News

COVID-19 Circulars

[2nd UPDATE] Assigning Rest Days for Process Sector Workers

06 Nov 2020
This shall supersede the circular that was sent on 30th October 2020. On 30th October, ASPRI organised a Zoom Webinar with the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on the topic of Staggered Rest Days. Please refer to the list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) here.   Since the webinar, ASPRI would like to provide an update to members on the following:   Staggered Rest Day applies to ALL Work Permit Holders and S-Pass Holders in the Construction, Marine and Process Sectors   For Process Maintenance activities, the workers can have Sunday as a rest day. To enable this, ASPRI has work closely with MOM, ESG and EDB to develop a form where members can appeal for Sunday as the rest day.   PCM companies with workers involved in turnaround maintenance or shift work can also appeal for a rotated rest day (Mon-Sat) option in the same form, which allows the worker to have a different rest day between Monday to Saturday each week, without a need for the employer to update the Safe@work system each week.   PCM companies and E&C Plant Owners should work closely to select the appropriate rest day options for their process sector account Work Permit and S-Pass holders, taking into account their contractual agreements and manpower deployment requirements. We urge both parties to take prompt actions to comply with the assignment of rest days and submit the appeal where applicable by 20 November (Fri), before enforcement actions commence. This applies to both workers staying in dormitories as well as workers staying outside dormitories. However, workers not living in dormitories will not be required to apply for an Exit Pass to leave their residence on their assigned rest day.   Please find below the updated summary of Staggered Rest Day arrangement for the various work activities:   Type of Work Activity Staggered rest day arrangement for Process Industry Remarks Process Maintenance Process maintenance workers can have Sunday as rest day.     Employer to submit an appeal via  ‘MOM-EDB-ESG - Appeal for Change of Rest Day to Sunday or Rotated Rest Day (Process Sector)’ by 20 November 20201 Turnaround / Shutdown They can rest on a different day (Mon-Sat) each week; should ask for “Rotated Rest Day” arrangement Process Construction For process construction projects that apply to BCA for restart, the project has been assigned a rest day by BCA.   All process sector account Work Permit or S-Pass holders involved in the project will rest on the project’s assigned rest day. Assigned by BCA   1 In addition to contact details, PCM companies will be required to submit an excel file containing details of their workers‘ FIN numbers as well as names of the end client(s)/plant owner customer(s) and main contractor(s) where applicable, that the PCM company is providing routine process maintenance and/or turnaround maintenance/shift work services for. For workers involved in routine process maintenance work, the requested rest day should be “Sunday” = 7. For workers involved in turnaround maintenance or shift work, the requested rest day should be “Rotated rest day (Mon-Sat)” = 8.   If you have any further questions, please email the ASPRI Secretariat at admin@aspri.com.sg

[IMPORTANT] Current Version Of Bluepass Tokens Is Not Intrinsically-Safe

03 Nov 2020
The Assurance, Care and Engagement (ACE) Group announced on 16 October 2020 that government agencies will be distributing more than 450,000 contact tracing devices (BluePass tokens) to all migrant and local workers living or working in dormitories, as well as those in the Construction, Marine Shipyard and Process sectors.   The Process Industry should take note that the current version of the BluePass tokens is NOT Intrinsically Safe (IS). Whilst having the workers wear the BluePass tokens at all times could enable swifter and more accurate contact tracing, thereby reducing the quarantine ring in the event of C+ cases, plant owners and their contractors must ensure that the use of BluePass tokens is in compliance with the process plant’s prevailing health and safety requirements, similar to the use of mobile phones, which are not allowed in live plant environment.   Agencies are in discussions with the equipment vendor, D’Crypt, on potentially developing an IS-compliant version of the BluePass token that could be used in live process plant worksites. Should this be viable, more information on subsequent roll out of such a device will be made available in due course.   Please click HERE for the joint advisory by EDB and ESG

