Govt to recover excess Jobs Support Scheme payouts through deductions, cash payments

Firms had received an excess of $370 million in wage support due to errors.
Firms had received an excess of $370 million in wage support due to errors.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - Over 90 per cent of excess Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) payouts will be recovered by the Government through automatic deductions from upcoming JSS payouts, or returned by larger firms which have pledged to do so.

This was revealed by the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Manpower and the Ministry of Trade and Industry in a joint statement on Thursday (April 8), following their announcement that some firms had received an excess of $370 million in wage support due to errors.

Affected businesses will be notified via letters and e-mails, and businesses may also log in from Saturday (April 10) to this website to check if they are affected.

The remaining 10 per cent or so of excess payouts, amounting to about $30 million,  is spread out over 1,000 companies, and the Government will work with the companies on repayment, said the ministries.  Instalment payment arrangements can be made for businesses that need them.

MTI, MOF and the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras) will inform affected businesses of any outstanding excess amount to be returned after the businesses' final JSS payout, the ministries added in a press release.

Meanwhile, about 100 larger firms contacted by MTI and other agencies have committed to returning $200 million of the excess JSS payouts, while about $140 million will be recovered from other affected firms through automatic offsets from subsequent JSS payouts.

In total, the $370 million in excess JSS payouts made up about 6 per cent of the JSS paid out in October last year.

March JSS payouts for most of the affected firms were delayed to end-April while the MTI performed a check on firms' reopening dates used to compute JSS payouts.

Starting with the end-April payout, the extra amount they received earlier will be deducted from the firms' upcoming JSS payouts.

Businesses that wish to return the outstanding excess amount upfront may do so through Iras. Instructions will be included in letters sent out to the affected businesses.

About 1,100 businesses were also underpaid, and are eligible for additional JSS payouts totalling $5.5 million. This additional payment will be credited to them by end-April, the ministries said.

Recovery of foreign worker levy waiver/rebate

About $1.2 million of excess foreign worker levy waivers and rebates were also granted to 360 businesses in June and July last year. Affected businesses will be notified by MTI and MOM of any follow-up actions they need to take by May.

At the same time, about 1,200 businesses received a lower amount of foreign worker waivers and rebates than they were due.

They will be given $6 million in additional waivers and rebates in total. The levy waiver will be automatically deducted from businesses' future levy bill, while the rebate will be credited to businesses directly, said the ministries.

To prevent such incidents from happening again, MTI worked with MOF, MOM and Iras to put in place additional checks to detect and flag possible errors, the ministries added.

Businesses with additional queries may write in here.