Singapore – Firms to Face Tougher Regulations to Hire Foreign Workers

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on 12 Jul, 2015

Companies in Singapore looking to hire foreign professionals will soon face stricter hiring regulations; while those prepared to fill their professional, managerial, and executive (PME) vacancies with unemployed locals will be eligible to receive financial help, reports The Straits Times.

Under current regulations, companies with more than 25 workers must first advertise vacancies with Singapore’s National Job Bank for a minimum of 14 days before applying to fill their vacant posts with foreigners.

From 1 October 2015, companies will have to disclose the salary ranges of their PME jobs when they advertise their vacancies on the job bank. This will ensure that there is transparency and accountability in the hiring process so that locals will not be short-changed, Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say advised.

When these firms apply to fill the vacancies with foreign workers some may be approached by the Manpower Ministry (MOM) to provide further information about whether or not local people applied for the jobs and how many were interviewed.

This will put firms under “greater scrutiny”, Mr Lim said.

Those who already have a higher ratio of foreign staff, compared to their industry peers, will be asked by the MOM to implement a plan to reduce their reliance on foreign PMEs, before the Ministry will approve or renew Employment Passes for their foreign workers.

The Ministry has already put the hiring process of some 150 firms under greater scrutiny, said Mr Lim

In order to encourage companies to hire locally, firms that fill vacancies that pay at least SGD 4,000 (USD 2,954) per month with unemployed locals can be eligible for wage subsidies of between SGD 400 (USD 296) and SGD 2,800 (USD 2,068) each month for 12 months.

The wage subsidy programme will run for two years from 1 October.

In addition to the wage subsidy, the Singapore Workforce Development Authority is also looking into hiring professional headhunters to help unemployed PMEs find jobs.

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