Hot on the heels of the closing of a public consultation on Annual Wage guidelines, Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin, in an interview with Business Times, said that further fine-tuning to the Singapore Employment Pass (EP) framework is in the pipeline.
In a bid to ensure lower wages of overseas professionals, managers and executives (PMEs) do not depress those of young Singaporeans joining the workforce as professionals, the government will be raising the minimum salary at which they can secure EPs.
According to Minister Tan, the move has in part been triggered by a dismal trend that the entry level salaries of Singaporean professionals have stagnated and not been rising as they should for the last half-decade. Graduate employment surveys by tertiary institutes affirm so, saying that recent cohorts of graduates were starting work at salaries lower than the highs earned by the class of 2007 – after adjusting for inflation.
He said that the government needs to ensure that wages are moving correctly, so that Singaporeans have fair opportunities, as well as good salaries. To that end, salary requirements for EPs will be increased not only for the lowest Q1 tier, but for the upper P2 and P1 categories as well. Exact details have yet to be announced.
He added that more could be done, including addressing complaints of hiring discrimination by nationality, as the workforce will see more young Singaporeans joining as PMEs in the near future. At the same time, they need to ensure that sectors generating good jobs are not unintentionally driven out by manpower policy changes.
Singapore Employment Pass specialist Rikvin recognizes that this announcement is in line with the government’s statement late last year that Singapore will not regress on its manpower policies and that further calibration to the framework will be inevitable in a bid to achieve quality growth. It also aligns with TAFEP’s goals of ensuring that unfair employment practices do not go unchecked.
Stay tuned for more updates on the Singapore Employment Pass. To learn more about current criteria for the work passes, please visit our Singapore work visas and passes page.