MOM Retention Scheme for Process Industry (Ended 31 Jul 22)


As Singapore has imposed tight restrictions on the inflow of migrant workers (MWs), it has caused manpower shortages in the Process sector. As such, we need to retain as many of our existing foreign manpower as possible in the Process sector.

To facilitate this, Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will partner with ASPRI to implement the Retention Scheme to retain experienced work permit holders in the Process industry whose employment have been terminated by their existing employers.

The scheme allows ASPRI to take over from the existing employers of these foreign workers, the responsibility to upkeep and maintain these foreign workers for up to 30 days while facilitating an employment match with a prospective employer.

The Retention Scheme will replace the current Change Of Employer (CoE) Program – No-Consent Applications (40-21 Day) once the scheme commences on 21 March 2022, Monday.

Potential employers will be job matched with Process work permit holders in Singapore – those whose work permits were cancelled or were not renewed by their employers – as listed in the MOM’s lists provided to ASPRI Secretariat. These workers are not allowed to seek direct employment through other employment agents or employers other than through the scheme.

Through the Retention Scheme, the Process industry will benefit from retaining more existing MWs. The retention of experienced MWs in Singapore will also boost workforce productivity and support economic growth.

The Retention Scheme will commence on 21 March 2022 (Monday) with a shift in the current Change Of Employer (COE) –  without consent (21-40 Days before expiry of Work Permit) period.

From 21 March 2022, the COE period will be adjusted to as follows:

  • Process sectors workers will remain in employment with the original employer until the expiry of the workers Work Permit.
  • If there is no agreement to renew the Work Permit and the worker wishes to continue working in Singapore, the employer and the worker can mutually agree to extend the Work Permit for 30 days .

The employer will allow the worker to look for, and transfer to another employer, within the 30-day period. Employers may use this link to apply for the 30-day Work Permit extension in the 14 days prior to the Work Permit expiry.

  • If there is no agreement between the employer and worker to extend the Work Permit by 30 days, the employer should terminate employment by cancelling the Work Permit and selecting “Employer no longer needs worker” The worker will then be enrolled in the Retention Scheme & we will facilitate job-matching with a new employer within 30 days.

The above changes will be in effect until 30 June 2022.



ASPRI members companies wishing to hire migrant workers under the Scheme can submit their request through the “Request to Hire” form. Job matching will be based on the trade requirements of potential employers.

Allocation is on a first-come-first-served basis limiting to ONE WORKER REQUEST PER COMPANY (based on UEN). Only after the first request is fulfilled, the company can proceed to submit another new request.  Please DO NOT submit multiple requests, we will only process the first request, and you will not receive any outcome for the others.

Prospective employers will be notified via e-mail or telephone on the interview details through our ASPRI appointed service provider.

In view of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and COVID-safe measures introduced by the authorities, interviews with the foreign employees can only be conducted via online platforms, such as WhatsApp messaging service, and telephone.

Upon successful match, the new prospective employer and employee will have to sign an Agreement & ASPRI’s appointed service provider will facilitate with the application of work permit for MOM’s approval (subject to MOM’s prevailing criteria).

An administrative fee including the daily accommodation and food cost of the worker during the duration of his placement will be billed to new employer & to be paid before the official transfer of worker is carried out.




  1. Process companies registered with the ASPRI & have registered their hire request via “Request for Hire” Form
  2. Potential employers who have declaration-in-writing for ongoing projects.
  3. Employers who are debarred by the MOM from employing new foreign employees will not be eligible for this scheme.

– (If the workers are eligible to join the scheme, ASPRI Secretariat will contact the worker directly)

  1. Only work permit holders in the Process industry whose work permits were cancelled or were not renewed by their employers.
  2. Work permit holders who have no outstanding claims (e.g. salary claims) against their previous employers.
  3. Work Permit holders who have changed employers more than once in the preceding 12 months or have been brought in under the recent @ source SHN pilot programme are not eligible.
FAQ ON RETENTION SCHEME (as of 21 Mar 2022)

No, There will be no reimbursement of the unused flight ticket. If ASPRI is not able to successfully match the worker with a new employer, ASPRI will arrange the repatriation for the worker.

No. If your worker is enrolled in the Retention Scheme, your responsibilities, and obligations as the employer of the worker will be discharged, including your security bond liabilities for the worker.

ASPRI will administer the upkeep and maintenance of the worker, including the eventual repatriation of the worker if he is not job matched with another employer. MOM will investigate and take appropriate actions against employers who repatriate their workers forcefully.

You will receive an email from MOM within 3 working days from the date of work permit cancellation, explaining the follow-up actions required.

ASPRI will contact you for validation and verifications. Your security bond liability for the worker will then be discharged thereafter.

When cancelling his/her work permit, please select reason “Employer no longer needs worker” and do not proceed to make repatriation arrangements unless you are otherwise informed by MOM and ASPRI. You will be able to cancel the work permit without indicating the repatriation flight information.

ASPRI will contact the worker within 3 working days and enrol him/her in the Retention Scheme if he/she wishes to continue employment in Singapore.

When cancelling his/her work permit, please select reason “Worker wants to go home” and you will be required to indicate the scheduled flight date to cancel the work permit.

Upon the cancellation of the Work Permit, your worker will receive an SMS from MOM to inform him/her of the cancellation and confirm his/her intention to return home.

Please register your interest by filling in the “Hire to Request” form . You will be matched with workers based on the trade requirements you have submitted.

Please note that you can only submit a request to hire for one worker with a cancelled work permit via the Retention Scheme at any one time.

Only upon that application has been fulfilled by ASPRI then you may submit another application to hire.  This is to ensure all employers who are interested to hire the workers through this scheme will have a chance to interview and hire the workers fairly.

An administrative cost will be charged for the execution of the Retention Scheme.

This will include facilitating the employment matching, costs incurred from housing, and supporting the migrant worker’s stay during the transition period.

Administrative cost is charged on a per worker basis.

The allocation will be allocated on a first-come-first-serviced basis, limiting to one worker request per company (based on UEN). Only after the one request is fulfilled, then the company can submit another new request to join the queue.  Each worker will be granted a maximum of 3 interviews with 3 companies, the first with its original employer, followed by 2nd and 3rd interviews respectively with prospective employers.

The worker will be made known that the arrangement of the interview/offer made will be sequential where upon the 3rd rejection, if worker is not accepting the offer/or made an offer, they will be repatriated accordingly.

The intention of the scheme is to retain experienced work permit holders whose work permits were cancelled by employers who no longer need their services.  In all cases, ASPRI will first verify the circumstances of termination with existing employers and mediate an agreement for the worker to continue working with the original employer where feasible, before matching the worker with prospective employers.

Workers who frequently attempt to change employers and initiate termination employment early, without due consideration given to their existing employers, will not be supported under this scheme. As a guide, workers who have changed employers within the last 12 months will not be eligible under the scheme.