Singapore’s New Employment Pass Application Criteria

New Employment Pass Application Criteria

From 1 January 2017, applicants applying for the Employment Pass in Singapore under the Ministry of Manpower will have to adhere to new Employment Pass application criteria. The move meted out by the ministry takes into heavy consideration the economic and manpower needs of the nation as a whole.

With a focus on growth and developing the nation as a key player not only in ASEAN, but also the rest of Asia, it is imperative in ensuring the job market and salaries remain competitive, while retaining the right talent.

Below are 3 things that prospective employers and employees should know.

Minimum wage increment from $3,300 to $3,600

The new Employment Pass application criteria covers more than just salary changes. Foreigners seeking employment within Singapore will have to be able to command a minimum of S$3,600 in monthly salary, while also meeting the criteria such as age, qualifications, and experience. In the existing scheme of things, older and more experienced individuals are expected to command higher salaries to naturally commensurate their skill sets and experience.

Employers seeking to hire foreign talent to fit into the EP bracket must also adhere to the Fair Employment Framework, before approvals for EP applications are granted.

What it means for both existing and new EP holders?

With regards to existing employees, employers will be given ample lead time to adjust and administrate to the new ruling. Existing employees whose Employment Passes (EPs) expire between 1 January 2017 – 30 June 2017 will be able to renew their passes under the prevalent criteria, however all applications from 1 July 2017 will have to follow the new criteria, for a validity period of up to 3 years.

Impact on companies & why the introduction of this new ruling

In line with the governments’ stance on fair employ-ability conditions, such a rule if anything, will bolster hiring practices that is fair to the citizens and permanent residents of the country. It will also ensure that the right candidates are compensated fairly in accordance to their level of competency without getting short changed or bullied by rogue companies. This in turn will consciously rely on companies to remain as competitive as possible to keep abreast of the industry and policy trends.

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