On or after January 1, 2017, the minimum salary for Employment Pass (EP) applicants will increase from SGD 3,300 (approximately USD 2,427.90) to SGD 3,600 (approximately USD 2,648.62), according to an announcement by the Ministry of Manpower.
The new salary threshold is essentially for young graduates. EP holders with more years of experience will have to earn higher salaries commensurate with their work experience and skill sets, as per current practice.
Companies with employees under existing EPs will be provided a grace period as follows:
- Employees whose passes expire before January 1, 2017 will be able to renew EPs for up to three years based on existing EP criteria; and
- Employees whose passes expire between January 1, 2017 and June 30, 2017 (inclusive of both dates) will have the option to renew EPs for up to one year based on existing EP criteria.
Employees whose passes expire on or after July 1, 2017 will have to meet the new salary level.
What This Means for Employers
Employers should access the Self-Assessment Tool on the Ministry of Manpower website by November 2016 to determine whether an EP candidate will meet the new salary level, and should work with their administrative departments to ensure salaries are raised where appropriate.