20 August 2020
The current pandemic has disrupted the economy and business sentiment are expected to remain uncertain for the rest of the year. In a bid to reducing operating cost, many companies have to freeze hiring and some even have to resort to retrenching their employees. As a result, job seekers are currently faced with fewer job opportunities and greater competition for those available jobs. To help ease the uncertainty and provide support to affected Singaporeans and PRs, the Government has put together a multitude of programmes and assistance packages to encourage employers to continue to hire and retain. We will touch briefly on some of the key initiatives introduced and how employers can leverage the benefits from these initiatives.
SGUnited Traineeships Programme
The SGUnited Traineeships Programme aims to support Singaporeans/PRs who have recently graduated or will soon be graduating from the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), Polytechnics, Universities and other private educational institutions in 2019/2020, to take up traineeship opportunities across various sectors. It will also include those who graduated from the above institutions and recently completed National Service in 2019/2020. The traineeship stint typically last up to 9 months and trainees will receive a training allowance for the duration of the traineeship. To be eligible for the funding, traineeship must commence by 31st December 2020. The government will fund 80% of the training allowance, while the host organisation funds the remaining 20%. The monthly training allowance provided to each trainee may vary depending on the traineeship scope, based on traineeship requirements as below.
SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways Programme
The SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways programme aims to support mid-career individuals (Singaporeans and PRs) to widen their professional networks and gain new, in-demand skills while preparing for more permanent jobs when the economy rebound. Mid-career individuals who take on attachments under this programme can receive a monthly training allowance of up to $3,000. The monthly training allowance provided may vary depending on the scope of the attachment. The host organisation must offer attachments lasting up to 9 months and attachment must commence by 31st March 2021. Government will fund 80% of the training allowance, while the host organisation funds the remaining 20% for the programme duration.
For more information on the above 2 programmes, companies may visit WSG website: https://www.ssg-wsg.gov.sg/
Jobs Growth Incentive
The Jobs Growth Incentive (JGI) supports organisations to accelerate their hiring of local workforce (Singaporeans and PRs) over the next six months, from September 2020 to February 2021. Employers that increase their overall local workforce between September 2020 to February 2021 (inclusive) will receive Government support. To be eligible for the JGI, there must be an increase in overall local workforce size AND increase in local workforce size earning ≥$1,400/month, compared to the August 2020 local workforce. The support is 25% (or 50% for mature local hires aged 40 and above) of the first $5,000 of gross monthly wages paid to all new local hires. Government support will be for 12 months from the month of hire, if employers continue to meet the eligibility criteria.
To encourage employers to retain their existing local employees as far as possible, the JGI payout will be adjusted downwards if any existing local employees (in the employer’s employ as at August 2020) leave the employer after August 2020. The adjustment factor will be higher if more existing local employees leave the employer.
Employers do not need to apply for JGI as it will be automatically computed based on the monthly mandatory CPF contributions and disbursed quarterly to eligible employers.
For more information on the JGI, companies may visit IRAS website: https://www.iras.gov.sg/irashome/Schemes/Businesses/Jobs-Growth-Incentive--JGI-/
Extension of Jobs Support Scheme
The Jobs Support Scheme (JSS), which was launched at the start of the pandemic, helps companies to retain jobs by co-funding the first $4,600 of gross monthly wages paid to their local employees. The JSS will now be extended to cover wages paid up to March 2021.The support given will vary based on the sectors, with hardest-hit sectors like aerospace, aviation and tourism receiving more. For sectors that are managing well, the JSS will end in December 2020.For more information on JSS, companies may visit IRAS website:
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