Article: Singapore government allocate $5.1 billion to save jobs and support businesses

Compensation & Benefits

Singapore government allocate $5.1 billion to save jobs and support businesses

The eligibility criteria for the Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme (Sirs) will be broadened to include those who also earn a small income from employment.
Singapore government allocate $5.1 billion to save jobs and support businesses

An additional $5.1 billion will be set aside to save jobs and support businesses and families as Singapore implements heightened safe-distancing measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced an unprecedented third round of support measures in Parliament on Monday (April 6) as the COVID-19 pandemic prompted the Government to announce a circuit breaker last Friday that will require, among others, all workplace premises to close for a month from Tuesday unless they are providing essential services.

Heng said the Government would subsidize 75 percent of the first $4,600 of gross monthly wages for all of the more than 1.9 million local workers in April.

Most firms cannot operate at all or can only do so at a much-reduced level in the coming weeks, he said, stressing that they should still retain and pay their workers.

The enhancement to the Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) will help workers keep their jobs, and enable businesses to resume operations quickly when the circuit breaker is lifted, he added.

The last update to the scheme, announced two weeks ago, subsidized 25 percent of the first $4,600 of wages for all local employees for nine months this year, with higher subsidy levels for firms in sectors that are harder hit by the outbreak - 50 percent for food services, and 75 percent for aviation and tourism.

Heng said the first payout would be brought forward from May to April, to help businesses meet pressing cash needs. Firms on Giro and PayNow will get the cash next week, and others will get it by cheque from a week later.

He also announced that the monthly Foreign Worker Levy that firms have to pay will also be waived for April, while a levy rebate of $750 will be granted for each work permit or S Pass holder so that companies can preserve their business structure and resume operations quickly once the circuit breaker is lifted.

In addition, the eligibility criteria for the Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme (Sirs) will be broadened to include those who also earn a small income from employment, as well as those who live in properties with an annual value of up to $21,000.

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Topics: Compensation & Benefits, #COVID-19

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