Firms in the construction, marine shipyard and process sectors badly hit by the coronavirus crisis will get more help to defray their labour costs, with the Government waiving more months of the foreign worker levy and giving more levy rebates.
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM), announced the extension of the support schemes on 1st August 2020 (Saturday) and said that $320 million will be set aside to cover the rebates.
Starting 11th August 2020 (Tuesday), travellers entering Singapore who are serving their stay-home notice outside of dedicated facilities will have to wear an electronic monitoring device throughout the 14 days.
This will apply to all travellers including Singaporeans, permanent residents, long-term pass holders, work pass holders and their dependants, said the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA), Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and Ministry of Education (MOE) in a press release.
Any attempt to leave the place of residence or tamper with the electronic device will trigger an alert to the authorities, who will conduct follow-up investigations, except when the person is leaving his or her place of residence for an appointment to take the COVID-19 swab test.
The COVID-19 restrictions have forced firms in the construction, marine shipyard and process sectors to halt work since April, with many still unable to fully resume operations. But the dark days have begun to recede.
As of 4th August 2020 (Tuesday), 265,000 foreign workers in the three sectors have been given the green light to return to work, said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).
Of these, 180,000 are residents in dormitories. This is a 73 per cent increase from a fortnight ago, when just 104,000 workers in dorms were allowed to do so, MOM said in a statement on Tuesday.
Plans are in the works to better support migrant workers’ mental health and allow them more freedom to leave their dormitories. Stress, caused by quarantines and uncertainty over personal health, families and jobs, has been building up amongst migrants workers.
Attention has been called to the psychological impact of movement restrictions on the vulnerable and low-paid group since the pandemic started.
Senior Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamed said there will be a “relaxation from the current position” to explore ways for workers to safely leave the dorms, for example through staggered rest days.
It takes a new type of worker to survive the “new normal”. With the COVID-19 pandemic changing the business landscape, hiring managers are now on the lookout for professionals who can meet the demands of remote and flexible work arrangements.
How does one succeed in this new environment? Hiring managers identified the following skills as the most crucial to remote work:
47 employers – most of which are from the financial and professional services sectors – have been placed on a watchlist of companies with suspected discriminatory hiring practices, said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on 5th August 2020 (Wednesday).
The 47 companies collectively hire about 2,000 employment pass holders and more than 2,800 local professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs).
They were added to the Fair Consideration Framework (FCF) watchlist “as their workforce profiles indicate that they may have discriminatory hiring practices”, said MOM in a press release.