[UPDATE] Assigning Rest Days for Process Sector Workers

30 Oct 2020
Earlier today, ASPRI organised a Zoom Webinar with the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on the topic of Staggered Rest Days. You may find the slides presented here.   Following the webinar, ASPRI would like to highlight the following to all members:   Staggered Rest Day applies to ALL Work Permit Holders and S-Pass Holders in the Construction, Marine and Process Sectors   For Process Maintenance activities, the workers can have Sunday as a rest day. To enable this, ASPRI will work closely with ESG/ EDB to provide an update on how Sunday can be assigned as the rest day while the system is being modified. We seek your kind patience on this matter.   The initial deadline (31 October 2020) to assign a rest day for workers has been EXTENDED until further notice. ASPRI will work together with government agencies to provide and update on this. No further action is required from employers as of now. Rest assured, AccessCode of workers WILL NOT turn red due to this in the meantime.   Please find below a summary of Staggered Rest Day arrangement for the various work activities:   Type of Work Activity Staggered rest day arrangement for Process Industry Remarks Process Maintenance Process maintenance workers can have Sunday as rest day.     The current Safe@work does not allow selection for Sunday.   ASPRI will work closely with ESG/ EDB to provide an update on how Sunday can be assigned as the rest day while the system is being modified. Turnaround / Shutdown They can rest on a different day (Mon-Sat) each week; should ask for “Rotated Rest Day” arrangement Employer to submit an appeal via this link Process Construction For process construction projects that apply to BCA for restart, the project has been assigned a rest day by BCA.   All process sector account Work Permit or S-Pass holders involved in the project will rest on the project’s assigned rest day. Assigned by BCA   The Association is currently working with MOM to compile the questions raised during the webinar earlier. The final version of the FAQ would be sent to all members once it is ready.   If you have any further questions, please email the ASPRI Secretariat at admin@aspri.com.sg

[IMPORTANT REMINDER 2] Assigning Rest Days for Process Sector Workers Through MOM's Safe@Work System

26 Oct 2020
Ref No.: 261020 (1) UEN: S97SS0046G   Dear Valued ASPRI Members,   [IMPORTANT REMINDER] Assigning Rest Days for Process Sector Workers Through MOM's Safe@Work System   With reference to our circular sent on 2 October [Ref No.: 021020 (1)], please note that as of 22 October, about 60% of Process Sector Work Permit and S-Pass holders do not have an assigned rest day from Monday to Saturday. We would like to remind employers of Process Sector Work permit and S-Pass holders to log into MOM’s Safe@Work system to select an appropriate rest day for each of their workers from Monday to Saturday before 31st Oct 2020 .   PCM companies and E&C Plant Owners should work closely to select the appropriate rest day from Monday to Saturday for their process workers, taking into account their contractual agreements and manpower deployment requirements. We urge both PCM companies and plant owners to take prompt actions to comply with the assignment of rest days by end of this month, before enforcement actions commence, which could include turning AccessCode Red.    This applies to both workers staying in dormitories as well as workers staying outside dormitories. However, workers not living in dormitories will not be required to apply for an Exit Pass to leave their residence on their assigned rest day.   We understand that Plant Owners may be requesting PCM companies to work 6 days a week (including Saturdays) to catch up on accumulated work. In these situations, companies should still assign a rest day to their worker from Monday to Saturday as the worker is allowed to work on their allocated rest day, if there are operational needs and the worker is willing to work on their rest day. However, employers are to comply with the Employment Act and compensate the worker with overtime pay, and abide by the overtime hours limit accordingly.   Please refer to the FAQs at https://covid.gobusiness.gov.sg/faq/sectorspecific/process or more information on application of Staggered Rest days to the process sector.   For clarifications on MOM’s Safe@Work system, please refer to FAQs at https://www.mom.gov.sg/eservices/services/safe-work

[GENTLE REMINDER] Issuance of Contact-Tracing Devices to Migrant Workers

20 Oct 2020
With reference to the press release by MOM dated 16 October 2020 on BluePass, ASPRI would like to gently remind our members that the current version of the BluePass tokens is NOT Intrinsically Safe (IS).   Whilst having the workers wear the BluePass tokens at all times will enable swifter and more accurate contact tracing, thereby reducing the quarantine ring in the event of C+ cases, Plant Owners and their contractors must ensure that the use of BluePass tokens is in compliance with their process plant’s prevailing health and safety requirements, similar to the use of mobile phones, which are not allowed in live plant environment.   Additionally, do note that the first batch of BluePass tokens will be issued free and employers also need not pay for any post-incident analytics used in contact tracing. More information on subsequent replacement costs will be made available in due course.

