breaker and restart our economy.

"Businesses that expect to restart later are encouraged to reassess their foreign manpower needs and adjust their workforce accordingly," MOM said.

Fabian Koh

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 01, 2020, with the headline 'Employers seeking levy rebates must let MOM deploy foreign workers'. Print Edition | Subscribe