Foreign Talents to Become more Expensive for Singapore – Employers need to Brace up

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Singapore company registration specialists say foreign talents to become more expensive for employers in Singapore. Rikvin International explains a new salary threshold effective July 1st, will level the playing ground for foreign work pass applicants.

Singapore comany registration

Singapore Company Registration Specialist

“The revision is a two-pronged strategy by the government to calibrate the influx of foreign talent as well as to boost the productivity of the workforce in Singapore.

From July 1st companies applying for work passes on behalf of foreign workers will have to shell out more, therefore focusing on quality of recruits and productivity is crucial says Rikvin, a Singapore work visa specialist.

Jobseekers will find Singapore a level playing ground from July 1st, when the new salary threshold for foreign work pass applicants become effective. The qualifying salaries for professionals and skilled workers applying for Singapore Employment Pass, Entrepreneur Pass (Commonly known as Entrepass) and S-Pass were upwardly revised by as much as S$1,000, in March this year. The revision, which will come into effect in a fortnight, was an outcome of the improving profile of the local workforce and aimed at coaxing companies to recruit more meritorious foreigners who can potentially enhance the productivity and add value to the local economy.

Satish Bakhda of Rikvin says “companies have to brace up and implement measures to improve productivity of their workforce to tackle the inflation of foreign workers’ wages, in the long run Singapore labor market will become intensely competitive, where an individual’s employability is solely determined by the value addition that one can create”

Generally foreigners eligible for professional, managerial or specialist jobs in Singapore, are granted Employment Pass, which is categorized into three groups - P1, P2 and Q1. The new qualifying salary for P1 category is raised to S$8,000 from S$7,000, P2 is S$4,000 from S$3,500 and Q1 will increase from $2,500 to S$2,800.

Mid-Skilled foreigners qualifying for jobs in Singapore are granted S-Pass, a quota based work permit scheme, which takes into consideration the number of locals employed by the company applying for the pass. The new salary threshold for S-pass has been raised to S$2000 from the previous S$1800. Likewise the levy payable by the employer for S-Pass has also been increased by between S$190 and S$300.

The revision to qualifying salary for work passes is part of the government’s drive to enhance productivity and induce the local enterprises to hire high quality of foreign talent. The higher threshold will ensure that employers keep minimum headcount and implement measures to increase the productivity of their workforce.

The low wages of the foreign workers is predominantly sighted as the key drawback for locals competing in the job market. The revisions are timely, when the gripe against the foreign talent is growing; the impending changes will make the locals and foreigners to compete more on the basis of qualifications and skills - to be more precise, value-to-company rather than on the basis of cost-to-company. This will prompt organizations to leverage on the government’s support systems such as Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) and Continuing Education and Training (CET).

Commenting on the imminent changes, Mr. Satish Bakhda of, a Singapore Work Pass Specialist, says, “The revision is a two-pronged strategy by the government to calibrate the influx of foreign talent as well as to boost the productivity of the workforce in Singapore. While the local white-collar professionals will find themselves competing on even terms, the Singaporean skilled workers may find the wages going up in tandem with the increase in salary and levy of their S-pass counterparts. We can also expect the employers review and streamline their workforce and hiring practices which will hitherto be carried out with utmost discretion. This will end the practice of indiscriminate hiring by some companies and also promote enterprise productivity, competitiveness and sustainability in the long run.”


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