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Contract Staffing HR News

Employment Guidelines for Freelancers & Contract Staffing Singapore.

Since 2018, more than 200,000 Singaporeans and permanent residents were employed on term contracts, making up 11 per cent of the resident workforce – a rate that has mostly held steady in the last 10 years but is expected to raise in the future post pandemic as more companies evaluate the future of work and adopts more work from home and flexible work arrangements. With the ongoing COVID 19 pandemic and economic restructuring within the local and global economies, many HR consultants have observed that contract staffing Singapore employment arrangements are likely to see an increasing trend. 

Many of these contract staffing Singapore arrangement are also being done via an outsourced contract staff arrangement with third party contractors or employment agencies. These agencies are also known as professional employer organization (PEO) and the candidates are placed with these agencies as Employer on Record (EOR).

In Singapore, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), and the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF), have jointly developed a set of Tripartite Guidelines on the Employment of Term Contract Employees The intention is to provide some form of employee protection amongst the resident workers working as contract staff or freelancers in Singapore.

Amongst some of the provisions in the guidelines, contract staffing in Singapore who have worked in the same firm for three months or more are entitled to statutory leave and other employment benefits. This change will make the employment benefits for contract staff closer and similar to permanent staff.

Some contract workers working for the same employer for a long time do not currently enjoy benefits such as annual leave, sick leave or childcare leave, as they are on separate contracts shorter than three months and renewed with a break in between, according to the Ministry of Manpower.

“Hopefully, these guidelines can help close the loophole where fixed- term employees can be short-changed by unscrupulous employers who deliberately break their contracts to deny them their statutory employment benefits,” said National Trades Union Congress assistant secretary-general Zainal Sapari.

Under the contract staffing term guidelines, employers are encouraged to treat contracts renewed within a month as continuous, and grant leave benefits based on the cumulative term of contracts, for those of 14 days or more. Employers could pro-rate leave based on the cumulative duration of the contract.

For instance, an employee working for the same firm on three consecutive month-long contracts is entitled in his fourth month to benefits like two days of paid annual leave, based on seven days of paid annual leave a year. He qualifies as long as he does not take a combined break of a month or longer in the three months. The breaks do not count towards his length of service.

Employers should keep to the notice period for early termination in the contract, according to the guidelines. If the clause was not included, employers can check the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) website on what they should do.

Notwithstanding the above, these are only “guidelines” and many employers or service buyers are not obliged to follow or comply. It is not enforceable or applicable on freelancers, or contractors working under “contract for service” arrangements. It is hope that in the future, the Singapore authorities may wish to enhance this guidelines with laws and regulations which can be enforced across all employers and service buyers.

contract staffing singapore
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Blogs HR News HRPlus Recruitment

Are You Being Paid Fairly At Work?

You’ve probably been working loyally at this company for a while now. Perhaps, you’ve also been thinking of taking on additional duties too. But, are you all of a sudden wondering if you’re being paid fairly at work? Don’t worry. We’ll be sharing some useful tips that can help you figure out if you’re being compensated rightfully for your time, experience as well as skill set.

No matter how productive and efficient employees can be at work, everyone gets the jitters when it comes to asking for a salary increment. It’s natural. The need to work yourself up to the conversation with your superior can be nerve-wrecking.

And if a bump in salary is not possible, perhaps it’s now time to consider switching to a position that may offer a pay raise. In this article, we’ll be providing you with some useful tips that can help you reach your salary goals sooner than later!

Read on to find out some of the tips we have that can help you figure out what to do if you’re not being paid fairly at work!

A word of caution before we delve into the article: this written piece aims to function as a guide and should not be read as a comprehensive or exhaustive list of advice when it comes to ensuring that you’re being compensated for your work fairly. The best way to find out what may work for your success would be by conducting ample research.

Browsing through this article could function as the first step you take into exploring different ways as to how you can make sure that you are indeed being paid fairly at work.

Without further ado, let’s get right into the article!

What to do if you’re not being paid fairly at work

  1. Highlight a key achievement and ask politely
    So, what can you do if you’re not being paid fairly at work? Is there a good time to ask for a better pay? Will it ever come by? Of course, it will! But when exactly should you initiate this conversation so it works out favourably for you?

    Be sure to ask about being paid fairly right after achieving a key accomplishment that was directed through your efforts and from your own end. Most of the time, individuals who successfully manage to lock in a pay increment asked for one after hitting a successful work accomplishment.

    Do so especially, if you’ve spearheaded any project(s) that have worked out phenomenally. That would be the perfect time to ask!In order to clinch that salary increment though, you’d most likely need to prove that your hard work has been benefiting the organisation. Whether that’s through your ideas to improve the internal departments or whether it’s cheering your clients up, take note of timing!

