News

COVID-19 Circulars

[Request for Information] Members' Feedback on Additional COVID-19 support measures for businesses and workers

24 Aug 2020
Ref No.: 240820 (2) UEN: S97SS0046G Dear Valued ASPRI Members, [Request for Information] Members' Feedback on Additional COVID-19 support measures for businesses and workers On 17 Aug 2020, the Job Support Scheme (JSS) was extended to provide more wage support for companies, compared to Construction (Tier 1: 50%), Marine (Tier 2: 30%), Process Sector has been classified as Tier 3: 10%. The process industry, grappling with similar foreign manpower related issues like the construction and marine sectors, has been very slow to restart. ASPRI intends to lodge an appeal to MOM for an increase in the JSS extended to the Process sector. As such, please complete a survey on the dormitory situation for your company here: http://bit.ly/PCMJSS Your timely response by 28 August (Friday) is crucial as sufficient submissions are required for MOM’s consideration of this appeal. It should take you no more than 5 minutes. Rest assured all individual responses will be kept confidential. A report of the findings will only be shared with relevant authorities. If you have any queries, please feel free to raise it up via email to admin@aspri.com.sg Meanwhile, please take care and stay safe.

Employers Required To Ensure Workers Undergo Routine Testing by 5 September

24 Aug 2020
Ref No.: 240820 (3) UEN: S97SS0046G Dear Valued ASPRI Members, Employers Required To Ensure Workers Undergo Routine Testing by 5 September Following up from the circular we sent last week [Ref No.: 210820 (1)], ASPRI would like to highlight to employers that they are required to ensure workers undergo the Rostered Routine Testing (RTT) by 5th September 2020 – as stated by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in this Press Release. As part of the safeguards to ensure the safe restart of work, workers staying in dormitories, and workers in the Construction, Marine and Process sectors and personnel who go into the work sites, are required to undergo RTT every 14 days. All workers who are required to undergo RRT will need to have completed a swab test in the past 14 days by 5th September 2020. Workers who have not done so will have their AccessCode Status reflected as Red under the “Health Status”, and will not be able to return to work. To date, around 16,000 employers (82%) have logged into the Health Promotion Board’s Swab Registration System (SRS) to schedule their workers for RRT. About 102,000 workers who need to undergo RRT have not yet been scheduled (a slight reduction from the 118,000 workers four days ago). Employers are reminded to quickly schedule appointment slots for their workers if they have not done so, to avoid disruption to business operations. They can view the available locations in the SRS when booking appointment dates, comprising 18 Regional Screening Centres and purpose-built dormitories across the island such as Old Police Academy, The Float @ Marina Bay, PPT Lodge 1B, Tampines Dormitory and Sungei Tengah Lodge. The swab capacity is more than sufficient to address the remaining unscheduled workers if employers schedule early. Once workers have been scheduled under the SRS for the first time, they will be automatically assigned new dates for future RRT swabs. Employers should log in to the SRS regularly to check if there are new workers whom they need to schedule appointments for. MOM will be continuously adding new workers as their dormitories are cleared, and the workers become due for RRT. For queries related to RTT, please refer to this FAQs on the MOM website. Employers should approach their respective sector leads, should they have queries on the requirements: Construction sector - SRS_Enquiries@bca.gov.sg Marine and Process sectors - swab@edb.gov.sg Manufacturing / services workers staying in dorms - https://www.mom.gov.sg/feedback

Rostered Routine Testing (RTT) for the Process Construction & Maintenance Sector

21 Aug 2020
Ref No.: 210820 (1) UEN: S97SS0046G Dear Valued ASPRI Members, Rostered Routine Testing (RTT) for the Process Construction & Maintenance Sector The Rostered Routine Testing (RRT) is part of the COVID-Safe Workforce measures to minimise transmissions at the workplace, as specified in the appended Advisory for a Safe and Controlled Restart of Process Construction & Maintenance.pdf (does not apply to recently COVID-recovered workers – less than 180 days from date of symptoms onset or detection of infection). It is required in the Construction, Marine and Process sectors for: Workers staying in dormitories (PBDs/FCDs/CTQs/TOL quarters/Government-sourced decant sites); Workers who work on the production sites. The AccessCode system will soon be updated such that workers who are required to undergo RRT but fail to do so will have a ‘Red’ AccessCode. See the appended Employers to Ensure Workers Go Through Rostered Routine Testing.pdf for more details. To minimise disruption to your operation, please complete the following steps for your employees as soon as possible: Schedule your workers early to secure your preferred slots and locations using the Swab Registration System (SRS). Once the workers have been scheduled under the SRS for the first time, they will be automatically scheduled for future RRT swabs until they fail to show up for a swab or there is a change in health status (e.g. identified to be COVID-positive, placed on quarantine or stay-home notice). Please email AskSRS@hpb.gov.sg for issues using the SRS. Complete updating your worker details on MTI GoBusiness Portal, especially their production site, which should be reflected as “Work From Home”, “Office”, or “Production Site”. Workers indicated as working on the production site are required to be swabbed. Please email COVID_GoBusiness@mti.gov.sg for further queries. Ensure your workers attend their regular swab test appointments unless they are on quarantine, stay-home notice or 5-day medical leave.

