Government Jobs Support Measures Which Are Expiring Soon - 2021 Edition

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job support measures

We have previously covered SME government grants from 2020 which will be expiring or have already expired, in light of the prediction that Budget 2021 will most likely dial back broad support for everyone and instead extend more help towards sectors that require it the most.

Read also: Expired or Expiring Singapore SME Government Grants from 2020

The following job support measures meant to provide relief to both employers and employees last year will also be following suit.

Jobs Growth Incentive (JGI) - Expiring on 28 February 2021

Under this scheme, the government co-pays 25 per cent of gross monthly wages for all new hires between September 2020 and February 2021 for one year. If the hire is aged 40 and above, this will be increased to 50 per cent. This is capped at S$5,000.

There must be an increase in the company’s overall local workforce size accounting for employees earning S$1,400 or more per month compared to August 2020.

Eligible companies will be notified by IRAS and automatically included in the scheme.

The first JGI pay-out will commence in March 2021, computed monthly based on the employer’s mandatory CPF contributions. All new hires eligible for the JGI will cease to be taken into account from 28 February 2021.

Read more about JGI: 5 Government Initiatives for SMEs Hiring Local Workers

Enhanced Place-and-Train Professional Conversion Programme - Expiring on 28 February 2021

The Professional Conversion Programmes (PCPs) are part of Workforce Singapore’s (WSG) Adapt and Grow Initiative that aims to help Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians (PMETs), including mid-career switchers, to undergo skills conversion to take on new job roles - be it in a different industry, or within the same company that provides different job opportunities for progression.

Types of PCPs include:

  • Place-and-Train: PMET is hired by a participating employer before undergoing training to take on a new job role.

  • Attach-and-Train: PMET is provided with training and work attachments, prior to job placement, through industry partners in growth sectors with good future job opportunities

  • Redeployment / Job Redesign (JR) Reskilling: PMET at risk of redundancy in vulnerable job roles is retained by existing employers and undergoes reskilled training to take on new job roles within the same company.

Due to Covid-19, the government introduced further support in 2020 for Place-and-Train PCPs. Under this enhanced programme, the government provides salary support (35 per cent for PMETs aged 40 and below and 45 per cent for PMETs aged above 40) for the duration of the PCP training plus an additional six months after. The PCP course fee will also be subsidised (90 per cent for mature PMETs aged above 40 and 70 per cent for the rest).

While the Professional Conversion Programmes themselves will continue to operate, this enhanced version that provides the aforementioned government support will expire on 28 February 2021, in line with the JGI.

Read more about PCPs: Key Changes to the Professional Conversion Programme (PCP) for SMEs From 1st September 2020

Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) - Expiring on 31 March 2021

Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) was launched in Budget 2020 to provide wage support for employers to help them retain their local employees (Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents) by relieving their cash flow. JSS was then further enhanced in the Resilience and Solidarity Budgets when the Covid-19 situation worsened, and many businesses and jobs were faced with extreme challenges that threatened their survival.

Under the JSS, the government co-funds 75 per cent of the first S$4,600 in gross monthly wages per local employee for industries in the aviation and tourism sectors, 50 per cent for those in the F&B sector, and 25 per cent all other industries.

Employers do not need to apply for the JSS. IRAS will notify eligible employers by post of the tier of support and the amount of JSS pay-out payable to them.

The funding period lasts for a total of 17 months, until 31 March 2021, when it will expire.

Read more about PCPs: Key Changes to the Professional Conversion Programme (PCP) for SMEs From 1st September 2020

Enhanced Wage Credit Scheme (WCS) - Expiring on March 2021

The Wage Credit Scheme was first introduced in Budget 2013 and was repeatedly extended in the following years. In 2018, the WCS was extended by another three years, and is thus slated to expire in March 2021, when the last pay-out is disbursed. Of course, this is unless Budget 2021 announces yet another extension for this scheme. 

Under the WCS, the government co-funds a certain percentage of wage increases given to Singapore Citizen employees who earned a gross monthly wage of up to S$4,000. Only employers are eligible for the co-funding, and there are certain qualifying conditions to be met.

In Budget 2020, the government co-funding ratios for wage increases in 2019 and 2020 were further raised from the current 15% and 10%, to 20% and 15% respectively. The qualifying gross wage ceiling was also raised from $4,000 to $5,000 for both years.

Application is not required. IRAS will notify eligible employers by post of the Wage Credit payable to them.

For Budget 2021, the government might not choose to extend the WCS once more. Even if they do, there is a possibility that the co-funding percentages will be reduced.

SkillsFuture Credit - Expiring on 31 December 2025

Launched in 2015, all Singaporeans will receive an opening credit of S$500 to be spent on certified training programmes and courses when they turn 25.

To further encourage Singaporeans to upskill or reskill and be sufficiently prepared for fresh career opportunities in a new economy, Budget 2020 allowed for an additional one-off top up of S$500 to every Singaporean aged 25 and above as of 31 December 2020. This can be used for all SkillsFuture Credit-eligible courses from 1 October 2020.

The whole range of eligible courses can be found here.

In addition, every Singaporean aged 40 – 60 years old as of 31 December 2020 will receive a further one-off provision of S$500 in addition to the top-up mentioned above. This is to be used on career transition programmes (of which there are about 200) offered by the Continuing Education and Training (CET) Centres, which are public training providers which offer a comprehensive array of Workforce Skills Qualification (WSQ) courses. The purpose of this is to provide mid-career support for any Singaporeans who need help in dealing with the vicissitudes of a career change; CET Centres also provide services such as employment advisory and placement.

More information on CET Centres and the programmes they offer can be found here.

Admittedly, the SkillsFuture Credit is not expiring anytime soon, since the opening S$500 for every Singaporean lasts forever until it is used, and the one-off credit provisions will only expire on 31 December 2025.

However, it is probably a good idea to make use of them as soon as possible, especially in these times of economic uncertainty. The SkillsFuture Credit requires each citizen to take their own initiative to utilise them, and it can be quite easy to lose track of them after a while.

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Read also: Best SME Business Loan Comparison in Singapore


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