    Be sure to avoid stressful work periods when asking for money matters too. You don’t want to step on your superior’s toes when they’re busy and focused on a different or complicated project.

    When everyone’s in a cheerier mood and is aware of your contributions to the company, that would make the perfect time for you to put in a request for a pay raise.

    That said, it’s also just as important to voice out your opinion on fair pay. If you’ve been putting in extra hours or going way out of your job scope to deliver projects, it’s definitely time to ask for a pay raise.

  2. Speak in person
    A mistake that many individuals tend to make when asking for fair pay at work: emailing or worse, texting your superiors about it.

    Don’t do that! You’re setting yourself for an easy ‘sorry, no/maybe/later’ response from your employers or hiring managers! Besides, setting the meeting in person will also express how serious you are about the matter at hand.

    Body language is also a key communication factor that you will be able to read and study when broaching the topic. This is a key benefit that can be better achieved if you hold the conversation in-person, rather than when you hold it over a phone call or video conversation.

    It is crucial that your request for a fair pay remains polite and humble. Your conversation should not come across as demanding by nature. That will automatically warrant a rejection of your request. Practice respect! It goes both ways, after all 😉

    Highlight your gratitude in being able to have served the company this far and express your keenness to continue doing so. Being polite and negotiating for a fair pay in person would definitely be the way to go!

  3. Don’t give them a number
    One of the best ways to ensure that you’re being paid fairly at work is by making sure that you don’t cite a figure for your employers or human resource manager to work around.

    Don’t give them a number as that will then set the bar. Instead, let them be the first to share a figure with you instead. If you are put in a position where you are being asked to share an approximate amount, block or bridge the question to a response relating to your responsibilities at the firm.

    Be clear that the amount may vary depending on how much extra responsibilities will be added to your existing workload. Right after mentioning that, be sure to mention how much workload you are also available and ready to take on.

    This will better allow your superiors to get a clearer idea of your expectations without actually having to spell it out for them! 😉


    In conclusion, there are numerous ways that you can tap on to help you chat about being paid fairly at work. If it’s been a while since your last salary increment, highlight the need to match your pay to your current responsibilities.

    Worst case scenario, maybe it’s time for you to bring your talents to another workspace where they’d be more willing to ensure that you’re being paid fairly! It’s entirely up to you.

    After all, each job will have its own perks and benefits to offer! With all that being said, we have to come to the end of this article. We hope this written piece has provided you with some insights as to what are some of the steps you can take to help you get a fair pay at work.

    We hope the above 3 pieces of advice on how to ensure that you’re being compensated fairly at work, is useful to you! And of course, while you’re at it, you can always hop around job sites to check out what positions are open too!

    In the meantime, if you’re on the lookout for fresh grad job opportunities or a side-hustle, visit GrabJobs.


Categories
Contract Staffing HR News

CONTRACT STAFFING : THE FUTURE OF WORK IN SINGAPORE.

contract staff

 

Resident employees working as contract staff, freelancers or term contracts are on the rise. According to data from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), residents working as contract staff increased almost 9 per cent from 2010 to 2015, about 202,400, or 11 per cent of the resident workforce in 2015. In March 2017, Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say noted that there were 200,000 freelancers in Singapore, again reconfirming that they make up about 9 per cent of the workforce. Of these, about 167,000 workers were “primary” freelancers – workers who freelance as their main job. These include insurance agents, private-hire car drivers, hawkers or stallholders, and private tutors. The remainder were “secondary” freelancers, representing about 1.5 per cent of resident employment. These workers freelance part-time alongside other jobs and would include students, housewives or retirees who take on side jobs for additional income.

Freelancing or Contract Staffing has and will increasingly become a trend in the future workplace. Most of the contract staff arrangement are also being done via an outsourced contract staff arrangement with third party contractors or employment agencies. These agencies are also known as professional employer organization (PEO) and the candidates are placed with these agencies as Employer on Record (EOR). Industries such as IT, financial services, engineering, pharmaceuticals, and oil and gas, where businesses are structured heavily around projects, have the greatest propensity to use contract staff. But there is also increasing demand for contractors in blue collar professions as can be seen from the data above.

According to 2014 PwC survey, almost all employers expect that at least a fifth of their workforce will be made up of contractors or temporary workers by 2022. The COVID 19 pandemic in 2020 has accelerated this process further. The work from home experience during the pandemic over the past couple of years have shown that productivity is not necessarily affected when employees work from home. In fact, many employers are considering making work from home a permanent feature of the work arrangements.

