How Singapore is helping employers retain work pass holders in construction, marine shipyard, and process sectors

How Singapore is helping employers retain work pass holders in construction, marine shipyard, and process sectors

The Singapore Ministry of Labor (MOM) is introducing measures to better support employers in retaining experienced work permit holders (WPH) in the construction, shipbuilding, and process sectors (CMP).

The new measures are set out below, along with frequently asked questions for employers.

# 1 Extension of the Retention Regime to the Shipyard and Processing Sector

The retention program was introduced on 1 September 2021 for the first time in the construction industry in partnership with the Singapore Contractors Association Ltd (SCAL), to retain WPH specialists and meet the needs of the industry’s workforce.

This scheme is now being extended to employers in shipyards and process industries facing similar job challenges, with MOM’s partnership with the Singapore Maritime Industries Association (ASMI) and the Process Industry Association (ASPRI). Associations will share more details about their respective scheme when they are ready.

# 2 Adaptation of COE without Authorization Period for WPH in CMP Sectors

The term for employer change (COE) without authorization in the CMP sectors is extended until the end of the contract.

Currently, potential employers can engage in WPH without the original employer’s permission for 21 to 40 days before the work permit expires. WPHs will henceforth be employed by the original employer in the future until the work permit expires. Thereafter, the work permit can be extended for a period of 30 days in consultation between WPH and your employer.

If the employee or employer does not agree to the 30-day extension of the work permit, the employee will be enrolled in retention plans and industry associations will facilitate correspondence with a new employer within 30 days.

This adaptation to the COE without a license period will be implemented from 8 November 2021 in all sectors of the construction sector and, from a later date, in shipyards and process sectors. It will be in force as long as the retention agreements are in force. Associations will share more details when they are ready.

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