Foreign worker levy rebate for construction, marine shipyard sectors extended till June

COMPANIES in the construction, marine shipyard and process (CMP) sectors will continue to receive foreign worker levy rebates till June 2022.

In a joint announcement on Sunday (Mar 27), both the Ministry of Manpower and the Ministry of National Development said support measures for companies in the CMP sectors would be extended in view of continued manpower shortages and elevated business costs caused by the pandemic.

Both ministries announced that the Foreign Worker Levy (FWL) rebate for work permit holders will be extended for another 3 months - at S$250 per month for April and May 2022, and S$200 for June 2022.

The FWL rebate was introduced in 2020 and was due to expire at the end of March 2022.

"The lower FWL rebate for June 2022 reflects the improving manpower inflow for the CMP sectors, with manpower costs expected to moderate accordingly," the government said, adding that it will monitor the situation and decide whether a further extension of the rebate is necessary closer to June 2022.

Both ministries also announced that the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act Part 10A will be extended to Jun 30 this year, from its original end-date of Mar 31, 2022.

The Act allows contractors to seek a determination from an assessor to adjust contract sums to account for increases in foreign manpower costs.

Still, the government noted that the relief provided under the Act is meant to be time limited. Companies will need to work together more closely to ensure that the built environment sector remains resilient, the ministries said.

The government will also permanently remove a minimum period of employment (POE) that construction and process work permit holders from non-traditional sources (NTS) and China were required to meet in order to qualify for the man-year entitlement (MYE) waiver.

The MYE is a work permit allocation system. Building projects are allotted MYEs based on the value of the project. But experienced workers with at least the minimum POE can qualify for a waiver - meaning their work permits do not need to draw from this MYE allocation.

The POE had been temporarily removed in August 2021, but is being permanently removed as the MYE framework will be dismantled from Jan 1, 2024.

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