While older employees may view working in the office as natural order of things, the younger employees view operating remotely as completely normal since the pandemic hit. For certain industries and job roles such as those in creative development and production, face-to-face collaboration is essential. In other industries such as technology and media, working flexibly and from home may be more acceptable.

As organisations become increasingly aware of the benefits of contracting, and candidates become more open to the concept of professional contract work, initiatives to protect the rights and benefits will become increasingly pertinent.

Generally, employees on term contracts miss out on benefits which permanent staff are entitled to, such as increment, insurance benefits, bonuses and union support. However, many employers do consider contract staff with the same status as their permanent counterparts. Many contract staff enjoy the same employment benefits as their permanent counterparts. Nevertheless, contract staffing arrangements are often seen or perceived as inferior compared to permanent arrangements. Unlike mature contract markets like in Europe or US, the pay for contract staff in Singapore is at most on par with permanent employees, making the employment arrangement a less attractive option.

Beyond material benefits and financial remuneration, contract and transient employees will be increasingly cognisant of professional development opportunities within these roles.

The biggest drawbacks from contracting, due to the shorter nature of the work, revolve around the lack of being able to influence big changes and ideas within the company and its business, something that could impact the strength of the candidate’s resume in the long run.

Supported by the technology and social media as well as the rise of the portfolio career, more and more workers come to realise that they could enjoy more flexibility and varied challenges by working freelance or as a contractor for multiple companies.

 

Category: HR News, Recruitment

Tags: Contract Staff, Contract Staffing, Freelancer, Temporary Staff , Professional Employer Organization (PEO) , Employer on Record(EOR)

 

 

 

Categories
HRPlus Payroll Management Payroll Outsourcing

Why companies should consider outsourcing their monthly payroll process to professional payroll providers in Singapore.

With the advent of technology, companies are increasingly looking at ways particularly payroll outsourcing to leverage and improve their business efficiency and productivity in Singapore. In the context of human resource management practice in Singapore, outsourcing payroll to payroll providers in Singapore is one activity which provides a clear benefit in human resource practices.

Below are several reasons why companies should consider outsourcing their monthly payroll process to professional payroll providers in Singapore.

Increasing complex and constantly changing rules on salary calculations

In Singapore, employment laws relating to calculation of salary payments, payment process and central provident fund contributions for different age groups etc are constantly revised and updated. In addition, there are various types of government-funded claims and reimbursements such as national service claims, child care claims, paternity and maternity claims. The work would involve making the correct online application for reimbursements and refund back for employees who are entitled to these claims.

There are also substantial government funding available for employee training under the various Skills Future programs. However, the employer must make a prior application for approval for eligible employees and make the necessary claims after the employees have successfully completed the training.

Professional payroll providers and outsourcing managers must constantly keep abreast of changes and ensure correct calculation and accurate figures are used for payroll processing each month. You must also be able to answer your employee’s queries about their payroll confidently and clearly.

Independent verification and better reporting requirements

Payroll providers or processing companies provide a wide array of payroll reports for management reporting purposes. Using more advanced payroll software, various levels of reports can be produced depending on clients’ requirements.

Payroll outsourcing companies are able to provide specific & ad-hoc reports for your various accounting or management requirements quite quickly.

Direct access to payroll experts

Payroll processing companies are staffed with specialised and knowledgeable payroll staff who are able to attend to your employee’s queries and can act as a single point of contact for your employees.

Depending on the number of headcounts, payroll outsourcing companies can assign dedicated staff for their clients.

Payroll experts keep themselves abreast with the changes to the CPF rules, taxation and your employee benefit programs. Most payroll providers Singapore conduct in house training or send their staff for external training so that they are well trained and skilled in serving the needs of their clients.

Freeing up management time to focus on core business activities

One of your main reasons for outsourcing to a specialist payroll providers is that it frees up time and resources for key staff to concentrate on strategic human resource management areas such as recruitment, retention and staff performance that have a deeper impact on business performance and profitability.

Cost savings

It is increasingly getting difficult to recruit and retain a full-time in-house employee to manage companies payroll. As payroll is a sensitive matter, each time an employee leaves, a lot of management time is expended in ensuring that there is proper hand over to a new employee.

When payroll processing is outsourced, there is no such issue as the payroll outsourcing companies would have a team of employees to handle the payroll processing. When an employee leaves, there would likely be a seamless transfer of work and responsibilities to another payroll staff.

