What is Foreign Worker Levy (FWL)?

Updated 1 year ago by Pear Liew

What is FWL – Foreign Worker Levy?

The Foreign Worker Levy (FWL) is a compulsory contribution if an employer employs Work Permit holders.

As an employer, you do not have to pay CPF contributions for your foreign workers, but you must pay a monthly levy for each worker.

How is FWL calculated?

We need to consider the following 2 factors while calculating FWL:

  1. The worker's qualification
  2. The number of Work Permit or S Pass holders hired

Also FWL rate varies in each sector as follow:

  • Construction - employer can employ 7 work permit holders for every local employee who earns the Local Qualifying Salary. Those work permit holders are subjected to levy. Please refer to levy rates for contraction sector here.
  • Manufacturing - quota for work permit holders is range between 25% - 60% of the total workforce. Levy rates are tiered so employer who hires work permit holders close to the maximum quota will pay a higher levy. Please refer to levy rates for manufacturing sector here.
  • Marine shipyard - employer can employ 3.5 work permit holders for every local employee who earns the Local Qualifying Salary. Please refer to levy rates for marine shipyard sector here.
  • Process - employer can employ 7 work permit holders for every local employee who earns the Local Qualifying Salary. Please refer to levy rates for process sector here.
  • Service - quota for work permit holders is range between 10% - 38% of the total workforce. Levy rates are tiered so employer who hires work permit holders close to the maximum quota will pay a higher levy. Please refer to levy rates for service sector here.

An employer can apply for waiver of the FWL only in certain situations i.e. on overseas leave, on hospitalisation leave etc. Check out which situations are applicable for FWL waiver here.


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