Singapore to remove restrictions on Sri Lankan work permit holders

Singapore is to remove the minimum Period of Employment (POE) requirement on Sri Lankan work permit holders.

The Singapore Government is introducing new measures to help companies in the Construction, Marine Shipyard and Process (CMP) sectors retain their existing Work Permit Holders (WPHs) and facilitate the inflow of new WPHs.

The new measures will ensure that the CMP sectors continue to meet manpower needs for their operations, preserve core capabilities and emerge stronger from COVID-19.

The Singapore Government said it will support all firms in the CMP sectors through the following measures:

a) WPHs whose work permits are expiring between July and December 2021 will be allowed to renew their permits for up to two years, even if they do not meet the renewal criteria. This includes WPHs who are reaching the maximum period of employment, or who are reaching the maximum employment age. Firms also do not need to maintain at least 10% of their WPHs as higher skilled workers.

b) From July 2021, the validity of In-Principle Approvals (IPAs) of all work pass holders, including Employment Passes, S Passes and Work Permits, who are unable to enter Singapore due to border control measures, will be extended by up to one year.

c) The Government will partner the Singapore Contractors Association Ltd (SCAL) to introduce a six-month retention scheme (1 September 2021 till 28 February 2022) for experienced construction WPHs whose previous employment has been terminated.

d) There is a minimum Period of Employment (POE) requirement for WPHs to qualify for Man-Year Entitlement (MYE) waiver. From 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022, this requirement will be removed for new and renewal WPH from non-traditional sources (NTS)  and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) for firms in the Construction and Process Sectors. NTS countries refer to India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Philippines

The CMP sectors play key roles in Singapore’s economy, and Government agencies have been working closely with the CMP sectors to transform their business, reduce manpower reliance and build up their resilience through the Industry Transformation Maps.

The Singapore Government said it will continue to review the measures to support the CMP sectors to ensure they emerge stronger from COVID-19. (Colombo Gazette)

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