Unless the employee headcount is more than 50, it is perhaps not economical to hire full-time staff to handle employee payroll. Payroll outsourcing companies probably can offer a much lower cost than in-house staff. For companies with small and few headcounts, it would definitely more cost advantageous to outsource their payroll processing.

Management and general office administrative staff that are often entrusted with payroll processing for small companies can be deployed to take on other responsibilities such as customer service or take on strategic human resource management responsibilities which would have a greater impact on the success of the company.

Internet Cloud Technology Efficient Payroll Process

With better payroll software technology, payroll providers in Singapore and staff outsourcing companies are able to provide an up-to-date, timely, and more efficient service and support to clients. Access to Individual payroll files for each employee and computation all the salary and reimbursements can be done faster and managers and clients can have access to this information almost instantly with internet access. Printed or electronic pay advice via the internet can be generated and delivered to each employee, and annual bonus, increments etc. via email or can be accessed by employee anytime and anywhere on mobile or desktop.

Employees can be provided with individual online access to their payslips and with an e-leave option, they can also make application for leave via online.

Conclusion

Given the advantages mentioned in this article, it is crystal clear that forward-looking companies should adopt Payroll outsourcing option as part of their business strategies to compete in an increasingly competitive and volatile business environment.

Choosing and working with the right payroll service providers business partner or service provider is a critical part of the business outsourcing process.

payroll service providers
Categories
Blogs

What is Professional Employer Organization (PEO) Service?

What is Singapore PEO Professional Employer Organization Service?

A Singapore PEO professional employer organization company is a legally registered company in Singapore or employer in Singapore that enters into a joint employer relationship with another employer/company/client which may not necessarily be based in Singapore. The client of the Singapore PEO service company typically hires the employee and outsource the human resource management functions to the PEO Company including employment engagement contract according to Singapore’s employment practices. The Singapore PEO company shall be responsible in managing the employment engagement in accordance with Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower practices, rules and regulations throughout the duration of the agreed contract period.

What is Employer of Record (EOR)?

As the words suggest, Employer of Record (EOR) refers to the legal employer on the record, in the case of Singapore, a company legally registered in Singapore for the purpose of employment engagement, complying with local employment regulations, contribution to pension funds namely the Singapore’s Central Provident Fund (CPF), insurance policies, benefit management and Singapore work pass and visa matters if the hired employees requires work authorisation.

What is the difference between PEO and EOR?

PEO refers to the services provided by a professional HR services firm for its clients while EOR refers to the actions and scope of work provided which include processing and paying wages, contributions to pension funds (such as Singapore’s Central Provident Fund) , and other statutory and Singapore’s employment law compliances for the jointly hired employee. 

Why engage PEO / EOR Service ?

  1. Quick start to hiring employees in Singapore without the need or hassle of having to set up a company in Singapore.
  2. Short term project work or business exploration work with no plans to continue with business presence once project has ended.
  3. Local companies that have no management mandate to increase headcount despite operational manpower requirements due to sudden increase in work load or projects.
  4. Due to COVID-19 pandemic and travel restrictions, there is a greater need to localise the engagement of local staff.
Singapore PEO
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Blogs

How a Singapore PEO Service /EOR Service Firms can benefit your Business.

With post-pandemic changes in the HR Industry, we are seeing the demand for Professional Employer Organisations – Singapore PEO service and Employer of Record – EOR service to continue to grow in Singapore and Asia. While it has significantly dominated the massive call center industries in India and the Philippines, more companies from multiple industries are now exploring the engagement of PEO service firms to fast track overseas market entry and minimise cost in managing their overseas HR needs. A Singapore PEO service / EOR service firm is an outsourcing firm that provides the much-needed HR support for a company where it holds operations without a full office set-up either in Singapore or in the region.

Traditionally, PEO service covers support in managing payroll, tax administration and regulatory compliance assistance. In recent years, the role of PEOs has shifted with companies requiring more support overseas. Today, PEOs may be tasked to fulfil a bigger HR role and manage the overseas staff on a company’s behalf in the foreign country via co-employment models. It is also a critical asset builder for many companies as PEO service providers now offer talent acquisition and management services. Collaborating with the right Singapore PEO service providers enables companies to tap into the right resources that fits their organisation while operating in Singapore and Asia.

Aside from cost mitigation measures, here are mission critical ways the right Singapore PEO service firm help businesses to grow.

1. Speed to Market

Business expansion will always be on the checklist for business growth. With the help of Singapore PEO firm, a comprehensive human resource services can be made available to businesses that do not have a physical presence in Singapore or regional countries in Asia. This is especially useful for companies that want to dabble in a new market in Asia but aren’t ready to commit to opening an office. Doing business with accuracy and speed can give your company a competitive advantage.

