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The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in Singapore has announced a major shift in the work authorisation requirements for the dependants of work pass holders in Singapore. Currently dependant pass (DP) holders are only required to obtain a Letter of Consent (LOC) from the MOM in order to work or run businesses in Singapore. With effect from 1 May 2021, DP holders will need to apply for a work pass (Employment Pass, S-Pass or Work Permit) in order to work lawfully in Singapore. Eligibility for a work pass will be subject to the usual conditions for hiring foreign workers, including qualifying salary, qualifications, skill sets, labour market testing, quotas and levies. Details of the new policy and guidelines will be announced on or before 1 May by the MOM.

Below is a summary of the key facts of the announcement:

  • DP Holders are required to apply for relevant work pass in order to work or run businesses in Singapore
  • Existing DP holders who have a LOC can continue to work till the expiry of the LOC after which the employer will need to apply for a work pass
  • Those with LOC’s expiring in coming months may be able to apply for an LOC extension before 30 April 2022
  • DP holders who are existing business owners will be allowed to continue running their business with LOC if they meet the following criteria:
    • The DP holders are sole proprietors, partners or company directors with at least 30% shareholding in the business; and
    • The business hires at least one Singaporean or permanent resident who earns at least SGD1,400 per month and receives Central Provident Fund contributions for at least 3 months

We suggest clients with foreign employees in Singapore:

  • Review the current LOC population and their expiries
  • Assess their eligibility for work pass based on their current employment terms
  • Plan ahead for the switch to relevant work pass before the expiry of LOC (or extend this where that is possible)

Please contact our Global Services Team for more details or assistance.

DISCLAIMER This information is current as of date of publication and subject to change. The information contained in this publication is of a general nature only. It should not be used as legal advice. To the extent permissible by law, Ajuria Lawyers and its associated entities shall not be liable for any errors, omissions, defects or misrepresentations in the information or for any loss or damage suffered by persons who use or rely on such information. Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.

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Author Ron Kessels

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