Singapore Budget 2019: Lower foreign worker quota in services sector; continued support for unemployed PMETs

Construction Industry SG Cash

The Government is tightening the Dependency Ratio Ceiling (DRC), or the proportion of foreign workers a firm can employ, from 40 per cent to 38 per cent on Jan 1 next year, and to 35 per cent on Jan 1, 2021.

For the subset of S Pass workers – mid-skilled foreigners earning at least $2,300 a month – the quota will be cut from 15 per cent to 13 per cent on Jan 1 next year, and to 10 per cent on Jan 1, 2021.

To keep Singapore’s services sector competitive, companies in the sector will have to rely even less on foreign workers and become even more productive.

The last reduction was in 2013. For firms that exceed the new ceiling, the new quota will apply when they apply for renewals of permits.

Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said during the Budget speech on Monday (Feb 18) that the decision to reduce the quota was done “after much deliberation”.

Abstract from Straits Times published Feb 18 2019. Read more…