Ministerial Statement on Continued Support for Workers and Jobs

18 Aug 2020
Ref No.: 180820 (1) UEN: S97SS0046G   Dear Valued ASPRI Members, Ministerial Statement on Continued Support for Workers and Jobs   Deputy Prime Minister, Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies and Minister for Finance, Mr Heng Swee Keat, delivered a Ministerial Statement on 17th August 2020 (Monday). He presented on the Government's further plans in Singapore’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, while also highlighting the need to adapt to a rapidly changing situation.   Deputy Prime Minister Heng outlined how Singapore is advancing our strategies in three key areas:   Continue to support for jobs and create new ones, Provide further support for sectors which are hit the hardest; and Position ourselves to seize growth opportunities in a post-COVID-19 world.   The Government has dedicated close to $100 billion over four Budgets to support our people and businesses in this crisis. The key measures this round include:   Protecting Jobs Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) extended up to March 2021 Up to 50% support, based on projected recovery of the different sectors   Creating Job Opportunities Jobs Growth Incentive – a $1 billion programme to support firms to increase their headcount of local workers over the next six months Supporting Workers   Application period for COVID-19 Support Grant extended up to Dec 2020 Eligibility for Workfare Special Payment widened to those who received Workfare Income Supplement for work done in 2020, and who are not already receiving the Special Payment   Preserving Core Capabilities   Further support for hardest-hit sectors, such as aerospace, aviation and tourism, to retain core capabilities $187 million to extend support measures in the Enhanced Aviation Support Package up to March 2021 Temporary redeployment programme scaled up for workers in the aviation sector $320 million to boost domestic tourism through tourism credits   Transforming Our Economy for a Post-COVID-19 World Up to $150 million to enhance the Startup SG Founder programme in phases   Please refer to the appended infographics from the Ministry of Finance (MOF) for an overview of the various measures. You may click here or refer to the appended Ministerial Statement to read Deputy Prime Minister’s speech in full.

Advisory on Movement of Migrant Workers between Cleared Dormitories

17 Aug 2020
Ref No.: 170820 (1) UEN: S97SS0046G   Dear Valued ASPRI Members, Advisory on Movement of Migrant Workers between Cleared Dormitories   As all dormitories are now cleared of COVID-19, employers will be moving their workers out of or into the cleared dormitories to facilitate cohorting arrangements to meet sectoral agencies’ COVID-Safe Accommodation requirements. This advisory guides employers and dormitory operators on the measures to take to minimise the risk of transmission as they facilitate the movement of workers to and across dormitories.   Moving Migrant Workers Out of Cleared Dormitories   Currently, prior approval from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) must be sought before workers could be shifted out of their dormitories (or temporary Government-provided accommodation). This is to minimise movement and ensure that only healthy workers could move to new accommodation, to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 between dormitories and protect healthy workers from becoming infected.   With the dormitories now cleared of COVID-19, employers and dormitory operators are no longer required to seek MOM’s prior approval as long as they take the following steps before moving their workers out of their current dormitories:   Dormitory operators and employers must check that the workers are healthy (based on AccessCode status of “Cleared” and “Recovered”) and not on Quarantine Order (QO) or Stay-Home Notice (SHN), Employers should schedule their workers for regular routine testing (RRT) through Health Promotion Board’s (HPB) Swab Registration System (SRS), and Dormitory operators must update their dormitory nominal rolls to either delete the outgoing workers or insert the incoming workers respectively. Employers need to update the workers’ new address in the Online Foreign Worker Address System (OFWAS) and ensure that the workers have downloaded and activated the FWMOMCare, SGWorkPass and TraceTogether mobile applications.   Employers who are moving their workers into private residential premises (PRPs) and HDB flats are reminded that they can only house up to six workers per unit.   Admitting New Residents into Cleared Dormitories   To minimise the risks of transmission when new workers are introduced into the cleared dormitories, dormitory operators [1] should only admit new residents who are currently not serving Quarantine Order (QO) or Stay-Home Notice (SHN) and fulfil at least one of the criteria below:   have been tested COVID-negative within the past 14 days; or have recovered from COVID within the past 180 days; or are required to move by the Joint Taskforce or sectoral agencies and has been undergoing RRT or Active Surveillance Swab.     For new residents who do not meet these criteria, dormitory operators may admit them only if they are able to room them separately [2] from the rest of the residents until they have been tested COVID-negative (“onboarding period”). In addition, these new residents can only leave the dormitory for work, to run essential errands, or for emergency purposes, during the onboarding period. The onboarding period minimises the risk of transmission to the dormitory population in the event that the new resident is infected with COVID. More details of the requirements for new residents can be found in the appended Annex.   With Immediate Effect   The above new measures will apply with immediate effect. We appreciate dormitory operators’ and employers’ cooperation in the implementation of these new measures to help keep the dormitories remain cleared of COVID-19.   This advisory is also available on the MOM website. For further queries, please refer to the appended FAQs. Otherwise, you may get in touch with MOM.   ---   [1] Applies to operators of cleared dormitories housing seven or more migrant workers, including Purpose-Built Dormitories (PBDs), Factory-Converted Dormitories (FCDs), Construction Temporary Quarters (CTQs), Temporary Occupation Licence Quarters (TOLQs) and Temporary Living Quarters (TLQs), excluding Government-provided accommodation facilities (e.g. vacant HDB flats, old schools and sports halls)   [2] Dormitory operators should ensure that new residents are not housed in the same rooms as existing residents during the onboarding period. New residents should also have designated toilets for their exclusive use, which should not be shared with existing residents. Dormitory operators should also designate a section of other common amenities/facilities (e.g. recreational areas) for new residents, or schedule the use of such facilities, such that the new and existing residents do not intermix.

[Free Webinar] Advanced Manufacturing Inaugural Webinar – An Initiative by the SCIC Advanced Manufacturing (SAM) Committee

