108,000 affected union workers to get up to $300: NTUC

NTUC secretary-general Ng Chee Meng speaking to a worker at the Gardens by the Bay on March 18, 2020. He said workers have shared that their biggest concerns centre around sustaining their livelihoods and caring for their loved ones. PHOTO: NTUC

A one-time payment of up to $300 will be given to about 108,000 workers who lose their jobs or suffer income losses due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) said yesterday.

It will be funded by $25 million set aside by NTUC, unions and the Government, and is for union members only.

Self-employed union members are also eligible for the NTUC Care Fund (Covid-19).

"NTUC, its affiliated unions and associations, together with the Singapore Government, are banding together in a show of support to help our workers by providing them with temporary cash relief which will help to ease their daily expenses during this period of hardship," NTUC said.

Existing union members with dependants living in the same household will get $300. Those without dependants in the same household can get $100.

New union members who joined after March 1 get $200 if they have dependants in the same household, and $50 if they do not.

Those with dependants must have initially earned $3,400 or less monthly, while those without must have earned $1,500 or less.

Their earnings should also have fallen by at least 30 per cent.

Self-employed people whose incomes have been "adversely affected" by job or event cancellations due to the outbreak can apply, as can those retrenched with benefits of not more than $6,500.

NTUC secretary-general Ng Chee Meng, who visited Gardens by the Bay to hand out care packs to workers including cleaners and cab drivers, said workers have shared that "their biggest concerns centre around sustaining their livelihoods and caring for their loved ones".

Union members can apply for assistance from their unions or via NTUC from March 25 to Sept 30.

Meanwhile, private-hire car drivers who did not qualify for an initial aid package announced last month can apply for a new Driver Care Fund set up by NTUC and the Government.

Drivers in need of help due to hardship can apply from now until April 17. Successful applicants get a one-off support package of $300. They can check www.ntuc.org.sg/drivercarefund for information.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 19, 2020, with the headline 108,000 affected union workers to get up to $300: NTUC. Subscribe