Over 62,000 employers start getting foreign worker levy rebates

The payouts will be disbursed to eligible employers who have paid at least one month of levy due this year. ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

Over 62,000 employers started getting their share of nearly $675 million in foreign worker levy rebates from yesterday, said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

This comes as Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said yesterday that he would extend these rebates by another month, to ease labour costs with the circuit breaker period getting extended.

Mr Heng, who is also Finance Minister, had said on April 6 that employers will get a levy rebate of $750 for each work permit or S Pass holder to support firms during the circuit breaker period.

The payouts are on top of the waiver of such levies for this month that he announced in the Solidarity Budget, which Mr Heng yesterday said would also be extended for another month.

To be eligible for the levy rebates, employers need to have paid at least one month of levy due this year, have S Pass or work pass holders on active passes, and their companies must be "live", according to the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority. They should also not be government entities.

To be counted for the levy rebates, their S Pass and work permit holders also need to be in their employ as of Feb 29.

Employers can check their eligibility and the amount they will receive at this website.

They do not need to apply for the levy rebate and they will be informed once it is paid to them, said MOM.

Employers who signed up for PayNow Corporate would have got their rebate yesterday. Others can sign up online or via mobile banking by April 29 to get the levy rebate the following day, though MOM noted the time each bank requires to approve the PayNow Corporate account differs.

Otherwise employers will receive the rebate via cheque from May 15.

Those who hire foreign domestic workers are not eligible for any levy rebates, but MOM said households are supported "on multiple fronts".

These include cash payouts for every Singaporean adult and parents with at least one Singaporean child, it said, adding that the Resilience and Solidarity budgets together will give payouts of up to $1,600 per individual this year.

Yesterday, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) said the extensions to both the levy rebate and waivers are meant to ease the labour costs of firms that employ foreign workers during this period.

As with the initial introduction of the waiver and rebate, this assistance will support firms with workers who are unable to work due to the circuit breaker and stay-home notice measures, said MOF.

"Firms should use the assistance for their workers' wages and subsistence needs," it said, adding that MOM will provide further details.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 22, 2020, with the headline Over 62,000 employers start getting foreign worker levy rebates. Subscribe