On March 2, the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) launched the SBF ManpowerConnect scheme as part of the Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM) temporary measure to help companies in the manufacturing and services sectors better manage their manpower needs in view of the COVID-19 situation.
For a period of six months, companies in these sectors will be allowed to hire existing PRC Work Permit holders (PRC WPH) who are in Singapore, with the agreement of their current employers.
Since the temporary measure was announced on Feb 25, SBF has received more than 100 queries.
Through SBF ManpowerConnect, the Federation will help to connect employers who are looking to release their PRC WPH to those who are experiencing a shortage of manpower in the same sectors. Companies must mutually agree on a suitable transfer arrangement for the worker. The service will be free for the first month; a nominal fee may apply thereafter.
Companies looking to release their PRC WPH should contact SBF ManpowerConnect and furnish basic information of these workers including their years of experience, specific skills as well as their expected date of release.
The information of these available workers will then be collated in a database, which will be shared with prospective employers. The PRC WPH can only move to another company within the same sector.
Companies looking to hire should contact SBF ManpowerConnect with their manpower requirements, including the skills required of the workers. If they find a suitable worker from the database of available PRC WPH, the company should liaise directly with the worker’s current employer to obtain consent for the transfer of employment of the worker.
Upon a successful connection, the hiring company is required to submit proof of consent to SBF. Once verified, SBF will inform MOM and the hiring company can then submit a work permit application to MOM via Work Permit Online (WPOL) after three working days but no later than a month.
All prevailing work permit criteria as well as the current fee of $35 per work permit application will apply. The releasing company is required to cancel the work permit of their PRC work permit holder before the hiring company can proceed to issue the work permit for the PRC worker.
Mr S.S. Teo, Chairman of SBF said, “At a time when our companies in the manufacturing and services sectors are facing manpower challenges, this gives them much needed flexibility. We’re pleased that the Ministry of Manpower has put in place this temporary and practical measure to help our companies in a time of need. SBF is committed to help connect as many companies and facilitate as many transfers as possible to help employers as well workers who find themselves displaced.”
Mr Ho Meng Kit, CEO of SBF said, “The interest we’ve seen so far is a clear reflection of the need for this temporary measure for these sectors. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and also work hand-in-hand with the Ministry of Manpower, providing timely feedback to support our companies during this period.”