Extension of Temporary Change of Employer (COE) Scheme & Updated Requirements

31 Aug 2020

Ref No.: 310820 (1)

UEN: S97SS0046G

Dear Valued ASPRI Members,

Extension of Temporary Change of Employer (COE) Scheme & Updated Requirements

Since 2nd March 2020, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has partnered with the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) to introduce a six-month temporary scheme, to provide firms in the Manufacturing and Services sectors more flexibility to manage their manpower needs in view of the COVID-19 situation. Under the scheme, firms in these sectors are allowed to hire existing PRC Work Permit holders, without the workers having to leave Singapore.
The scheme was subsequently expanded from 1st April 2020 to allow firms in all sectors to hire existing Work Permit holders who are in Singapore from any sector. MOM also established partnerships with other Trade Associations and Chambers (TACs) such as the Singapore Contractors Association Limited (SCAL) in May 2020, and the Association of Process Industries (ASPRI) and Association of Singapore Marine Industries (ASMI) in August 2020. As such, there are now TACs facilitating the transfers of Work Permit holders in all sectors.
Till date, over 5,600 companies have benefitted from this scheme. As entry approvals for new work pass holders from overseas remain limited to reduce the risk of importation of COVID-19 to Singapore, MOM will be extending the temporary scheme to 28th February 2021. The details of the temporary scheme extension with FAQs have been updated on MOM’s website.
During this challenging period, firms with excess manpower are encouraged to allow their existing Work Permit holders to transfer to another firm and save on repatriation costs while giving their workers an opportunity to continue working in Singapore. Firms facing a shortage of manpower can then tap on this pool of experienced work permit holders and save on search and recruitment costs. This helps retain the more experienced Work Permit holders in Singapore and raise the quality of our workforce.
For further queries, please refer to the FAQs or contact MOM.