Sunday, August 14, 2011

Further tightening on Singapore Employment Pass Says PM Lee

In  his National Day Rally 2011 speech, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has shared that Singapore government is progressively tightening up on foreign workers. He has announced that Singapore Ministry Of Manpower (MOM) will further tighten measures on the middle range of foreign workers. Middle range of foreign workers are those with Employment Pass and their competition on the white collar jobs with Singaporeans was one of the hottest topics in Singapore. Mr. Lee has said that the tightening on mid level foreign workers will include "raising the salary thresholds for Employment Passes and tightening the educational qualifications". He has told that he will be announced by MOM soon.

Singapore work pass salary threshold is the minimum monthly fixed salary that can be paid to a foreign worker. The minimum salary depends on the employment pass type. If this new measures are implemented in 2011, it will be the second time minimum salary threshold increased in this year. They have recently been increased in July 2011; "from 1,800 SGD to 2,000 SGD for S-Pass holders, 2,500 to 2,800 for Employment Pass Q1 holders, 3,500 SGD to 4,500 SGD for Employment Pass P2 holders and from 7,000 SGD to 8,000 SGD for Employment Pass P1 holders". Source : Singapore work pass salaries, foreigner intake and rents in 2011

These measures address one of the primary concerns of white collar Singaporean workers who seem increasingly uncomfortable and vocal about the influx of foreign workers. Many I know are not against foreign work force, the concern is more about the speed and volume of the foreign influx. And also there is a common view that the quality of these foreign workers are not well monitored. Tighter educational qualifications will address both of this issues.

However, PM cautioned that "tightening on foreign workers does not necessarily mean Singaporeans will automatically get better jobs or higher pay, as  Singaporeans are also competing with workers all over the world":

"Slowing down the inflow of foreign workers may also mean that Singapore will face lower economic growth. There would be lesser vibrancy in our economy and society and fewer opportunities for our people. Hence, Singapore will need to strike the right balance between managing influx of foreign workers and bringing in enough talent to grow the economy."

Source: Singaporeans First Jobs

Singapore has to keep a right balance of foreign workers influx since skilled worker migration is one of the engines of growth of the strong economy of Singapore. But to much reliance on the increase of working population as a source of growth also drags the prosperity creating source of growth down: productivity growth. Recently Singapore government increased its effort on balancing the influx of foreigners as well as increasing the productivity of Singaporeans.

See also : Singapore employment pass criteria is stricter now

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