17 Aug 2020
Ref No.: 170820 (2) UEN: S97SS0046G   Dear Valued ASPRI Members,  [Free Webinar] Advanced Manufacturing Inaugural Webinar – An Initiative by the SCIC Advanced Manufacturing (SAM) Committee   With the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, businesses are relooking into their business models to ensure their long term business continuity and to emerge stronger post-pandemic. Supported by JTC and Singapore Polytechnic, the Singapore Chemical Industry Council (SCIC) is organising a webinar to keep members and industry partners updated on the insights of Industry 4.0. SCIC has graciously extended the invitation to all ASPRI members. Please refer to the following for the webinar details and programme schedule.   Webinar Details Date: 26th August 2020 (Wednesday) Time: 2:00pm to 3:20pm Venue: Virtual Platform   Programme Schedule Time Topics Presenter 2:00pm to 2:15pm Welcome Message And Introduction By SCIC And JTC SCIC Advanced Manufacturing (SAM) Committee and JTC 2:15pm to 2:30pm Using Technologies To Comply With COVID-Safe Restart Criteria   Sharing of technologies (e.g: Thermal Scanners, CCTV, Wearable tech) that could be used to ensure compliance with Safety Measures Management (SMM) and the thoughts from companies which have adopted such technologies. Mr Tom Madilao, Chevron Singapore Pte Ltd 2:30pm to 2:45pm The WHY - Digitalisation Changes The Economics Of Manufacturing   Digital transformation is changing the DNA of how products are manufactured. With cost reduction and advancement in industrial internet of things (IIoT) sensors, robotics & drones, advanced data analytics platforms and data connectivity, the management of manufacturing processes and maintenance strategies are rapidly changing.  Digital manufacturing brings new opportunities, new levels of efficiency and cost reduction. Today, digitally smart manufacturers have a competitive advantage by adopting emerging technologies. But one needs to have a growth mindset and the willingness to start adopting the new way of thinking that digital manufacturing will bring in the long run. Mr Lim Keng Yang, Chevron Oronite Pte Ltd 2:45pm to 3:00pm  The HOW - Design Thinking For Business     Design Thinking is a successful framework to identify the opportunities from current user experiences that can lead to innovative digitization of their activities and workflow. This session will outline the DT process that Singapore Polytechnic’s User Experience Centre had adopted with Chevron Singapore to help them map out new ways of doing work that will not only enhance operational effectiveness and efficiency, but also the engagement of the personnel involved. Mr Norazmi Ayob, Chevron Singapore   Mr Aznan Abu Bakar, Singapore Polytechnic (SP) 3:00pm to 3:10pm What’s Next?   This session will provide an overview of SP’s Energy & Chemicals Training Centre (ECTC), and to gather specific problem statements/pain points that participants are currently facing or on topics which participants are interested in for future webinars.   Mr Koh Hong Wee, Centre Director of ECTC Singapore Polytechnic (SP) 3:10pm to 3:20pm Q&A Session   3:20pm End of Webinar     To sign-up for the webinar, please register online via www.scic.sg or by using the QR Code / Link below. Please indicate a ‘Member of ASPRI’ beside your company name upon registration. https://go.gov.sg/t268fr   Registration is on a first-come-first-serve basis, and SCIC would like to request interested members to keep it to two representatives per company. You will receive a confirmation email with the link to the webinar before the session. Please complete the registration by Friday, 21 August 2020.

Overcoming COVID-19 Together: Measures for Dorm Residents to Enjoy Safe Rest Days

13 Aug 2020
Ref No.: 130820 (1) UEN: S97SS0046G   Dear Valued ASPRI Members, Overcoming COVID-19 Together: Measures for Dorm Residents to Enjoy Safe Rest Days   As the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has cleared all dormitories on 11th August 2020, the next step is to work towards allowing dormitory residents to leave for leisure and personal errands, while keeping them safe from COVID-19. MOM recognises that such social activity is important for the mental well-being of the residents. The eventual goal is to allow residents from cleared dorms to enjoy their rest days without movement restrictions. MOM will move towards this goal in a measured way to ensure that the residents and the broader community are kept safe and healthy. It is also important to bear in mind the lessons learnt from other countries’ re-openings that led to new waves of COVID-19 infections. To this end, MOM has engaged employers, NGOs, dormitory operators and Recreation Centre operators to coordinate this important undertaking. MOM will start small-scale trials this month for residents from selected cleared dormitories to visit Recreation Centres on their rest days for personal errands such as buying groceries, SIM cards and remitting money.   To reduce crowding outside the dormitories on rest days, residents’ exits will be spread out across each day. This will be done by residents needing to apply for a Dormitory Exit Pass through their SGWorkPass app, which will provide a specific exit timeslot. Residents in participating dormitories that meet all the following criteria will be granted an Exit Pass: Has recovered from COVID-19, or has a negative swab test result within 14 days prior to the exit date; Not be on Quarantine Order or Stay Home Notice; Is staying in a cleared dormitory; Has installed and registered TraceTogether; and Chooses an Exit Pass timeslot with available vacancies. The trials will allow MOM to refine the Exit Pass arrangements so as to progressively ramp up the number of participating dormitories over the next two months. Details of the eventual Exit Pass arrangements will be announced in due course. The aim is to have all dormitory residents able to apply for Exit Passes to visit Recreation Centres in October 2020. The limits on exit duration and destinations will be reviewed after October 2020, taking into account COVID-19 transmission trends then.   BCA, EDB and ESG, with the support of industry associations, have also announced measures to stagger the rest days of their workers so as to help reduce crowding. MOM also welcomes community and NGO efforts to expand programmes and initiatives in the dormitories so that there are more options for the residents during their rest day.   The workers' and employers’ co-operation over these last four months are deeply appreciated and we understand their anxieties. We seek the cooperation of everyone to ensure that dormitory residents can eventually enjoy their rest days safely. To read the full advisory, please click here. Additionally, you may refer to the appended FAQ for more details.

