SINGAPORE – Fair Consideration Framework and New Qualifying Salary
On 23 September, the Singapore Ministry of Manpower (MOM) announced new rules for 2014 requiring large companies to give fair consideration to Singaporeans through local advertising before hiring foreign national Employment Pass (EP) holders. There will also be changes to the qualifying salary requirements for Employment Pass (EP) applications.
The new rules are known as the Fair Consideration Framework (FCF), and will take effect from 1 August 2014. The FCF requires employers to advertise their job vacancies on a new job bank administered by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) for at least 14 days before a new Employment Pass application is submitted.
Companies with 25 or fewer employees, and jobs with fixed monthly salaries of at least S$12000 will be exempt from the advertising requirement unless they are identified as having discriminatory hiring practices.
Firms identified as having HR practices favouring foreign nationals (in general, such firms would be those with a very high ratio, compared to others in their industry, of foreign to Singaporean workers, or firms about which the MOM has received complaints regarding discriminatory practices) will be required to provide additional information to MOM, outlining their hiring practices and plans for reducing reliance on Employment Pass holders.
Such firms will be notified directly by MOM, in early 2014, of the additional scrutiny required.
If these firms are unresponsive, they will face greater scrutiny and longer processing times for their EP applications, and may even have their work pass privileges curtailed.
New Employment Pass Qualifying Salary
From January 2014 the income threshold for qualification for a new Employment Pass will be raised from S$3000 to S$3300 or more per month, depending on the candidate’s qualifications and experience.
Transitional Measures for Existing Employment Pass Holders
The following rules will apply when an Employment Pass is renewed with the same employer:
- Existing EP holders whose passes expire before 1 January 2014 will receive a one-time renewal based on existing criteria.
- Those whose EPs expire between 1 January 2014 and 30 June 2014 inclusive will receive a one-time one-year renewal on the existing criteria.
- Those whose EPs expire after 30 June 2014 will have to meet the new salary criteria on renewal.
- Note the new requirement to advertise jobs in Singapore from August 2014 and adjust application timings accordingly.
- Note the new qualifying salary and the transitional measures for existing EP holders.