Grants supporting workers and protecting livelihoods to combat Covid-19

Updated 10 months ago by Junie Zhu

With Covid-19 (Coronavirus) turning into a global pandemic, the Singapore government has put aside a $48 billion resilience budget to support Singaporeans and businesses in this tough period.

Continue reading to find out more information about the latest grants supporting workers and protecting livelihoods!

1 - Solidarity payment - For individuals

On 6 April, the Singapore government announced the third round of support measures to help individuals and families through the Covid-19 outbreak. One main addition that was introduced was – solidarity payment.

Those eligible will now get an additional SGD $300 on top of the SGD $300 – $900 payment that was announced in the Resilience Budget. 

Criteria
  • Singaporeans aged 21 and above in 2020
How to apply

You would not need to apply for this scheme if you are eligible. SGD $600 will directly be credited into your bank account by 14 April 2020 or issued via cheque starting from 30 April 2020. 

Image from https://www.gov.sg

2 - Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) - For companies

The Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) will support 1.9 million local employees in Singapore. This scheme will be available for 9 months (till the end of 2020), up from 3 months previously. 

Previously, the 75% subsidy was offered to employers to cover 75% of their Singapore workers gross monthly wages for the first SGD $4,600 of the wages earned in April.

With the new extension announced on 20 April 2020, the 75% wage subsidy will now be extended to all sectors for the month of May. 

The JSS scheme will also extend their payout and cover wages of employees of a company who are also shareholders and directors of the company.

Criteria

All employers who have made CPF contributions for their Singaporean or PR employees will qualify for the payout except those who are in this list

For shareholders and directors

  • Companies that were registered on or before 20 April 2020
  • Wages of shareholder-directors with Assessable Income of $100,000 or less for Year of Assessment 2019

The May 2020 payout will also include back-payment for companies with qualifying shareholder-directors whose wages were excluded from the first JSS payout in April 2020.

How to apply

Employers do not have to apply for this scheme. The grant that they receive will be computed based on the Central Provident Fund (CPF) contribution data. Employers will receive the payouts in 3 instalments: April, July and October 2020.

3 - Wage Credit Scheme (WCS) - For companies

The Wage Credit Scheme has now added an additional $500 million for employees’ wage increases, on top of the $600 million that was disbursed in March 2020. This scheme supports businesses and encourages employers to share productivity gains with workers by co-funding wage increases.

Criteria
  • Have given Singaporean employees who have earned a gross monthly wage up to SGD $4,000, a gross monthly wage increase of at least SGD $50 in 2019 and/or have continued the gross monthly wage increase of at least SGD $50 previously given to the employees in 2017 and/or 2017 
  • Have paid the employees’ the mandatory CPF contributions on 2019 wages to the CPF board by 14 January 2020
How to apply

Employers will not need to file for the WCS grant. Employers who benefit from additional wage credit will receive a separate payout by the end of September 2020. Letters will be sent to all employers that qualify for this scheme, informing them about the payout. 

4 - Covid-19 Support Grant - for individuals

Covid-19 Support Grant has been introduced to support those who have lost their jobs due to the Covid-19 outbreak. This grant will help them to find a new job or enrol themselves for training. Successful applicants will receive a cash grant of $800 for 3 months.

Criteria

Singapore Citizens or PRs aged 16 years and above (who are presently unemployed due to retrenchment or contract termination due to the virus and meet the following requirements: 

  • Had a monthly household income of not more than SGD $10,000, or per capita household income not more than $3,100 per month (before unemployment) 
  • Live in a property with an annual value of not more than SGD $21,000
  • Not currently receiving ComCare Short-to-Medium Term assistance (SMTA) or ComCare Interim Assistance. 

Take note: Before facing unemployment, the applicant had to have been employed as a full-time or part-time permanent or contract staff. Applicants must also agree to participate in a job search or enrol for training programmes under Workforce Singapore or the Employment and Employability Institute (e2i).

How to apply

This grant will be open for application from May – September 2020. Those who would like to apply for this would need to submit their application at their nearest Social Service Office (SSO). You can click here to find the nearest SSO to you. 

