SINGAPORE - Over 90,000 employers - most of them small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) - will get more than $600 million in payouts this month under the Wage Credit Scheme (WCS).
The Ministry of Finance and the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras) said in a statement on Tuesday (March 17) that the wage credit payouts will be given out by March 31.
The funds are intended to help companies cope with rising wage costs, and about 70 per cent will go to SMEs.
Through the payouts this month, the Government will co-fund 15 per cent of qualifying wage increases given in 2019, 2018, and 2017 to over 700,000 Singaporean employees earning a gross monthly wage of up to $4,000.
During the Budget 2020 speech, the scheme's gross monthly wage ceiling was raised from $4,000 to $5,000 per month for 2019 and 2020 qualifying wage increases.
The Government also announced that its co-funding levels for these 2019 and 2020 qualifying wage increases will be raised from the current 15 per cent and 10 per cent, to 20 per cent and 15 per cent, respectively.
Employers eligible for the Budget 2020 enhancements for 2019 wage increases will receive a supplementary payout in the second half of 2020.
Employers do not need to apply to receive WCS payouts. Those that are eligible will receive letters from Iras by the end of this month informing them how much they will get in the March payout.
Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat wrote on his Facebook page on Tuesday: "Beyond supporting our businesses to embark on transformation efforts, the WCS aims to encourage sharing of productivity gains with workers.
"It is this sense of mutual trust and support that has taken us to where we are today, and will keep us going strong in our fight against Covid-19."
The money will be credited directly into the employers' Giro bank accounts used for income tax as well as goods and services tax purposes, or their bank accounts registered with PayNow Corporate.
Appeals over WCS payouts must be submitted to Iras by June 30 and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Employers can go to Iras to check their eligibility or for more details on the WCS.