[Request for Information] Understanding your Recruitment Needs

14 Oct 2020
Ref No.: 141020 (1) UEN: S97SS0046G Dear Valued ASPRI Members, [Request for Information] Understanding your Recruitment Needs On 27 August, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) announced a slew of changes to its foreign workforce policy, including raising the minimum qualifying salary for S Pass holders for the second time this year.   MOM’s criteria for approving work passes has been strengthened to support employment opportunities for locals. To further incentivise employers to hire locals, the government has rolled out various programs such as Jobs Growth Incentive (JGI), Professional Conversion Programme (PCP) and P-Max. Employers can receive up to 95% salary support to hire locals. To help our members attract and hire locals, ASPRI is now seeking feedback to better understand your hiring needs. We seek your inputs with this short (< 4 mins) survey here: https://bit.ly/30Zd9zL All individual responses will be kept confidential. A report of aggregated findings will only be shared with relevant authorities.   We would appreciate if you could complete the survey by 21 October 2020 (Wednesday).   Meanwhile, please take care and stay safe.

[IMPORTANT] Enhanced Measures to Support Growing Businesses

13 Oct 2020
Ref No.: 131020 (1) UEN: S97SS0046G Dear Valued ASPRI Members, [IMPORTANT] Enhanced Measures to Support Growing Businesses Following the announcement of the enhanced measures during the Ministerial Statement on 5th October 2020 (Mon), Enterprise Singapore (ESG) has updated their communication materials to reflect the latest set of support measures for businesses.   To help keep our members informed on the latest support, ASPRI would like to share the following documents:   Summary of Enhanced Support Measures ‘Budget 2020 at a Glance’ Infographic   For the full details, please visit the Supplementary Budget 2020 page on ESG’s website.