2. Better HR Operation

A company that wants to go big needs to go big in managing its people too. With Singapore PEO service, businesses can have a better HR operation that does not only after the business growth but also for the employee’s well-being. This includes better work benefits that were once for large-scale businesses but are now made possible through a PEO, better compensation, hiring and more seamless HR administrative processes.

3. Compliance

There are numerous statutory regulations governing employee benefits and the human resources profession in different countries and states in Asia. Your company must properly handle the following issues related to:

  • Compensation for Workers
  • Employee Security
  • Human Resources Legislation
  • Taxation Structure

A Singapore PEO service firms have extensive experience dealing with a wide range of compliance issues both in Singapore and in the regional countries. A reliable Singapore PEO service firms can keep your company out of legal trouble by ensuring that all HR regulations are followed.

4. Risk Mitigation

Minimising risks is a key for long-term success. Doing risk management ensures that your company is ready and doing all measures to protect your businesses from this risk. However, small businesses might be aware of the importance of risk management but most of them cannot afford to hire a risk management expertise in-house. One of the common risk sources is worker’s compensation and workplace safety issues: not being able to come up with proper policies, claims and planning on effective risk management might hinder your business success. With the help of a Singapore PEO service firms, you can have a dedicated risk management expert on-board on your team to facilitate and ease the burden to focus more on value-adding tasks. They are the people who are well-versed with the policies and laws that will help you stay away from business threatening risks.

5. Scalability

PEO can ramp up your businesses regardless of the business size. It can assist businesses in increasing their success by providing personalised and tailored solutions based on the needs of the business. A large-scale company can leverage business expansion options without taking a larger risk in a simple and low-risk manner. Small businesses, on the other hand, can enjoy competitive benefits and compensations that were previously only available to larger groups, as well as onboarding expert people without having to pay twice as much, and having more seamless operations so that they can focus on growing the business. Whatever business sizes your company is currently in, PEO solutions can be an essential part of your expansion strategy.

Collaboration with a Singapore PEO service providers such as HRPlus Consulting is definitely a game-changer for companies with their head quarters in Singapore as the right Singapore PEO partner can support its clients/partners to grow their business quickly in the South East Asian or Asian region.

Singapore PEO Service
Singapore PEO Service
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Blogs

The rush Payroll & HR Outsourcing Singapore

From start-ups, small businesses and global enterprises, the adaption of Payroll & HR Outsourcing Singapore is on the rise. HRPlus Consulting shares the benefits driving this shift in HR departments.

Forbes recently released an article on how HR outsourcing can be a powerful move for small business enterprises that goes beyond not only as a cost-cutting measure but also challenging the common notion that outsourcing is better off for bigger business players. With limited time & resources, the lack of dedicated head count for specific tasks, ever-changing work environments and regulatory policies, more and more small to medium sized companies are recognising the benefits of outsourcing business processes, especially the traditionally confidential task of payroll administration and other HR services.

Payroll & HR outsourcing ranked 3rd with 32% as one of the most commonly implemented service in outsourcing providers together with IT, finance and customer service. Instead of completing the necessary hours spent for wage calculation, timesheet tracking, insurance, retirement and benefits contributions, banking trips and its arduous demand for accuracy, timeliness and an in-depth understanding of the latest local workforce regulatory and tax matters in-house, it just becomes efficient to outsource it to a trusted partner. Beyond cost savings, it increases business flexibility and agility, which is very essential in the light of a pandemic.

Instant Scalability Competencies

Shifting HR and payroll responsibilities to an outsourced provider helps businesses to respond to sudden shifts in headcount or work environments, without having to hire additional HR staff, re-assigning, or adding workload to existing staff. A trusted payroll and HR outsourcing Singapore service provider quickly understands the changing recruitment and employee shifts and gives companies access to a full team of payroll specialists who ensure HR tasks & payroll preparation is processed on time, accurately and in compliance with Singapore statutory and regulatory requirements.

Expansion | Growth Response

For companies with regional or multi-market operations, HR consultancy and payroll outsourcing service providers combine and consolidate services from headquarters and business units into a single entity. The plan of action is based on market-like principles and the transition of HR and payroll management as shared services rendered for all teams, and across all markets keep business units in check. An outsourced payroll and HR outsourcing Singapore service provider implementing best practices will be a key differentiator for those who wants to have a competitive edge of consistency with across-the-board quality of consultancy support.