Overcoming COVID-19 Together: Implementation of Staggered Rest Days for Work Permit Holders and S Pass Holders in the Construction Sector

13 Aug 2020
Ref No.: 130820 (2) UEN: S97SS0046G   Dear Valued ASPRI Members, Overcoming COVID-19 Together: Implementation of Staggered Rest Days for Work Permit Holders and S Pass Holders in the Construction Sector   In addition to our circular sent earlier [Ref No.: 130820 (1)], ASPRI would like to share with you BCA-MOM Joint Circular on the Implementation of Staggered Rest Days for Work Permit Holders and S Pass Holders in the Construction Sector from 19th August 2020.   The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant disruption to the construction sector. The Trade Associations and Chambers (TACs) of the built environment value chain, has worked closely with the Government to help the industry restart safely and minimise the risk and work disruptions from COVID-19. Besides improved health monitoring and surveillance in the dormitories, measures such as cohorting of workers at worksites are necessary to reduce the risk of transmission and impact of possible disruptions.   It is also critical to minimise the risk of transmissions during social activities on rest days. Large group gatherings of extended periods put individuals at greater risk as safe distancing will be harder to achieve. For the workers’ own protection, it helps to stagger the rest days of construction sector Work Permit Holders and S Pass holders across the entire week. This will spread out the number of workers at any particular location on any given day, prevent large gatherings, and reduce the risk of cross-infection.   The CIJC and TACs support the implementation of staggered rest days as it will help workers enjoy their rest days safely and make business operations more sustainable.   Workers deployed to some projects will need to rest on Sundays due to regulatory restrictions e.g. worksites that are within 150m from residential estates (due to NEA’s No Work Rule), and renovation projects. Workers deployed to other projects will therefore have to rest between Monday and Saturday.   Based on the above considerations, the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) and Ministry of Manpower (MOM) have worked closely with TACs to develop the following implementation approach, taking into account business needs:   Types of Activities Rest Day (including main-con, sub-con or specialist sub-con) Construction sites subjected to NEA’s No Work Rule Renovation of residential premises Sunday Construction sites not subjected to NEA’s No Work Rule, including process construction sites  BCA will assign one day within Monday to Saturday Specialist contractors deployed to multiple projects Facilities management including Lift & Escalator maintenance  Employer to designate one day between Monday and Saturday (can be different days) for each of their WPH and S Pass holders*     *Instructions on how to do so will be shared in a separate notification letter   BCA will begin notifying projects and firms of their rest days from 19 August 2020. We understand that firms may require time to review their manpower deployment and make adjustments if the rest day is on a different day than currently practiced: - a one-month grace period will be given to implement the new rest days.     Employers will be able to view and update the rest days for their workers via MOM’s Safe@Work system from 19 August 2020 onwards.   Concurrently, MOM will be trialing an exit pass system for workers staying at the dormitories to visit the Recreational Centres on their rest day. This will further spread out the number of workers from dormitories who would be at the Recreational Centres at any given time and minimise large crowds. The trial will enable MOM to obtain feedback from workers and dormitory operators and resolve any teething issues with the exit pass system. MOM will provide more details of the system in due course.   The COVID-19 pandemic has required all of us to adopt new practices. The effort put in by all our stakeholders to rise to the occasion and make the necessary changes are greatly appreciated. BCA and MOM will review the need for staggered days when the COVID-19 pandemic has abated. Together, we can restart our industries safely and emerge stronger.   For more details, kindly refer to the appended Joint Circular and FAQ on Staggered Rest Days for PCM sector.

Revised Cohorting Requirements for Process Sector

11 Aug 2020
Ref No.: 110820 (1) UEN: S97SS0046G   Dear Valued ASPRI Members, Revised Cohorting Requirements for Process Sector   Since the Circuit Breaker ended on 2nd June 2020, the Construction, Process and Marine sectors have adopted additional safety measures, requiring workers to be cohorted in order to minimise intermixing of workers at their residence and mitigate the risks of any potential COVID-19 outbreak.   The Economic Development Board (EDB), Enterprise Singapore (ESG) and Building and Construction Authority (BCA) have worked together to review and align the cohorting requirements for the Construction, Process and Marine sectors. You may view the requirements listed in the appended PDF document. Similarly, you may view them here. For your ease of reference, please refer to the summarised requirements for the Process sector: Workers belonging to the same team (i.e. by discrete projects, shifts or trades) to be housed in the same room. Otherwise, workers employed by the same firm to be housed in the same room. Limited to a maximum of 2 employers housed within each room. However, it is understood that fully implementing the cohorting arrangements will be challenging as it will take time to complete. As such, companies will be given a grace period till end of September, such that all workers with green AccessCode status, and where their employers have obtained the necessary general exemption and quota for manpower deployment, can leave the dormitory for work while cohorting is ongoing. Recovered workers will also be allowed to return to work in the meantime, but cohorting will still be required after the grace period.

Overcoming COVID-19 Together: ASPRI-IPI Free E-series #3 - Bolster Safety Platform User’s License Expiring on 24th July 2020

24 Jul 2020
Ref No.: 240720 (2) UEN: S97SS0046G   Dear Valued ASPRI Members, Overcoming COVID-19 Together: ASPRI-IPI Free E-series #3 - Bolster Safety Platform User’s License Expiring on 24th July 2020   Please note that ASPRI-IPI Free E-series #3 - Bolster safety E-platform for the industry license is ending on 24th July 2020. We thank you for the participation and pleased to have helped the PCM workers on their skill retention through this platform. Bolster E-courses Statistic   We are pleased to announce that since the launch from May till date, a total of 4900 e-training places have been completed.   Again, thank you for encouraging your workers to participate, as well as all the positive feedbacks received through the E-survey. If your company is keen to further explore Bolster Safety for your workforce, you may contact our partner at ghitana.conrad@bolstersafety.com.

IMPORTANT: Over $4 billion to be disbursed from 29 Jul under the Jobs Support Scheme

20 Jul 2020
Ref No.: 200720 (1) UEN: S97SS0046G   Dear Valued ASPRI Members, IMPORTANT: Over $4 billion to be disbursed from 29 Jul under the Jobs Support Scheme   140,000 EMPLOYEES TO RECEIVE JSS PAYOUTS TO RETAIN AND PAY WORKERS It is announced by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat on 19 July that wage support over $4 billion will be disbursed from 29 July, as part of the Jobs Support Scheme (JSS). Including this payout, a total of over $15 billion would have been disbursed to employers to help them retain and pay workers. The Jobs Support Scheme was introduced in the Unity Budget earlier this year to save jobs. It was subsequently enhanced to provide additional support during the circuit breaker and phased re-opening of the economy. For the upcoming payout, employers will receive: Up to 75% support for the first $4,600 of wages paid to local employees in February and March 2020 75% for wages paid in April 2020, during the circuit breaker. Employers with PayNow Corporate or GIRO arrangements with IRAS can expect to receive the JSS payouts earlier from 29 July 2020. Others will receive their cheques from 4 August 2020. All employers are urged to do their utmost to retain their staff, take the opportunity to transform their operations, and upskill their employees during this period. MOF and IRAS jointly issued a press release on this. 

