Singapore to hike minimum qualifying salary for foreigners

The Ministry of Manpower plans to increase the minimum qualifying salary to US$3,659 for entry-level jobs in the financial services segment

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In a bid to alleviate the job loss issue of locals, Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower is expected to hike the minimum qualifying salary of foreigners — in entry-level positions in the financial space — to US$ 3,659. This will encourage organisations to hire more Singaporeans in the financial sector.

Foreigners with employment pass (EP) seeking to join Singapore’s workforce will now be paid higher minimum qualifying salary, that is, 600 Singapore dollars more, w.e.f September 2020. For the EP candidates in the financial sector, there will be a further increase of 500 Singapore dollars w.e.f December 2020.

From now on, all EP candidates will have to be paid 4,500 Singapore dollars as minimum salary. In the financial services sector, the EP candidates will have to be paid 5,000 Singapore dollars from December 1.

Never before has the Ministry set higher qualifying salaries for a specific sector. It is expected that the older EP candidates and those with more experience in the financial sector will have to be paid higher qualifying salaries.

In case of renewal applicants, this new criteria will take effect from May next year. The hike has been planned taking into account the fact that the financial sector has been drawing a lot of local and qualified job seekers, and the salaries in the sector have always been higher than in the other sectors.

This is one sector where there job loss has been less, despite the pandemic and it is hoped that more citizens of Singapore will be able to bag jobs in the sector.

The minimum qualifying salary for S Pass holders will also be raised by 100 dollars, to 2,500 Singapore dollars. Again, the older and more experienced S Pass candidates will be offered revised salaries. For renewal S Pass applicants, the order will come into effect from May 1, 2021

The city is facing the worst recession in its history, forcing a rethink for some firms on expansion and hiring plans.

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