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SINGAPORE – Fair Consideration Framework to Take Effect 1 August 2014

As we noted in our alert of 10 October 2013, the Singapore Ministry of Manpower (MOM) announced last year that the Fair Consideration Framework (FCF) is to come into effect on 1 August 2014.

The FCF requires large companies to give fair consideration to Singaporeans through local advertising before hiring foreign national Employment Pass (EP) holders.

There have been some additional exemptions made to the advertising requirement since the FCF was first announced last year, namely for intra-corporate transfers and short-term jobs.

Advertising

The FCF requires employers to advertise their job vacancies on a new job bank administered by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) for at least 14 days before a new Employment Pass application is submitted.

Exemptions

Two new categories of jobs have been made exempt from the advertising requirement since the FCF was announced last year.

Intra-corporate Transfers

Jobs to be filled by intra-corporate transferees (ICTs), as defined by the World Trade Organization’s General Agreement on Trade in Services (WTO GATS), are exempt. An ICT must hold a senior position (Manager or Executive) in the organisation or be a specialist with an advanced level of expertise. Additionally, under WTO GATS, an ICT must have worked for the firm outside Singapore for a period of not less than one year before being posted to the branch, affiliate or subsidiary in Singapore. Entry for these ICTs under WTO GATS is limited to a three year period that may be extended for up to two additional years, for a total term not exceeding five years.

Short-term Jobs

Jobs that are necessary for short-term contingencies (i.e. a period of employment in Singapore of not more than one month) are also exempt from the advertising requirement. In this case, the Employment Pass (EP) holder will not be eligible to renew the EP nor apply for a new EP for a period of three months after the expiry of the previous EP.

Other Exemptions

Companies with 25 or fewer employees, and jobs with fixed monthly salaries of at least S$12000 will also be exempt from the advertising requirement unless the employing company is identified as having discriminatory hiring practices.

Extra Scrutiny

Firms identified as having HR practices favouring foreign nationals will be required to provide additional information to MOM, outlining their hiring practices and plans for reducing reliance on Employment Pass holders.

In general, such firms would be those with a very high ratio, compared to others in their industry, of foreign to Singaporean workers, or firms about which the MOM has received complaints regarding discriminatory practices.

If these firms are unresponsive, they will face greater scrutiny and longer processing times for their EP applications, and may even have their work pass privileges curtailed.

Action Items

  • Note the new requirement to advertise jobs in Singapore from August 2014 and adjust application timings accordingly.
  • Note the new exemptions to the advertising requirement, for intra-corporate transfers and short-term jobs.

This alert was prepared using information obtained from the Ministry of Manpower in Singapore and Kinetica PTE Ltd.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this immigration alert has been abridged from laws, court decisions, and administrative rulings and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice. If you have specific questions regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Peregrine © 2017 Peregrine Immigration Management Ltd.