Overcoming COVID-19 Together: Employers' Obligations to Pay Foreign Workers' Salaries

16 Jul 2020
Ref No.: 160720 (1) UEN: S97SS0046G   Dear Valued ASPRI Members, Overcoming COVID-19 Together: Employers' Obligations to Pay Foreign Workers' Salaries   It has been almost three weeks since Singapore has entered Phase 2 of Post-Circuit Breaker. The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) expects more Foreign Workers (FWs) to return to work as companies resume their operations and the dormitories are COVID-cleared. However, there will still be some FWs who will not be able to return to work and as such, ASPRI would like to remind the employers on their obligations towards these FWs. MOM is aware that business activities in the construction, marine and processing sectors have been heavily impacted due to the COVID-19 situation. The Government has rolled out a series of support measures for employers of FWs, including the latest extension of FW levy rebate of $90 for each FW from August to December 2021. It is understood that some employers may not be able to afford to give FWs who cannot work the same level of salary support as they had been given during the Circuit Breaker. Such employers should now engage and mutually agree with their FWs and unions (if they are unionised) on a new and more appropriate salary arrangement including a reduction of salaries if necessary, for business survival. Employers who do not initiate any discussion are deemed to have agreed to continue with the salary arrangements during the Circuit Breaker. Employers can place their FWs on extended no-pay leave if necessary but must obtain the FWs’ consent in writing. If employers and FWs cannot reach a mutual agreement on salary adjustments, either party can contractually terminate the employment with notice as required under the employment contract or Employment Act. Kindly refer to MOM’s updated Advisory on Salary and Leave Arrangements issued on 9th June 2020. The updated advisory outlines the principles for employers to adopt for salary and leave arrangements post Circuit Breaker.

[IMPORTANT REMINDER] Overcoming COVID-19 Together: Updates on Safe Restart for PCM Sector

16 Jul 2020
Ref No.: 160720 (2) UEN: S97SS0046G   Dear Valued ASPRI Members, [IMPORTANT REMINDER] Overcoming COVID-19 Together: Updates on Safe Restart for PCM Sector   In reference to the circular that ASPRI sent out on 29th June 2020, we would like to gently remind our members of the following support measures made available for the PCM Sector. Additionally, we would also like to bring to your attention the updates made to the Safe-Restart advisories and criteria, now that Singapore has embarked on Phase 2 of its Safe-Reopening.   EXTENDED SUPPORT MEASURES FOR PCM SECTOR Extension of FWL waiver and rebate   As part of the Fortitude Budget, the PCM sector received a 100% foreign worker levy (FWL) waiver and a $750 FWL rebate in June, as well as a 50% FWL waiver and $375 FWL rebate in July. The Ministry of Manpower (MOM), the Ministry of Trade & Industry (MTI) and the Ministry of National Development (MND) announced on 27th June (Saturday), that the Government will extend FWL rebates till end 2022 for the Construction, Marine Shipyard and Process sectors. From August 2020, firms in these sectors will receive a $90 FWL rebate monthly for each Work Permit Holder, until December 2021. Please click here or the appended press release for more details. Note: Closer to December 2021, the Government will decide if there is a need to further extend the FWL rebate by another year to December 2022.   Government to continue bearing swab tests costs In the previous Economic Development Board (EDB) advisory on Safe Restart for PCM on 1 June 2020, it was mentioned that the Government would pay for the periodic swab test for the PCM sector, up to August 2020. MOM, MTI and MND have also announced that the Government will now continue to bear the costs of COVID-19 swab tests for the PCM sector until 31 March 2021. The EDB advisory has been updated to reflect this development. Upcoming Support Package for PCM sector EDB and Enterprise Singapore (ESG) are also working on a support package to help the PCM sector with compliance costs for Safe Restart. More details will be shared on a later date.   UPDATES TO THE SAFE RESTART ADVISORY & CRITERIA In addition to the aforementioned support measures, there have also been minor updates to the following: Appeals to increase manning levels for regular maintenance   For appeals to increase manning levels for regular maintenance, PCM companies should now apply for general exemption on the MTI GoBusiness website, indicating details of the plant owner or customer it is supporting with the increased manpower, instead of jointly applying to EDB with the plant owner. COVID-Safe Restart Criteria for E&C plant owners & PCM companies   The COVID-Safe Restart Criteria for both E&C plant owners and PCM companies have been updated to align with the latest MOM workplace requirements (e.g. workplace split teams and staggered work, TraceTogether). The requirement to keep briefing and team sizes to 10 people have also been removed; although companies should continue to keep briefing groups and teams small. Please refer to the appended documents for more details.   Note: Updates are marked “updated 27 June” in red.   New FAQs on SafeEntry, TraceTogether and dorm workers There are new FAQs on SafeEntry, TraceTogether and the issue of whether dorm workers are allowed to walk, cycle or take private hire vehicles/taxis to work. The FAQs may be found here.