[Important] Summary of Government Support from June to December 2020

12 Oct 2020
Ref No.: 121020 (1) UEN: S97SS0046G Dear Valued ASPRI Members, [Important] Summary of Government Support from June to December 2020 Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the government has put together several support for the Process Sector. As such, the Association has put together a summary of the government support that is available for members from June 2020 to December 2020. This downloadable PDF includes the action required from members (if any) and expected payment dates. FOR FOREIGN WORKERS   1. Foreign Worker Levy (FWL) Levy   Currently, as part of the Fortitude Budget, all firms in the Construction, Marine Shipyard and Process sectors received a 100% FWL waiver for levies due in June and a 50% FWL waiver for levies due in July 2020. MOM provided a further FWL waiver for levies due in July 2020, to bring it to 100%. Employers who have paid the 50% levies originally due in July had the amount refunded to them. A full FWL waiver for levies due in August and September 2020 was also provided.   As the Construction, Marine Shipyard and Process sectors restart, MOM expects them to take some time to raise the tempo of activities and operate at higher efficiency. We will therefore taper down the FWL waiver support from October to December 2020. The FWL waiver will be stepped down to 75% for levies due in October, followed by 50% FWL waiver for levies due in November, and 25% FWL waiver for levies due in December 2020. The gradual reduction of the FWL waiver will give firms more time to adjust.   For more information, visit: https://www.mom.gov.sg/newsroom/press-releases/2020/0801-fwl-waiver-and-rebates-extended-for-the-cmp-sectors   2. Foreign Worker Levy (FWL) Rebate   In addition to the FWL waiver, firms in the Construction, Marine Shipyard and Process sectors also received a $750 FWL rebate per S Pass and Work Permit holder for June and a $375 FWL rebate per S Pass and Work Permit holder for July as part of the Fortitude Budget. The $375 FWL rebate was extended for another two months, to August and September 2020.   The $375 FWL rebate replaced the existing $90 FWL rebate for each Work Permit holder, announced by the government on 27 June 2020 to help firms adjust to more stringent Safe Management Measures for the months of August and September 2020. Firms in the Construction, Marine Shipyard and Process sectors will continue to receive a $90 FWL rebate monthly for October 2020 until December 2021.   For more information, visit: https://www.mom.gov.sg/newsroom/press-releases/2020/0801-fwl-waiver-and-rebates-extended-for-the-cmp-sectors   3. Sectoral Support Package   A new sectoral support package will be rolled out to firms in the Marine and Process sector to help them adapt to new work practices in order to operate in a COVID19 safe manner. This sectoral support package comprises two components — the Marine and Process Safe Restart Package targeted at the workforce and worksite measures in the immediate term to ensure safe operations and the Productive Safe Restart Scheme (PSRS) aimed at accelerating technology adoption and business model transformation for longer-term sector competitiveness.   COVID-Safe Firm-level Support The COVID-Safe Firm-level Support helps to offset the additional costs incurred by firms in implementing measures that protect workforce wellbeings, such as the provision of personal protective equipment (PPEs) and masks, and individually packed meals. This will be through the provision of a one-off $400 support per Marine and Process Work Permit Holder (WPH) and S-Pass Holder worker employed. All firms that have employed Marine and Process WPH and S-Pass Holders as at 1 Sep 2020 and paid up to February 2020 foreign worker levy in full will receive this one-off support.   Productive Safe Restart Scheme (PSRS) COVID-19 has accentuated key vulnerabilities in the Marine and Process sector such as reliance on foreign workers and manual work processes. The PSRS seeks to encourage firms to accelerate technology adoption and/or embark on business process/model transformation efforts that will bolster their competitiveness as we emerge from COVID-19.   Firms can undertake transformation projects independently, or jointly (i.e. as a collaboration between E&C Plant Owners and its contractors, or Marine Shipyard and its contractors). These projects should result in tangible productivity improvements and reduce reliance on foreign labour in their workforce. Firms can apply to ESG for the PSRS grant, which will provide up to 80% support for qualifying project costs.   More information on the support components under the Marine and Process Support Package can be found in Annex A and the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) in Annex B.   For more information, visit: https://www.edb.gov.sg/en/news-and-events/news/sectoral-support-package-to-help-marine-and-process-sector-adapt-and-operate-in-covid-safe-manner-and-transform-for-longer-term-competitiveness.html FOR LOCALS   1. Jobs Support Scheme (JSS)   The JSS provides wage support to employers to help them retain their local employees (Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents) during this period of economic uncertainty.   Under the JSS, the Government co-funds between 25% to 75% of the first $4,600 of gross monthly wages paid to each local employee in a 10-month period (up to Aug 2020) and 10% to 50% of the same in the subsequent 7-month period (Sep 2020 to Mar 2021)   Employers will receive five main JSS payouts in Apr 2020, Jul 2020, Oct 2020, Mar 2021, and Jun 2021, with an additional special payout in May 2020. The level and duration of support each employer receives depend on the sector in which the employer operates.   For more information, visit: https://www.iras.gov.sg/irashome/Schemes/Businesses/Jobs-Support-Scheme--JSS-/

Ministerial Statement - Oct 2020: Response to COVID-19 • Roadmap for the Future

06 Oct 2020
Ref No.: 061020 (1) UEN: S97SS0046G Dear Valued ASPRI Members, Ministerial Statement - Oct 2020: Response to COVID-19 • Roadmap for the Future Deputy Prime Minister, Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies and Minister for Finance, Mr Heng Swee Keat, delivered a Ministerial Statement in Parliament yesterday, Monday, 5th October 2020. He charted the path to recovery for Singapore, and explained how the country’s medium-term economic strategy will evolve to achieve inclusive and resilient growth.   Mr Heng also provided an update on the overall response to COVID-19, and outlined a three-pronged approach to a refreshed economic strategy that builds on the Industry Transformation Maps:   Remaking Singapore as a Global-Asia node of technology, innovation and enterprise; Redoubling our efforts to foster inclusive growth; Investing in economic resilience and sustainability.   In total, the Government is dedicating about $100 billion to fight COVID-19. The challenging fiscal position is expected to go into Budget 2021. The Government will continue to spend prudently and invest in our people, and is determined to leave behind a better future for our children.   To read more about the Ministerial Statement, please click here.

