SINGAPORE: The waiver of foreign worker levies for S Pass and work permit holders, including maids, serving their stay-home notice will be extended until the end of the year, said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on Monday (Sep 20).
Earlier, the waiver was provided for migrant workers and maids serving their stay-home notice from January to September this year.
“The extension will help employers manage costs associated with border measures and safeguards imposed on migrant workers and migrant domestic workers entering Singapore as we gradually reopen our borders,” said MOM.
“These safeguards, including stay-home notices, are necessary to minimise the risk of COVID-19 importation into the community,” the ministry added.
With the extension, employers with workers serving stay-home notices from January to December will not be required to pay levies for the duration of the notices.
Minister for Manpower Tan See Leng said on Monday the extension of the stay-home notice levy waiver was to continue to help employers “bring in workers safely and to give them more time to adjust and manage the costs of stay-home notice requirements”.
Speaking at a Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore (REDAS) event, Dr Tan said the construction and built environment sector has been among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Throughout this period, the sector has pitched in strongly to manage the impact of COVID-19,” he said, thanking the contractors for their strong support and partnership in keeping the sector and workers safe.
He highlighted certain measures that had already been introduced to help the sector, including a S$1.36 billion construction support package and “exceptional flexibilities” to relieve manpower shortages.
“COVID-19 has also shown us that there are areas we can further improve on to take care of our migrant workers during their stay in Singapore,” he said.
Examples of such steps taken to do so include setting up onboarding centres to bring in workers safely, introducing a new healthcare system for migrant workers, as well as setting up a taskforce to support their mental well-being.
Recently, improved standards for new migrant worker dormitories were also announced, which included larger living spaces and en-suite toilets.
“Keeping our workers safe and taking care of their well-being takes a whole-of-society effort. We can all play a part by looking out for them,” said Dr Tan.