Photo of Lim Swee Say from CNA

Speaking at a business forum yesterday (Mar 9), Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say said that some foreigners on Employment Pass (EP) may not need to meet the minimum S$3,600 salary requirement:

“There is scope for some flexibility to be granted in order to help companies bring in the foreign talent that they need. Some leeway may be granted to companies looking to hire foreign workers whose salaries fall below the minimum required for an Employment Pass… The skills possessed by the talent a company plans to hire must be in demand globally, as well as in shortage locally. Finally, the job in question must contribute to industry transformation and growth – such as in the areas of artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and data analytics.”

The Ministry of Manpower spokesperson said that companies should consult government agencies like Economic Development Board and the National Research Foundation on the by-passing of the minimum salary requirement.

The leeway however begets the question why would a highly-skilled job be paid less than S$3,600. Singapore companies have a poor record of hiring foreigners first over Singaporeans, due to CPF taxes and National Service liabilities of Singaporean males.

Minister Lim Swee Say recently declared his support for the influx of foreigners, saying it is “better” that Singapore have one-third of it’s available jobs be taken up by foreigners.