Overcoming COVID-19 Together: COVID-19 Rental Relief Framework

13 Jul 2020
Ref No.: 130720 (1) UEN: S97SS0046G   Dear Valued ASPRI Members, Overcoming COVID-19 Together: COVID-19 Rental Relief Framework   COVID-19 RENTAL RELIEF FRAMEWORK FOR INDUSTRIAL/OFFICE PROPRIETORS   On 5 June 2020, the Rental Relief law was passed in Parliament. It provides rental relief to help SME tenants (including sub-tenants and licensees) who have been affected by COVID-19.  Who will qualify and how much relief am I entitled to? With the support of the Rental Relief, tenant-occupiers who are SMEs with ≤$100 million in annual revenue reported in the Year of Assessment 2019 will get 1 month’s rental waiver if they are in industrial/office properties. On top of that, the Additional Rental Relief will apply to tenant-occupiers who (a) have suffered ≥ 35% drop in average monthly revenue on an outlet level from April to May 2020, compared to April to May 2019; and (b) are SMEs at the group level (≤$100 million revenue based on the latest available accounts). The Additional Rental Relief provides 1 month’s rental waiver for industrial/office properties. This may be halved if the landlord is suffering financial hardship. The rental relief framework applies to qualifying leases or licenses: entered into before 25 March 2020; OR entered into before 25 March 2020 but expired and renewed either automatically or in exercise of a right of renewal in the contract What should I do if I qualify? Starting from end-July 2020, IRAS will issue a notice of cash grant to qualifying property owners. Once the notice is issued, the rental is treated as waived under the Rental Relief law. Landlords are obliged to notify their tenants. Eligible tenants do not need to do anything. Tenants do not need to pay rent for the period covered by the rental relief framework. If rent has already been paid, tenants can either apply the rental waivers to the next immediate month(s) of rent, or if this is not possible, get a refund from their landlords.   For more information, please refer to the appended or visit https://www.go.gov.sg/rentalrelief. 

Overcoming COVID-19 Together: Updates on Safe Restart for PCM Sector

29 Jun 2020
Ref No.: 290620 (1) UEN: S97SS0046G   Dear Valued ASPRI Members, Overcoming COVID-19 Together: Updates on Safe Restart for PCM Sector   EXTENDED SUPPORT MEASURES FOR PCM SECTOR   Extension of FWL waiver and rebate   As part of the Fortitude Budget, the PCM sector received a 100% foreign worker levy (FWL) waiver and a $750 FWL rebate in June, as well as a 50% FWL waiver and $375 FWL rebate in July. The Ministry of Manpower (MOM), the Ministry of Trade & Industry (MTI) and the Ministry of National Development (MND) announced on 27th June (Saturday), that the Government will extend FWL rebates till end 2022 for the Construction, Marine Shipyard and Process sectors. From August 2020, firms in these sectors will receive a $90 FWL rebate monthly for each Work Permit Holder, until December 2021. Please click here for more details.   Note: Closer to December 2021, the Government will decide if there is a need to further extend the FWL rebate by another year to December 2022.   Government to continue bearing swab tests costs   In the previous Economic Development Board (EDB) advisory on Safe Restart for PCM on 1 June 2020, it was mentioned that the Government would pay for the periodic swab test for the PCM sector, up to August 2020. MOM, MTI and MND have also announced that the Government will now continue to bear the costs of COVID-19 swab tests for the PCM sector until 31 March 2021. The EDB advisory has been updated to reflect this development. Upcoming Support Package for PCM sector   EDB and Enterprise Singapore (ESG) are also working on a support package to help the PCM sector with compliance costs for Safe Restart. More details will be shared on a later date.     UPDATES TO THE SAFE RESTART ADVISORY & CRITERIA   In addition to the aforementioned support measures, there have also been minor updates to the following:   Appeals to increase manning levels for regular maintenance   For appeals to increase manning levels for regular maintenance, PCM companies should now apply for general exemption on the MTI GoBusiness website, indicating details of the plant owner or customer it is supporting with the increased manpower, instead of jointly applying to EDB with the plant owner.   COVID-Safe Restart Criteria for E&C plant owners & PCM companies   The COVID-Safe Restart Criteria for both E&C plant owners and PCM companies have been updated to align with the latest MOM workplace requirements (e.g. workplace split teams and staggered work, TraceTogether). The requirement to keep briefing and team sizes to 10 people have also been removed; although companies should continue to keep briefing groups and teams small.   Note: Updates are marked “updated 27 June” in red.   New FAQs on SafeEntry, TraceTogether and dorm workers   There are new FAQs on SafeEntry, TraceTogether and the issue of whether dorm workers are allowed to walk, cycle or take private hire vehicles/taxis to work. The FAQs may be found here.

[Free Webinar] Cyber Fraud - How to Identify You are Targeted and What to Do Next?

26 Jun 2020
Ref No.: 260620 (1) UEN: S97SS0046G   Dear Valued ASPRI Members,   [Free Webinar] Cyber Fraud - How to Identify You are Targeted and What to Do Next?   CYBER FRAUD – HOW TO IDENTIFY YOU ARE TARGETED AND WHAT TO DO NEXT?   The usage of the Internet has surged significantly as more people work from home during this pandemic crisis. As a result, businesses face greater cybersecurity risks than before where data leak poses to be a higher risk whether by way of phishing emails or unsecured Wi-Fi networks. The lack of capability and resources to both prevent attacks and deal with the aftermath are often the targets of cybercriminals – attacking the weakest link in the chain.   To remedy this, Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCCI) has organised a webinar to better equip you with knowledge regarding cyber frauds.   Event Objectives:   •    Are we well equipped to support disruptions to businesses in the event a cyber fraud occurs?  •    Are incident response plans updated and tested to handle adverse situations such as financial losses and reputational damages? •    In the event of a protracted war with cyber fraud, can our infrastructure and processes handle a new way of doing business?   Event Details: Date: 8 July 2020, Wednesday Time: 2:30pm to 3:30pm Fee: Free   Please click here for registration and more details. Note: Kindly indicate ‘A Member of ASPRI’ beside your company name upon registration.   For enquiries, please contact Ms Tan Cheng Teng at chengteng@sccci.org.sg or Mr Chris Foo at chris@sccci.org.sg.  

