The Ministry of Finance (MOF) and Inland Revenue Authority (IRAS) said on Monday (October 19) that more than S$5.5 billion in Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) payouts will be disbursed to employers from October 29.
This is S$1.5 billion more than the previous round of payouts this July.
The payouts will be given to more than 140,000 employers, and is meant to subsidise the wages of around 1.9 million local employees.
The JSS provides wage support to employers to help them retain their local employees (Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents) during this period of economic uncertainty.
Under the scheme, the government co-funds between 25 to 75 per cent of the first S$4,600 of gross monthly wages paid to each Singaporean or permanent resident employee.
An Extended Scheme
The scheme was first announced by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat in February’s Budget, and was meant to expire after the October payouts.
However, it was later announced that the government would be extending it by seven more months to cover wages up to March 2021.
It now follows a tiered approach, depending on how badly hurt the company is.
For the October payouts, companies will receive support for local employees’ wages paid in June, July, and August this year, based on the industry they are in.
Employers in industries heavily hit by the pandemic such as tourism and aviation will receive 75 per cent support. Other industries such as retail, food services and arts and entertainment will receive 50 per cent support.
All other industries will receive 25 per cent support.
Eligible employers will be notified by post of their payout amount. They can also view an electronic copy of their letter via the myTax Portal.
Enhanced Business Loans And Schemes
Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing also announced enhancements to several grant and loan schemes for companies on Monday (October 12).
Under the Market Readiness Assistance Grant, firms looking to expand abroad will be able to have up to 80 per cent of qualifying costs covered from November 1 to September 30 next year.
On Friday (October 16), The National Wages Council (NWC) said that companies that have already exhausted cost-saving measure should implement temporary wage cuts to minimise retrenchments.
However, employees should also be informed on how wages will eventually be restored, and management should lead by example and take earlier and deeper cuts to their wages.
In a Facebook post, DPM Heng urged employers to “do their best to retain their workers during this difficult period”.
“Jobs remain a key priority as we continue to support our workers and businesses through this crisis,” he said.
Featured Image Credit: NST