If you need immediate assistance in April 2020, you can apply for the Temporary Relief Fund.

5 - Temporary Relief Fund - For individuals

Similar to the Covid-19 Support Grant, the Temporary Relief Fund focuses on providing immediate assistance. They will now be able to get financial help to assist them with their basic day-to-day expenses. They will now be able to apply for one-off cast assistance of SGD $500 from 1st April 2020 onwards. 

Criteria

Singapore Citizens or PRs aged 16 years and above (who are presently unemployed due to retrenchment or contract termination due to the virus and meet the following requirements: 

  • Had a monthly household income of not more than SGD $10,000, or per capita household income not more than $3,100 per month (before unemployment) 
  • Live in a property with an annual value of not more than SGD $21,000
  • Not currently receiving ComCare Short-to-Medium Term assistance (SMTA) or ComCare Interim Assistance. 
How to apply

Those who would like to apply for this would need to submit their application at their nearest Social Service Office (SSO). You can click here to find the nearest SSO to you.

6 - NTUC Care Fund (Covid-19) - For individuals

The NTUC Care Fund (Covid-19) is a one-off cash relief payment from SGD $50 to SGD $300 per union member. An estimate of 108,000 members is expected to benefit from this grant.

Criteria

For those members with dependents staying in the same household in Singapore:

Existing members: SGD $300

New members (signups after 1 March 2020): SGD $200

For those members without dependents staying in the same household in Singapore:

Existing members: SGD $100

New members (signups after 1 March 2020): SGD $50

How to apply

Members can apply for this grant and other programmes via the NTUC membership from 25 March to 30 September 2020.

7 - SGUnited Traineeships for trainees - For individuals

The SGUnited Traineeships allows those students who have graduated or are graduating in 2020 to provide them with related work experience and to boost their employability rate. 

Trainees will receive a training allowance for the duration of the traineeship. This allowance will be co-funded by the government and companies that are participating. 

Allowance: 

Required qualifications 

University degree or above

Polytechnic diploma or professional qualifications

ITE or equivalent

Estimated monthly  Allowance

SGD $1,800 to $2,500

SGD $1,300 to $1,800

SGD$1,100 to $1,500

Criteria

You need to fulfil the following criteria: 

  • Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident; and Graduated or graduating in the calendar year 2019 or 2020 from ITEs, polytechnics, universities, or other educational institutions (e.g. private universities and overseas institutions); or
  • Graduated earlier from above institutions and completed National Service in 2019 or 2020.
How to apply

From 1st June 2020 onwards, eligible job seekers who are keen to apply for SGUnited Traineeships can visit mycareersfuture.sg and search for traineeship opportunities under the hashtag #SGUnitedTraineeships.

Before 1st June 2020: Fresh graduates are advised to register an account on MyCareersFuture.sg to receive latest updates on SGUnitedTraineeships Programme and explore job opportunities.

8 - SGUnited Traineeships for host companies - For companies

Companies can now join the programme as host companies to bring in new graduates as trainees which will then help support their business necessitates and also be able to tap on government support during the traineeship period.

More information:  Factsheet and FAQs.

Criteria

All host companies need to fulfil the following: 

  • Host companies must be registered or incorporated in Singapore
  • Offer traineeships lasting up to 12 months (Traineeship must commence by 31st December 2020)
  • Need to provide clear traineeship descriptions and development plans that would benefit the trainees. This will be subjected to approval by the appointed programme manager (SBF).
  • Co-fund 20% of the training allowance for the duration of the traineeship
How to apply 

This programme will start on 1st June 2020. Those who are interested can fill up this form and from there, SBF will get in touch with you about the application process and more. 

9 - Foreign Worker Levy - For companies

Previously, the Singapore government announced that they will be waiving the foreign worker levy for the month of April 2020. On 20 April 2020, an extension was announced and now the levy due in May 2020 will also be waived. 

Employers will also now be given another SGD $750 in foreign worker levy rebates for every foreign worker employed in their company. 

Criteria
  • If you employ Work Permit holders


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