Overcoming COVID-19 Together: Timeline for Clearance of Dormitories • Overview of Tests • Final Clearance

23 Jun 2020
Ref No.: 230620 (1) UEN: S97SS0046G   Dear Valued ASPRI Members,   Overcoming COVID-19 Together: Timeline for Clearance of Dormitories • Overview of Tests • Final Clearance   INDICATIVE TIMELINE FOR CLEARANCE OF DORMITORIES   The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) stated that the Inter-agency Task Force (ITF) will be clearing all remaining dormitories in the coming months. Their aim is to test and clear workers as quickly as they can, while safeguarding the good health of all residents by ensuring they are tested negative or have recovered from COVID-19 before resuming work.   An indicative forecast of dormitories and blocks to be cleared in the coming weeks will be provided. This is to aid employers and dormitory operators in their planning. The schedule can be found here.   The order of clearance of blocks and dormitories are based on: •    The number of recovered workers originally from the dormitory and who have been discharged •    The spread of COVID-19 in the dormitory •    Inputs from the Building & Construction Authority (BCA) and Economic Development Board (EDB)   The timing of clearance is also subject to revision, as it depends on: •    Screening outcomes: Sometimes one test is not enough – workers may have to go through a few tests, and be isolated for a certain period of time. This is to make sure they are clear of COVID-19 and not incubating the virus. On the other hand, in some dormitories, a single round of test is able to clear many blocks without a further test. •    Adherence to Safe Distancing: Clearance may be delayed if residents are not sufficiently stringent in practising safe distancing. For example, a Purpose-Built Dormitory (PBD) with a low infection rate has seen its expected clearance date pushed back by at least a month, because residents did not maintain strict safe distancing measures (SDM), and several instances of residents visiting other rooms were detected.   OVERVIEW OF TESTING AT DORMITORIES   The ITF will be testing all foreign workers in dormitories to allow all to safely return to work. Testing first started in May 2020 and they will start testing at all dormitories by July 2020.   Workers may have to undergo a few stages of testing with a mix of serology (blood) and swab tests, depending on the level of infection at the dormitory. Serology test is done to check if the workers have COVID-19 antibodies. If they do, it means that they have had COVID-19 before and is now recovering. Swab test is done to check if they have COVID-19. The ITF has devised differentiated testing strategies to determine if workers are cleared of COVID-19 to work as quickly as possible and ensure that they are given appropriate medical care.   Workers may be moved to a different location in the dormitory or a facility outside the dormitory depending on their health status to provide them with better care. MOM will keep the workers informed on the tests they have to undergo and their health status.   Employers should assure their workers that the testing is part of the plan to ensure that they are well and can resume work safely when workplaces re-open.   FINAL CLEARANCE FOR WORKERS TO RETURN TO WORK   When dormitories are declared cleared of COVID-19, dormitory operators will receive an email from MOM to inform them. Employers should work with dormitory operators and workers to make the final preparations. Key steps are summarised in the appended infographic and details can be found here.   Only when the preparations are completed will the dormitory be given final clearance for workers to leave for work. MOM will again inform the dormitory operators once the final approval is given. The workers’ AccessCode in SGWorkPass app will turn green if their companies are also approved to resume operations by the respective agencies.   If your workers’ AccessCode is green and can go to work, kindly share with them this step-by-step video guide on what they need to do when they return to work. You can access the video here. The videos are also made available in the foreign workers’ native languages.  

Overcoming COVID-19 Together: The Safe Repatriation of Foreign Workers

23 Jun 2020
https://www.mom.gov.sg/-/media/mom/documents/covid-19/template-ready-repat.xlsxRef No.: 230620 (2) UEN: S97SS0046G   Dear Valued ASPRI Members,   Overcoming COVID-19 Together: The Safe Repatriation of Foreign Workers   SENDING YOUR WORKERS HOME SAFELY   In the event that an employer is required to repatriate a worker, they must observe the following four steps.   Step 1: Ensure their workers have no movement restrictions   Employers must ensure that their workers are: •    Staying in dorms, blocks, Private Residential Premises (PRPs), HDB flats, or decant sites that are cleared of COVID-19 •    Not under Quarantine Order (QO) or Stay-Home-Notice (SHN)   For workers staying in dormitories, only those in COVID-cleared dormitories or blocks can be repatriated. This is to mitigate public health risks and minimise the risk of repatriating infected workers back to their home countries.   Step 2: Book their flights early   Employers should check availability of commercial flights and book early by regularly checking: •    Airline websites •    Changi Airport’s website •    iChangi mobile app   Kindly note that flights are currently limited due to the COVID-19 situation.   Step 3: Register their interest to MOM if no flights are available   To register interest to MOM: 1.    Download and complete the template. Make sure to enter the details of workers who are ready for repatriation. 2.    Log in to register online. A CorpPass is needed. 3.    Attach the completed template and submit.   Step 4: Check embassy websites for potential relief flights   Employees should regularly check embassy websites: •    Register for any upcoming relief flights •    Any specific COVID-19-related landing requirements, such as fit-to-fly doctor’s certification or quarantine requirements on arrival   Click here for a list of embassy websites.   EMPLOYERS’ RESPONSIBILITY TO WORKERS   Before foreign workers leave Singapore, their employers are still responsible for their upkeep and maintenance. Employers must ensure the well-being of their workers and remind them to observe safe distancing measures and good hygiene practices.   RELATED RESOURCES   Here is a list of related resources employers can refer to for more information on repatriating workers:   •    Advisory on sending foreign workers home safely •    Status of cleared dormitories and dormitories due to be cleared •    FAQs on sending our foreign workers home safely          

