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Hiring Foreigners in Singapore

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Hiring Foreigners in Singapore

2021-02-04T22:18:25+08:00December 24, 2019|0 Comments

Employees are the most valuable assets of any business. Choosing the right employee can determine the success of your business. Both employers and employees need to adhere to certain prerequisites as stated in the Singaporean Employment Act. Let’s look at some facts that potential employers must possess when finding and hiring employees in Singapore: The article covers:

In 2020, the Singapore government has introduced the Job Support Scheme (JSS) to co-fund employee’s monthly salary. This provides aid for smaller firms in cost reduction, to provide more funding for their company expenses. Potential employers can engage with government institutes for cost reduction funding when linking up with future employees. However, JSS is coming to a close in present day March 2021.

If you are a business owner who would like to continue receiving cost reductions, WhatsApp us or fill up the form below. Paul Hype Page is offering 30% or more wage subsidies under our Shared Services programme. Read on to also find out different funding options for hiring employees! We can assist you in your needs when applying for similar government grants and funding schemes.

Employment Act

The Singapore Employment Act (Chapter 91) is the main labor law that manages the relationship between employers and employees in the Singapore workforce. The Employment Act provides the fundamental needs and working conditions for the employees.

The Employment Act also prevents employers from mistreating their employees regarding their work rights. This regulation is stated clearly and signed off by both the employer and employees in their employment contract.

Employment Contract

The employment contract states the employee benefits being drafted up by the employer and their company.

Some of the main employee benefits include:

  • Salary
  • Annual Leave
  • Hospitalization & Medical Leave
  • Bonus & Annual Wage Supplement

The employment act and employment contract apply to both foreign and local employees in Singapore. However, there are differences in their degree of law coverage when comparing locals and foreigners.

Locals vs Foreigners

The Employment Act coverage for foreign employees is distinctively different from local employees as they require a work pass to be employed in Singapore. With the relevant work passes, foreign employees are protected by the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act (EFMA). However, foreign employees that do not have the relevant work passes will be liable for an offense. The penalty for the offense is incurred by both the employers and employees, and often these penalties may be as severe as the termination of contract and termination of business license.

Understanding what the necessary work are passes to be issued to different job roles will prevent these implications. Speak to a professional service consultant such as Paul Hype Page should you have any questions regarding the employment act, as we have experience working with various employment agencies.

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Platforms to search for employees

After understanding the prerequisites of the various employment act, employers can then start looking for future employees. There are many digital platforms that employers can engage in. Most employees in Singapore often patronize these platforms for job search.

These digital platforms include:

  • JobStreet
  • Indeed
  • JobsCentral
  • MyCareersFuture
  • JobNexus
  • GrabJobs

Or you might opt for these channels to source potential employees:

  • Recruitment and Employment agencies
  • Career and Job Fairs
  • University and polytechnics campuses
  • Internet websites

How do I hire foreign employees?

Before setting out to find foreign employees, you must be aware of the requirements as outlined below:

  • A foreign employee must be able to obtain a valid work permit and visa.
  • You will have to apply for a cork permit or pass on their behalf before signing any employment contract with them.
  • Be aware of the limit placed by the Employment Act concerning the total number of foreign employees in a company.
  • Know the category of the foreign workforce which are:
    • Skilled workforce such as doctors, software engineers, and R&D specialists.
    • Semi-skilled workforces such as chefs, administrative professionals, and technicians.
    • Unskilled workforce such as construction workers and domestic workers.
Hiring Foreign Employees

Be aware that each workforce category has a corresponding pass. And these are Employment Pass, S Pass, and Work Permit respectively.

The General Guidelines for Recruitment

Employers are advised to adhere to progressive and fair Human Resource (HR) practices when finding employees as Singapore’s workforce is diverse in terms of age, gender, and ethnicity. To find employees, follow these guidelines:

  • You are not to list attributes when doing job advertisements unless it is justifiable.
  • Tests and interviews for jobs should be relevant to the job position.
  • Your selection criteria should be public and is done according to the job requirement.
  • Give experience, skills, and ability first place as opposed to race, gender, disability, age, family status, or religion
  • You should follow a system of Meritocracy.

How to conduct training for your employees?

After hiring your employees, you may want to enhance their performance and capabilities in different areas to increase productivity. You can achieve this through:

In-House Training

Conduct training sessions regularly within your company schedule and premises. If you conduct training outside the company time, employees may find it difficult to cope as others may be having dependents who need their extra time.

External Training

Plan and budget for such training in advance in terms of finances, time, and venue. You may be required to cater for the accommodation and other benefits related to training employees outside your premises. Find out any available assistance and funding schemes that will reduce your budget. 

What are the Funding Schemes Available for Employers?

Enhanced Training Support for SMEs

This fund enables employers in the Small and Medium Enterprises companies so that they can use it to send employees for training.

Enhanced Hiring Incentive

This fund is for those employers who reskill and train workers in the process of recruiting them.

Workfare Training Support (WTS) Scheme

This fund supports the training of employees above 35 years or PWD of 13 years and above both of whom are earning S$2,000 per month.

Broad –Base Funding

All employers who sponsor employees for training are entitled to this fund.

Job Redesign Place and Train program for the Hotel Industry.

This support encourages hoteliers to add value to their existing jobs and increase employee job satisfaction.

Enhance Training Support Package and enhance Absentee Payroll

This support is available for selected companies critically and directly affected by pandemics such as COVID-19.

P-Max

This fund enables Small and Medium Entrepreneurs to recruit, match, and train suitable job seekers in the category of PME (Professionals, Managers, and Executives).

Other funding schemes apply and have not been covered here. Such as Skills Future Enterprise Credit, Productivity Solutions Grant among others.

Dont-Leave-Your-Employment-Pass-Application-Chance

Hiring Foreigners in Singapore FAQs

Do I need to continue paying my employees with Work Permit if they have no work?2020-11-09T14:11:09+08:00

Yes, you must continue paying your employees with Work Permit even though you don’t have jobs for them. Work Permit holders should receive a fixed monthly paid that is stated in their WP application form.

Can I hire someone who is 16 years old as my employee?2020-11-09T14:09:40+08:00

No, the legal age to work in Singapore is 17 years old and above. However, exception applies to certain cases, check out MOM website for details.

What questions should an employer ask themselves before hiring an employee?2020-11-09T14:10:05+08:00

Questions an employer should ask before hiring an employee are:

  • Do I have a good understanding of the labor laws that binds me and my employee?
  • Do I know the formalities for hiring a local or foreign employee?
  • Are there guidelines for recruitment, do I know what I ought to do or not do?
  • How much have I set aside to hire an employee, what are the acceptable wages?
  • Am I mandated to any funds, contributions, or levies?
  • Is there a difference in hiring part-time, full-time, or contract employees?
Which work visa should my foreign employee apply?2020-11-09T14:10:49+08:00

It depends on the nature of their work. There are three type of work visa in Singapore: work permit, S Pass or an Employment Pass (EP).

  • EP: Skilled workforce such as doctors, software engineers, and R&D specialists.
  • S Pass: Semi-skilled workforces such as chefs, administrative professionals, and technicians
  • Work Permit: Unskilled workforce such as construction workers and domestic workers.

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