Singapore Implements New Rules for Foreign Workers

Looking to work in Singapore? The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has announced significant changes to its foreign worker policy, including higher salary requirements for Employment Passes and a focus on boosting local employment.
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In a move aimed at ensuring a balanced workforce and maintaining quality standards, the Singaporean Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has unveiled significant revisions to its foreign worker policy.

These changes will impact individuals seeking employment opportunities in Singapore, particularly those applying for the Employment Pass (EP).

Increased Requirements for Employment Passes

Salary Threshold Raised: The minimum qualifying salary for an Employment Pass (EP), which allows foreign professionals, managers, and executives to work in Singapore, will increase from S$5,000 to S$5,600 per month. This increase will be progressive based on age, reaching S$10,700 for mid-40s applicants.

Focus on High-Quality Talent: This change aims to ensure EP holders are highly skilled and command salaries within the top third of local professionals, managers, executives, and technicians (PMETs). Annual reviews will ensure the EP qualifying salary remains aligned with market trends.

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Financial Services Sector: Recognizing its higher wage structure, the minimum qualifying salary for the Financial Services sector will be even stricter, rising from S$5,500 to S$6,200 per month, with progressive increases for older applicants reaching S$11,800.

Implementation Timeline: The revised EP qualifying salary will apply to new applications from January 1, 2025, and renewals from January 1, 2026.

Must Read: 10 Countries Where International Students Can Easily Obtain Work Permits

Higher Local Qualifying Salary (LQS)

The government is raising the LQS, the minimum salary companies must pay local workers when employing foreign workers. It will increase from S$1,400 to S$1,600 per month for full-time employees and S$10.50 per hour for part-time workers. This change takes effect on July 1, 2024.

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Marine Shipyard Sector Adjustments

Reduced Dependency Ratio Ceiling (DRC): The MOM will tighten regulations for the Marine Shipyard sector by lowering the DRC from 1 local worker to 3.5 foreign work permit holders (WPHs) to 1:3. This aims to encourage companies to hire more local workers.

Increased Levies for Work Permit Holders: The government will raise levies for WPHs in the Marine Shipyard sector. The levy for “Basic Skilled” WPHs will increase from S$400 to S$500, and for “Higher Skilled” WPHs from S$300 to S$350. These changes will be implemented from January 1, 2026.

Overall Impact

These changes signal Singapore’s intent to strike a balance between attracting foreign talent and prioritizing job opportunities for its citizens. The stricter requirements for foreign workers aim to encourage companies to invest in training and hiring a skilled local workforce while ensuring that high-calibre foreign professionals continue to contribute to the economy.


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Manish Khandelwal
Manish Khandelwal

Manish Khandelwal, a travel-tech enthusiast with over a decade of experience in the travel industry. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Travelobiz.com, he's passionate about writing.

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