Collaborating with an payroll & HR outsourcing Singapore provider can even become strategic when there are requirements to quickly operate business in a new market and hire the right talent overseas. As an Employer of Record (PEO), they are partners of businesses that take on the legal, tax, HR, and regulatory responsibilities to build, retain and optimise the talent acquisition and management, overseas, without requiring businesses to set-up a new overseas office.

Fast-Track HR Automation

HR Technology is becoming mainstream in the workplace scene. Outsourcing payroll services enables businesses to shift from what has traditionally be an off-line process into a digital, transparent and readily accessible data for all employees. This provides businesses the convenience of running their payroll processes on cloud-based systems and an opportunity to value-add into every organisation’s digital transformation journey. Outsourcing payroll also allows businesses to take advantage of robotic process automation (RPA) that many specialist payroll service providers use to optimise HR reporting and payroll processing. These new technology features in HRMS improves both the accuracy and timeliness of managing HR & payroll information, especially for international payroll demands. This can also help in streamlining payroll processes and potentially provide advance analytics on risk mitigation.

Regulatory and Fiscal Compliance

The average payroll processing for one person requires 14 pieces of personal information. If any of these are incorrect, it results to payroll errors. Payroll mistakes are common but costly. While it may not affect employees directly, it will impact business as well with the extra fines with legal and regulatory bodies that penalises every late or incorrect payroll submission.

Payroll legal and regulatory standards may also sometimes get complicated. It becomes considerably more challenging when working on a regional and global scale. Even a single error can expose businesses to more audits and hefty penalties because regulations change continually. To mitigate risks and ensure compliance, businesses will require a thorough awareness of relevant regulations. With the ever-changing rules and legislative policies upheld across different industry sectors and states, HR & payroll outsourcing to a third-party expert eliminates this problem. The appointed payroll service provider employs payroll experts and uses specialised HRMS technology to ensure that payroll is processed accurately and on time, every time. They are also the first to learn about changes to the tax code and legislations that affect payroll and are skilled at keeping payroll compliant.

Secure Expert Services

The majority of business owners and payroll personnel do not have the time to research and study constantly changing regulations, withholding rates, and government forms. The new normal of remote work, health and safety regulations in the workplace are already requiring many organisations to rethink how they can fully focus on their business priorities while addressing the evolution of the workplace post pandemic. With HR & outsourcing payroll, even small businesses can gain access to expertise that was previously only available to large companies. This comes essential especially if your company operates in multiple states, the complexity of managing payroll grows as the number of jurisdictions increases.

Outsourcing builds business resiliency

When the pandemic completely turned the table around economically, businesses that the Coronavirus whirlwind of events have common denominators – they know how to mitigate risk, stabilise costs and increase productivity despite of unprecedented events. We are all still adjusting and this may take a considerable amount of time. Human-to-human interaction become a lesser norm, more teams are working remotely or running hybrid efforts and a greater challenge in addressing the welfare of the company’s staff welfare and corporate culture becomes top priorities, not just for big players, but likely more critical for small and medium businesses and start-ups. Business owners and HR heads are now actively considering HR and payroll outsourcing. This should ideally provide their teams an even better same level of employee care, an automated and unified payroll, better time, attendance and benefits management. As businesses open up again, HR & payroll outsourcing is a viable move to help companies bounce back with speed and accuracy, beyond just the cost savings.

HR Outsourcing Singapore
HR Outsourcing Singapore
Categories
Blogs

Singapore Employment Pass: A Quick Guide & Update 2022.

The Singapore Employment Pass (EP) is a work visa that allows foreign professionals with an opportunity to work in Singapore in certain specialized, managerial or executive positions. Generally speaking, it is one of the 3 types of professional work passes where employers are not required to hire any local staff before the Singapore Employment Pass visa can be approved.

Due to this concession and flexibility, the Ministry of Manpower has imposed strict yet subjective criteria in terms of the quality of the candidate and the background of the employer eligible to hire foreigners holding such a pass.

The other 2 passes are the Personalised Employment Pass (PEP), and Entrepreneurial Pass (EntrePass) have an even more stringent requirements than the Singapore Employment Pass.

Recently Introduced criterions for Singapore Employment Pass (EP)

In recent years, the application process for Singapore Employment Pass has been made stricter by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). Nevertheless, well qualified foreigners in terms of academic qualification with specialized skills and experience are still welcome and able to qualify for the Singapore Employment Pass (EP) work visa. The minimum qualifying monthly salary for Singapore Employment Pass applications is currently SGD4,500 for candidates who are fresh university graduates while higher salaries are required for more senior and experienced candidates. Previously, the applicants were only assessed on the basis of their academic qualifications, professional skills and expertise and their salary. However, now foreigners applying for the Singapore Employment Pass are also assessed on the basis of social and economic impact they would cause on Singapore and its citizens.

