Ministry of Manpower will exempt ICTs from new job ad regime

22 Jan 14

SINGAPORE

IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has announced a new category of exemption from labor market testing that is part of its “Fair Consideration Framework” that takes effect in August.

What does the change mean? The exemptions now include intracompany transferees (ICTs) that meet certain criteria, in addition to companies with less than 25 employees and new hires earning over 12,000 SGD per month.

  • Implementation timeframe: Aug. 1, 2014.
  • Visas/permits affected: Employment Pass.
  • Who is affected: Companies sending intracompany transferees to Singapore.
  • Impact on processing times: None.
  • Business impact: Businesses and positions that fall into exempt categories will benefit from not having to advertise locally.
  • Next steps: BAL is following these developments and will update employers as MOM releases more details of the Fair Consideration Framework.

Background: The Ministry of Manpower will impose new labor market testing requirements on employers under its Fair Consideration Framework. Under the new regulations that take effect on Aug. 1, employers will be required to post job ads to a newly created National Job Bank – intended to be a one-stop shop for all available jobs in Singapore. Generally, employers must post a job ad for at least 14 days before applying for an Employment Pass (EP) for a foreign worker.

At a presentation last week, MOM officials announced that intracompany transferees are exempt from the advertising requirement. MOM previously carved out two other exempt categories – companies with less than 25 employees and jobs paying a minimum fixed monthly salary of 12,000 SGD per month.

“The current exemptions may be expanded as MOM monitors reactions to the Fair Consideration Framework and industry feedback,” said Christina Karl, director of BAL’s Asia office in Singapore, who attended the MOM presentation. To qualify as exempt, an ICT must be an executive, professional or specialist that meets MOM criteria for those categories or a manager with at least one of the following responsibilities: directs the organization or a department or subdivision; supervises other managerial employees; makes personnel decisions; or exercises discretionary authority over day-to-day operations. In each case, the ICT must have worked for the overseas affiliate of a Singapore company for at least one year.

MOM also confirmed that the job advertising requirement only applies to new EP applications. Renewal applications and applications for other types of work passes such as the S-Pass or Training Employment Pass do not need to include proof that an advertisement was posted on the National Job Board.

BAL Analysis: The ICT exemption is good news for employers, since a significant number of new EP applications may potentially fall within the criteria.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group in Singapore. For additional information, please contact singapore@balglobal.com.

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