[IMPORTANT] Update on AccessCode Issue

06 Oct 2020
Ref No.: 061020 (2) UEN: S97SS0046G Dear Valued ASPRI Members, [IMPORTANT] Update on AccessCode Issue The Association was notified by several members that the AccessCode of some workers had unexpectedly turned red. Please note that the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) had worked with dormitory operators and worksites to allow workers to resume work as long as their health status is reflected as Green on the FWMOMCare app.   This issue was resolved by 8:45 am today and all affected workers were able to return to work. MOM is investigating the issue and apologises for any inconvenience caused.   For MOM’s update, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/103944372988172/posts/3352734488109128/

[IMPORTANT REMINDER] Assigning Rest Days for Process Sector Workers Through MOM's Safe@Work System

02 Oct 2020
Ref No.: 021020 (1) UEN: S97SS0046G Dear Valued ASPRI Members, [IMPORTANT REMINDER] Assigning Rest Days for Process Sector Workers Through MOM's Safe@Work System On 12 August, The Ministry of Manpower (MOM), Building and Construction Authority (BCA), Economic Development Board (EDB) and Enterprise Singapore (ESG) have jointly announced staggered rest days for Construction, Marine and Process Sector Work Permit Holders and S Pass holders, to spread out the number of workers at any particular location on any given day, prevent large gatherings, and reduce the risk of cross-infection.   As of 30 September, about 67% of Process Sector Work Permit and S-Pass holders do not have an assigned rest day from Monday to Saturday. In reference to the appended circular that we sent out on 13th August 2020, ASPRI would like to remind our members who are employers of Process Sector Work permit and S-Pass holders to log into MOM’s Safe@Work system to select an appropriate rest day for each of their workers from Monday to Saturday.   This applies to both workers staying in dormitories as well as workers staying outside dormitories. However, workers not living in dormitories will not be required to apply for an Exit Pass to leave their residence.   Process Construction and Maintenance (PCM) companies and Energy & Chemicals (E&C) Plant Owners should work closely to select the appropriate rest day from Monday to Saturday for their process workers, taking into account their contractual arrangements and manpower deployment requirements.   For more information on application of Staggered Rest days to the process sector, please refer to the FAQs at https://covid.gobusiness.gov.sg/faq/sectorspecific/process.   For clarifications on MOM’s Safe@Work system, please refer to FAQs at https://www.mom.gov.sg/eservices/services/safe-work.

[IMPORTANT] Updates to PCM Advisories, Guidelines & Regulations

01 Oct 2020
Ref No.: 011020 (1) UEN: S97SS0046G Dear Valued ASPRI Members, [IMPORTANT] Updates to PCM Advisories, Guidelines & Regulations In reference to the circular that ASPRI sent out on 16th July 2020, we would like to gently inform our members of the updates made to the Safe-Restart Advisories and Criteria for the PCM Sector.   For more information, you may visit https://covid.gobusiness.gov.sg/safemanagement/sector/ where you will find the following:   Advisory for a Safe and Controlled Restart of the PCM Sector COVID-Safe Restart Criteria for PCM Companies COVID-Safe Restart Criteria for E&C Plant Owners BCA-MOM Joint Circular on the Implementation of Staggered Rest Days for Work Permit Holders and S Pass Holders in the Construction Sector from 19 August 2020 COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020   ALL PCM WORKS TO COMPLY WITH PCM COVID-SAFE RESTART CRITERIA From September onwards, all PCM works* should comply with the appended COVID-Safe Restart Criteria for PCM companies and E&C plant owners. PCM companies applying for General Exemption or Manpower Appeal through the GoBusiness Portal will need to declare compliance against the PCM COVID-Safe Restart Criteria.   *works requiring Process Sector Work Permit or S-Pass Holders in connection with the regular maintenance, turnaround maintenance or construction of plant equipment in the Petroleum/Petrochemicals and other Chemicals manufacturing sector, not regulated under the Building Control Act.   It is understood that most plant owners and PCM companies have been adhering to the COVID-Safe Restart Criteria across both regular/routine and turnaround/shutdown maintenance work, as well as process construction work not regulated under the Building Control Act. For these companies, there will be no changes to the implementation and operationalisation of their Safe Management Measures (SMM). E&C PLANT OWNERS TO APPLY TO EDB FOR AN INCREASE IN THE MTI APPROVED MANNING LEVELS E&C plant owners and PCM companies should continue to comply with the appended COVID-Safe Restart Criteria to minimise transmission risks and potential disruptions to business operations. E&C plant owners should work with PCM companies to maintain updated records of the worker cohorting arrangements (worker details, worksite team/zone, transport and accommodation arrangements) for prompt submission to the relevant authorities if needed, especially in the event of a COVID incident.   For regular/routine maintenance work requiring Process Sector Work Permit or S-Pass Holders which does not require the total of substantial shutting down of plant equipment to perform, PCM companies which do not have General Exemption or sufficient quota to deploy workers on site should apply through the GoBusiness Portal for approval to restart or to increase any remaining manning levels, indicating details of the plant owners/customers/projects they are supporting.