It is not only the candidate who is assessed. The hiring companies are also evaluated in terms of their local headcount and nature of business activities. The Singapore authorities will scrutinize whether the company have hired any Singapore citizens or plans to hire Singaporeans in their business operations. Companies with a disproportionately large numbers of foreigners may get their EP applications declined or delayed as this could be deemed as not showing commitment to hiring or giving opportunities to locals.

Companies are evaluated in terms of their capital structure and ability to pay the salaries of EP holders. Documentary evidence such as payslips and income tax statements would be required for verification during the approval process. In situation where there are doubts, the employment pass if approved, it may be for a shorter term period then applied for, typically for one year period.

In situation where companies have a healthy ratio of Singaporean employees, they will find their application process smoother. The goal of the Singapore Employment Pass policy is to encourage companies to hire more locals, provide training opportunities and develop them for the roles within the companies as they grow so that companies can reduce their dependence on foreign talent over the long term.

There are no restrictions on the nationality of applicants for Singapore Employment Pass as Singapore is opened to accepting high level talents from anywhere around the world. The key factor is whether such talent are available locally and the justification provided when applying to hire foreigners for a particular role.

With effect from November 2020, employers with 10 or more employees are required to advertise their job vacancies at the government administered portal known as https://employer.mycareersfuture.sg/ for at least 28 days before they can submit an application for Singapore Employment Pass for foreign candidates in the event they are not able to find any suitably qualified local candidates.

Alternative Work Passes to Singapore Employment Pass

In situation where a foreign applicant is not eligible for Singapore Employment Pass work visa, he or she can explore other forms of work pass to work in Singapore. These are quota based work pass which means that the company must hire a certain number of local staff before such work pass can be approved.

For example, foreigners may be able to qualify for S Pass work visa which requires lower salary, less stringent academic qualification and skills criterions.

The S-Pass work visa is for mid-level skilled foreign employees from any country. Candidates need to earn at least SGD2,400 a month and meet the assessment criteria. The hiring companies are subjected to a quota of how many S-Pass work visa they can apply for depending on their local head count numbers. Salary offered should reflect length of work experience and academic qualification, higher salary requirements for candidates with more years relevant work experience than fresh graduates or junior employees. Other than diplomas, technical certificates, such as courses for qualified technicians or specialists can be considered in the assessment for eligibility process. These certifications should preferably include at least 1 year of full-time study. The relevance of applicant’s work experience is also taken into account in the evaluation process as this is a skilled work pass.

Work Permits (WP) are work passes for foreign workers from approved source countries working in the construction, manufacturing, marine, process or services sector. The Work Permit visa is generally meant for lower skill or unskilled labor or blue collar workers but can also be used for certain professional staff as a form of work visa to work in Singapore.

Personalised Employment Pass (PEP)

The is the highest pass category for highly skilled and high income foreigners earning in excess of the equivalent to SGD18,000 per month. No employer sponsor is required unlike all other types of work passes. The approved individual is basically a self-sponsor pass holder and has the flexibility to choose to work for any employer but cannot be unemployed for more than 6 months. Personalised Employment Pass can only be issued once for a maximum period of 3 years and thereafter the applicant needs to convert to EP or other types of visa. Existing high income EP holders earning in excess of SGD12,000 per month can also convert to PEP. Holders of PEP is not allowed to be directors of or start their own company.

Entreprenuerial Pass (Entrepass)

As the word suggest, this is a category of pass targeted at business persons or entreprenuers. There is no minimum salary requirement and educational qualification criteria is less important. However, the applicant needs to demonstrate that he or she is worthy of the Entrepass. The approving criteria is varied and stringent and includes some of the following:

  1. Applicant can demonstrate successful business track record in high value and scalable businesses.
  2. Applicant has special expertise not available locally and has been recognized internationally.
  3. Applicant is willing to invest substantial funds, grow the business by hiring local professional staff.

As there are many types of work passes to suit different foreigners, employers are encouraged to discuss the various options with professional human resource consultants specializing in work pass and employment pass applications in Singapore. With the support from competent HR professionals, the application process can be expedited and approvals assured.

Singapore Employment Pass
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Alternative Types of Work Passes to Singapore Employment Pass.

In situation where a foreign applicant is not eligible for Singapore Employment Pass work visa, he or she can explore other forms of work pass to work in Singapore. These are quota based work pass which means that the company must hire a certain number of local staff before such work pass can be approved.

For example, foreigners may be able to qualify for S Pass work visa which requires lower salary, less stringent academic qualification and skills criterions.

