Enhanced support measures during extended Circuit Breaker period

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On 21 April 2020, the Multi-Ministry Taskforce announced that it would extend the circuit breaker period until 1 Jun 2020 (inclusive), and put in place enhanced circuit breaker measures minimally for a two-week period from 21 April 2020 until 4 May 2020 (inclusive).

The Government continues to support our people and businesses through the extended circuit breaker period, building on the measures introduced in the Unity, Resilience, and Solidarity Budgets since 18 February 2020.

Jobs Support Scheme wage subsidy remains at 75% for all sectors for May 2020

In the Solidarity Budget, the JSS was raised to provide 75% wage support on the first $4600 of gross monthly wages for local employees across all sectors for the month of April 2020.

Now, the Government will extend the 75% JSS across all sectors for the month of May 2020. This enhanced payout for May 2020 will be disbursed by end-May 2020 for employers on PayNow or having existing GIRO arrangements with IRAS. Other employers will start receiving their cheques in early-June.

Similar to the arrangement for April, the 75% subsidy for May 2020 will first be computed and disbursed based on November 2019 wages, thereby ensuring speedy disbursement. Subsequently, we will adjust future JSS payouts to account for actual wages paid in May 2020, relative to November 2019.

JSS payouts are intended to offset and protect local employees’ wages. Employers must act responsibly and fairly, taking reference from the tripartite advisory on salary and leave arrangements during the circuit breaker period. Employers who put local employees on mandatory no-pay-leave or retrench them will not be entitled to the enhanced JSS payout for those employees.

JSS to cover shareholder-directors

The Government will extend the Jobs Support Scheme payout, to cover wages of employees of a company who are also shareholders and directors of the company (shareholder-directors).

This support will only apply to companies that were registered on or before 20 April 2020, and for the wages of shareholder-directors with Assessable Income of $100,000 or less for Year of Assessment 2019. This is expected to benefit about 50,000 shareholder-directors.

The May 2020 and subsequent JSS payouts will include support for qualifying shareholder-directors. The May 2020 payout will also include back-payment for companies with qualifying shareholder-directors whose wages were excluded from the first JSS payout in April 2020.

Foreign Worker Levy Waiver and Rebate extended by 1 month

The Government will extend the Foreign Worker Levy (FWL) waiver and FWL rebate by one month, to ease labour costs of firms that employ foreign workers in this period. As with the initial introduction of the waiver and rebate, this assistance will support firms with workers who are unable to work due to the circuit breaker and/or Stay Home Notice (SHN) measures. Firms should use the assistance for their workers’ wages and subsistence needs.

Support for Self-Employed Persons (SEPs)

As announced in the Resilience Budget, SEPs with less means and family support will receive the Government’s assistance through the SEP Income Relief Scheme (SIRS) until December 2020. Eligible SEPs will automatically receive three quarterly cash payments of $3,000 each in end-May, July and October 2020. SEPs who narrowly miss the eligibility criteria can submit their appeals to NTUC from 27 April 2020.