Minimising Work Disruption with a More Targeted Approach for Dormitory Quarantine

01 Oct 2020
Ref No.: 011020 (2) UEN: S97SS0046G Dear Valued ASPRI Members, Minimising Work Disruption with a More Targeted Approach for Dormitory Quarantine In view that many dormitories have implemented tighter Safe Living Measures to limit intermixing between residents, the Assurance, Care & Engagement (ACE) Group will be adopting a differentiated/targeted quarantine approach to detect and contain COVID-19 cases quickly and more efficiently. In dormitories with new cases of COVID-19 being detected, close contacts to the affected persons will be quarantined as a precautionary measure. If Safe Living Measures are adhered to properly, workers may now be quarantined by levels or sections instead of the entire blocks to minimise the number of affected workers. Please see the infographics (English version and other languages) for a more detailed overview. Workers who have recovered and are within 150 days from their infection will not be quarantined. This is in view of the latest medical evidence which showed that these workers would generally continue to have antibodies to guard against re-infection. This is an important step to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by minimising work disruptions so that workers will be able to return to work safely, ensuring business continuity. In order for workers and companies to benefit from this new quarantine approach, workers are advised to comply with Safe Living Measures in their dormitories. It is only through our collective efforts that migrant workers will remain safe and healthy, and disruptions to businesses can be minimised.

[IMPORTANT] Sectoral Support Package To Help Marine And Process Sector Adapt And Operate In COVID Safe Manner And Transform For Longer Term Competitiveness

