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Singapore Amends Foreign Manpower Act; Expatriates Affected
In recently implemented amendments to Foreign Manpower Act (EFMA), Singapore has increased law enforcement capabilities of its Ministry of Manpower (MOM)
· Substantial increase of the minimum annual fixed salary requirement for foreign workers using the PEP, from approximately US$28,000 to US$120,000. This increase would be implemented by December 1, 2014 and is applicable for all employees who do not require employer sponsorship.
· Introduction of severe administrative penalties of US$20,000 or higher per incident. Moreover, the penalties increase for wealthier employers.
· New increased investigatory powers with MOM, however details on extent of the powers are still awaited.
· The term of PEP reduced from 5-years to 3 years. The new amendments allow the PEP holders to invite spouses and children to Singapore.
The new legislation will affect expatriate workers and companies doing business in Singapore. However, the current PEP holders can use current passes till expiration of the term or June 30, 2015, whichever comes first. The existing PEP system will be available till December 1, 2012 for holders having specific Singapore work visas (P1 Pass, P2 Pass, Q1 Pass, and Employment Pass) and earning minimum of US$28,000 per annum.
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