50% Off on Explosion Protection IEC 60079-0 Training by TÜV SÜD

22 Jun 2020
Ref No.: 220620 (1) UEN: S97SS0046G   Dear Valued ASPRI Members,   50% Off on Explosion Protection IEC 60079-0 Training by TÜV SÜD   50% OFF ON EXPLOSION PROTECTION IEC 60079-0 TRAINING BY TÜV SÜD   The Process Construction & Maintenance (PCM) sector frequently include operations that involve flammable gasses or liquids or combustible dusts, or which use these materials as part of the production process.   As such, TÜV SÜD has organised a live virtual training session to provide you with insights into both ATEX and IECEx certification schemes. The training also covers an introduction to the various ignition protection measures that are mandatory for compliance with the various IEC/EN 60079 standards. In collaboration with ASPRI, TÜV SÜD is offering ASPRI members a 50% off discount on the training fee.   Note: In order to enjoy the discount, kindly indicate a ‘Member of ASPRI’ beside your company name upon registration.   Training Details Date: 30th June 2020, Tuesday Time: 9:00am to 1:00pm (4 hours) Medium: Paid Live Virtual Training Price: S$50 (after 50% discount)   Note: In order to enjoy the discount, kindly indicate a ‘Member of ASPRI’ beside your company name upon registration.   Who Should Attend? This training is specially designed for: •    Quality Managers, Safety Managers, Production Workers, Explosion Protection Designers and Builders, and Maintaining Personnel and Users of Explosion-Proof Equipment •    Persons working in hazardous locations (i.e. petrochemical, coal mining, wood processing, polishing and grinding, food and medicine)   Benefits of the Course •    Enhance your efficiency – with training courses linking theory with practical experience in the area of functional safety •    Minimise risks – by keeping your employees up to date with regard to standards and regulations in science and technology, thus enabling them to identify problems before your operations are affected •    Gain competitive edge – by applying your knowledge of the diverse roles throughout the safety life-cycle, in order to develop the best solutions for you and your customers   For registration and more details, please click here. For enquiries, please contact iep@tuv-sud-psb.sg.   Note: In order to enjoy the discount, kindly indicate a ‘Member of ASPRI’ beside your company name upon registration.  

[Free Webinars] Digitalisation, Internet Security, Human Resource & A.I.

19 Jun 2020
Ref No.: 190620 (4) UEN: S97SS0046G   Dear Valued ASPRI Members,   [Free Webinars] Digitalisation, Internet Security, Human Resource & A.I.   1/4: GROW DIGITAL, GO INTERNATIONAL In the ever-changing global economic climate, firms must remain adaptable. COVID-19 has accelerated and brought about a new wave of digitalisation across many industries. As firms strive to meet the evolving needs of existing consumers and grow their overall customer base, digitalisation is proving key to these efforts.   SGTech, Enterprise Singapore (ESG), and Infocomm Media Development & Authority (IMDA) have organised the “Grow Digital, Go International” webinar to help companies discover how they can successfully navigate global markets amidst these challenging times.   Webinar Highlights Hear from Senior Minister of State Chee Hong Tat on why digitalisation and design are pivotal to business resilience and sustainability Get insights from our panel of distinguished speakers on how businesses can kick-start their digitalisation journey to capture new opportunities Pick up tips from fellow SMEs and Grow Digital solution partners on selling internationally through different channels   Webinar Details Date: 22nd June 2020, Monday Time: 3:00pm to 4:30pm Price: Free   Click here to register for the webinar. Additionally, you may click here for more details. Note: Kindly indicate ‘A Member of ASPRI’ beside your company name upon registration.   2/4: WEBSITE SECURITY: WHY YOU SHOULD CARE ABOUT HTTPS The Internet is a microcosm; it is not all about technology. There are ‘pillars’ that enable everyone to freely interact, exchange information and transact with one another; privacy, security and trust allow us to do this.   To learn more about HTTPS and tips on securing your website, join the “Website Security: Why You Should Care About HTTPS” webinar organised by Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCCI).   Webinar Highlights Is your digital branding via corporate website secure? What are the common attacks on SMEs’ websites How can your company secure your corporate website properly?   Webinar Details Date: 23rd June 2020, Tuesday Time: 3:00pm to 4:00pm Price: Free   Click here to register for the webinar. Additionally, you may click here for more details.   Note: Kindly indicate ‘A Member of ASPRI’ beside your company name upon registration.   3/4: THE PULSE OF THE SINGAPORE WORKFORCE IN THE NEW NORMAL With work from home (WFH) arrangements becoming the new norm for most companies, both employees and employers are facing new unexpected problems pertaining to productivity, focus and morale.   EngageRocket has analysed over thousands of employee answers from companies of all sizes and industries in Singapore to dig into the factors that are impacting employee well-being and engagement through crisis and beyond. In partnership with the Institute of Human Resource Professionals (IHRP) and Singapore Human Resources Institute (SHRI), EngageRocket has organised a webinar that aims to navigate the new normal and reimagine the situation of workplaces post-circuit breaker.   Webinar Highlights The impact of WFH on productivity and engagement The implications on workplace design and talent sourcing The skill leaders need to manage remote teams   Webinar Details Date: 24th June, Wednesday Time: 4:00pm Price: Free   For registration and more details, please click here.   Note: Kindly indicate ‘A Member of ASPRI’ beside your company name upon registration.   4/4: AUTOMATE OFFICE TASKS WITH A.I. AND ROBOTIC AUTOMATION Imagine a virtual worker who will do tasks with high accuracy without needing to take a break! Robotic Process Automation (RPA), coupled with A.I. can be that ideal assistant who will help you with your office work on computers.   By adopting A.I. and RPA, you can save up to 70% of cost, complete tasks 4 – 5 times faster, and achieve higher accuracy. If you are in Operations or any other relevant roles, you can learn to tap on the power of A.I. software robots by joining this webinar.   Webinar Details Date: 1st July 2020, Wednesday Time: 2:00pm to 5:00pm Price: Free   For registration and more details, please click here.   Note: Kindly indicate ‘A Member of ASPRI’ beside your company name upon registration.   For enquiries, please contact Ms Tan Cheng Teng at chengteng@sccci.org.sg or Mr Chris Foo at chris@sccci.org.sg.
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