25 Sep 2020
Ref No.: 250920 (1) UEN: S97SS0046G Dear Valued ASPRI Members, [IMPORTANT] Sectoral Support Package To Help Marine And Process Sector Adapt And Operate In COVID Safe Manner And Transform For Longer Term Competitiveness From 24 August 2020 to 31 August 2020, ASPRI conducted a survey to gather members' feedback on additional COVID-19 support measures. After collating the results, a formal letter was submitted to ESG and EDB on 31 August 2020, highlighting the challenges faced by member companies with the recommendation for additional support to be extended to the Process sector.    The authorities have reviewed our letter and ASPRI is pleased to inform that a new sectoral support package will be rolled out to firms in the Marine and Process sector to help them adapt to new work practices in order to operate in a COVID-19 safe manner. This sectoral support package comprises of two components— the Marine and Process Safe Restart Package targeted at workforce and worksite measures in the immediate term to ensure safe operations and the Productive Safe  Restart Scheme (PSRS) aimed at accelerating technology adoption and business model transformation for longer term sector competitiveness.   Marine and Process Safe Restart Package   Marine and Process firms have to implement additional safeguards for safe distancing at worksites and ensure workforce wellbeing in accordance with the stricter sector-specific Safe Management Measures. The Marine and Process Safe Restart Package will be made available to firms to help defray the additional costs they have to incur to comply with the Safe Management Measures. The package comprises: (i) COVID-Safe Firm-level Support; and (ii) COVID-Safe Site-based Support. COVID-Safe Firm-level Support The COVID-Safe Firm-level Support helps to offset the additional costs incurred by firms in implementing measures that protect workforce wellbeing, such as the provision of personal protective equipment (PPEs) and masks, and individually packed meals. This will be through the provision of a one-off $400 support per Marine and Process Work Permit Holder (WPH) and S-Pass Holder worker employed. All firms that have employed Marine and Process WPH and S-Pass Holders as at 1 Sep 2020 and paid up to February 2020 foreign worker levy in full will receive this one-off support.   The $400 support will be processed and credited as follows: Eligible firms with PayNow Corporate accounts (registered by 14 October 2020) will receive the support by the end of October 2020 Eligible firms without PayNow Corporate accounts will be contacted by Enterprise Singapore (ESG) to provide necessary information for alternative payment arrangement. COVID-Safe Site-based Support The COVID-Safe Site-based Support provides up to 50% cost-sharing on additional costs related to worksite enhancement to reduce congregation and intermixing of workers across contractors (e.g. demarcation of work zones, barricades and building additional rest shelters). This Site-based Support will be extended to the Marine Shipyard operators and Energy and Chemical (E&C) Plant Owners who are responsible for enhancing their worksites to provide a safer working environment aligned with COVID-Safe Worksite Criteria.   Firms can apply to the Economic Development Board (EDB) for a grant, supporting up to 50% support for relevant costs incurred from 1 May 2020 to 31 Dec 2020, to enhance worksites in accordance with COVID-Safe Worksite Criteria. The grant will support items such as equipment, infrastructure and worksite sanitisation, capped at $600,000 per firm. Productive Safe Restart Scheme (PSRS) COVID-19 has accentuated key vulnerabilities in the Marine and Process sector such as reliance on foreign workers and manual work processes. The PSRS seeks to encourage firms to accelerate technology adoption and/or embark on business process/model transformation efforts that will bolster their competitiveness as we emerge from COVID-19.    Firms can undertake transformation projects independently, or jointly (i.e. as a collaboration between E&C Plant Owners and its contractors, or Marine Shipyard and its contractors). These projects should result in tangible productivity improvements and reduce reliance on foreign labour in their workforce. Firms can apply to ESG for the PSRS grant, which will provide up to 80% support for qualifying project costs. More information on the support components under the Marine and Process Support Package can be found in Annex A and the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) in Annex B.   You may also visit https://www.edb.gov.sg/en/news-and-events/news/sectoral-support-package-to-help-marine-and-process-sector-adapt-and-operate-in-covid-safe-manner-and-transform-for-longer-term-competitiveness.html

Extension of Temporary Change of Employer (COE) Scheme & Updated Requirements

31 Aug 2020
Ref No.: 310820 (1) UEN: S97SS0046G Dear Valued ASPRI Members, Extension of Temporary Change of Employer (COE) Scheme & Updated Requirements Since 2nd March 2020, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has partnered with the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) to introduce a six-month temporary scheme, to provide firms in the Manufacturing and Services sectors more flexibility to manage their manpower needs in view of the COVID-19 situation. Under the scheme, firms in these sectors are allowed to hire existing PRC Work Permit holders, without the workers having to leave Singapore.   The scheme was subsequently expanded from 1st April 2020 to allow firms in all sectors to hire existing Work Permit holders who are in Singapore from any sector. MOM also established partnerships with other Trade Associations and Chambers (TACs) such as the Singapore Contractors Association Limited (SCAL) in May 2020, and the Association of Process Industries (ASPRI) and Association of Singapore Marine Industries (ASMI) in August 2020. As such, there are now TACs facilitating the transfers of Work Permit holders in all sectors.   Till date, over 5,600 companies have benefitted from this scheme. As entry approvals for new work pass holders from overseas remain limited to reduce the risk of importation of COVID-19 to Singapore, MOM will be extending the temporary scheme to 28th February 2021. The details of the temporary scheme extension with FAQs have been updated on MOM’s website.   During this challenging period, firms with excess manpower are encouraged to allow their existing Work Permit holders to transfer to another firm and save on repatriation costs while giving their workers an opportunity to continue working in Singapore. Firms facing a shortage of manpower can then tap on this pool of experienced work permit holders and save on search and recruitment costs. This helps retain the more experienced Work Permit holders in Singapore and raise the quality of our workforce.   For further queries, please refer to the FAQs or contact MOM.

[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.
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