S’pore extends Jobs Support Scheme among $8b worth of measures

The scheme, which was due to expire in August, will be extended by seven months until March next year at a more sustainable level.
By: | August 17, 2020

Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat announced a seven-month extension of the Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) as well as other measures worth S$8 billion to support businesses and workers.

Speaking during a national TV broadcast on August 17, Heng said that the JSS, which was introduced in February, will be extended by seven months, until March next year – albeit at a more sustainable level.

The scheme has helped businesses co-fund between 25% and 75% of the first S$4,600 of gross monthly wages paid to each Singaporean or permanent resident employee. It was set to end after covering salaries in August, with payouts disbursed in October.

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Under the extension, support will be adjusted based on the projected recovery of the different sectors.

For example, firms in aerospace, aviation, and tourism sectors, which have been hardest hit, will receive support of 50% wage levels for seven more months. This is a downgrade from the 75% support they previously received.

For the built environment sector, they would receive 50% wage support for two more months, before lowering to 30% for wages paid up to March next year.

The arts and entertainment, food services, land transport, marine and offshore, and retail sectors will receive 30% wage support for seven more months, while the majority of the remaining sectors will receive 10% support for seven more months.

For the few sectors that are managing well, such as biomedical sciences, financial services, and ICT, will receive 10% support for four more months, for wages paid up to December.

Heng also announced the Jobs Growth Incentive (JGI) to support hiring in growing sectors such as biomedical sciences, financial services, ICT, public healthcare, long-term care, F&B, and manufacturing sectors

The JGI, which will cost the government S$1 billion, will help firms hire more local workers over the next six months by co-paying up to 25% of salaries of all new local hires for one year, subject to a cap. For those aged 40 and above, the co-payment to firms will be up to 50%.

He also announced that 24 new SGUnited Jobs and Skills Centres have been set up in the heartlands in order to help direct workers to new opportunities.