Singapore: New Requirements for Hiring Foreign Workers

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By Rick Vollmar

July 14— Employers in Singapore wishing to hire foreign employees will face stricter regulation beginning Oct. 1, 2015, according to a July 9 client alert from Berry Appleman & Leiden.

Under Singapore's Fair Consideration Framework, employers will now be required to publish in the government job bank salary ranges for job vacancies and may be required to substantiate efforts to hire local candidates, BAL reported.

“The rule is intended to make job terms clearer to Singaporean candidates and raise labor market transparency,” BAL reported. The Ministry of Manpower “will also increase scrutiny of job qualifications presented in support of employment pass applications to ensure that education certificates and other documentation supporting the application are valid and reflect the candidate's actual skills. Companies employing a weaker core of local PMEs [professionals, managers and executives] compared to others within their industry will be required to submit more information to the MOM regarding their hiring practices, such as details on the number of applications submitted by Singaporeans, whether they were interviewed for the vacant post and the company's current share of Singaporeans in PME positions at various levels.”

According to BAL, “increased scrutiny of employment pass applications may increase processing times, and employers will continue to face challenges in bringing in foreign workers to fill certain positions already impacted by skill shortages.”

Failure to comply with these requirements could result in rejection of an application for an employment pass.

“The new measures are a continuation of the Ministry of Manpower's efforts to strengthen core employment of Singaporean PMEs and improve the quality assessment of foreign PME applicants,” BAL noted.

In addition, “the ministry is actively encouraging employers to transfer expertise from foreign workers to Singaporeans. While the new measures also offer financial help to companies who hire Singaporeans to offset wage costs, the stricter Fair Consideration Framework rules will make it more challenging for companies to hire foreign workers.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Rick Vollmar at

The BAL client alert is available at

For more information on Singaporean HR law and regulation, see the Singapore primer.

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