  S Pass

The S-Pass work visa is for mid-level skilled foreign employees from any country. Candidates need to earn at least SGD2,400 a month and meet the assessment criteria. The hiring companies are subjected to a quota of how many S-Pass work visa they can apply for depending on their local head count numbers. Salary offered should reflect length of work experience and academic qualification, higher salary requirements for candidates with more years relevant work experience than fresh graduates or junior employees. Other than diplomas, technical certificates, such as courses for qualified technicians or specialists can be considered in the assessment for eligibility process. These certifications should preferably include at least 1 year of full-time study. The relevance of applicant’s work experience is also taken into account in the evaluation process as this is a skilled work pass.

With effect from November 2020, employers with 10 or more employees are required to advertise their job vacancies at the government administered portal known as https://employer.mycareersfuture.sg/ for at least 28 days weeks before they can submit an application for S Pass for foreign candidates in the event they are not able to find any suitably qualified local candidates.

Work Permit

Work Permits (WP) are work passes for foreign workers from approved source countries working in the construction, manufacturing, marine, process or services sector. The Work Permit visa is generally meant for lower skill or unskilled labor or blue collar workers but can also be used for certain professional staff as a form of work visa to work in Singapore.

Personalised Employment Pass (PEP)

The is the highest pass category for highly skilled and high income foreigners earning in excess of the equivalent to SGD18,000 per month. No employer sponsor is required unlike all other types of work passes. The approved individual is basically a self-sponsor pass holder and has the flexibility to choose to work for any employer but cannot be unemployed for more than 6 months. Personalised Employment Pass can only be issued once for a maximum period of 3 years and thereafter the applicant needs to convert to EP or other types of visa. Existing high income EP holders earning in excess of SGD12,000 per month can also convert to PEP. Holders of PEP is not allowed to be directors of or start their own company.

Entreprenuerial Pass (Entrepass)

As the word suggest, this is a category of pass targeted at business persons or entreprenuers. There is no minimum salary requirement and educational qualification criteria is less important. However, the applicant needs to demonstrate that he or she is worthy of the Entrepass. The approving criteria is varied and stringent and includes some of the following:

  1. Applicant can demonstrate successful business track record in high value and scalable businesses.
  2. Applicant has special expertise not available locally and has been recognized internationally.
  3. Applicant is willing to invest substantial funds, grow the business by hiring local professional staff.

As there are many types of work passes to suit different foreigners, employers are encouraged to discuss the various options with professional human resource consultants specializing in work pass and employment pass applications in Singapore. With the support from competent HR professionals, the application process can be expedited and approvals assured.

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Top 3 HR Trends to Watch in 2022 & Beyond.

The way we do work is changing. Artificial intelligence and automation will accelerate this transition in the same way that mechanization did in previous generations of agriculture and industrial. While some occupations will be lost and many new ones will be created, nearly all will change. The COVID-19 crisis accelerated existing trends and forced businesses to rethink many elements of their business. 

No one is in a safe zone with digitalization and automation peeking around the corner. As this progressively takes over human workplaces, it forces organisations to embrace it and think of a way on how they can maximize and make collaboration between humans and robots, and the Human Resource industry is no exception. 

Not only is technology a factor driving a shift in workplaces, but so is the influence of the Covid-19 pandemic on everyone. Organisations have, for the most part, risen to the challenges of the current crisis-era with the constant unforeseen developments, businesses are pushed to be innovative, adaptive, and resilient.

Integrating technology will be the new norm

Automation comes in a lot of forms. It isn’t just about inventing a speaking robot that wanders around the workplace, it could be as simple as a set of tools housed within common business software programs. At its core, automation is about implementing a system to complete repetitive, easily replicated tasks without the need for human labour. Therefore, automation is not just about robots and it shouldn’t be scary. 

As we approach the coming years and automation is inevitable, It’s time to stop accepting HR as a department that is full of manual processes, mind-numbing repetition, piles of paperwork, and other stressors, and start enjoying the benefits of HR Automation, thus the rise of demand for HR Tech. 

HR Tech or HR Technology is the application of technology to redefine fundamental HR processes like recruitment, talent management, compliance, payroll, performance management and employee engagement. According to PWC, 74% of companies are planning to increase their budget solely for HR Tech. It primarily aims to make work more efficient and faster through using these intelligent technologies in doing repeatable tasks.

As HR Tech can feel like it’s been stealing the spotlight for the human work opportunities, we should also consider how many new job opportunities are created with the help of technology. We shouldn’t look at automation as something that takes over human work but as a tool. 

Embracing HR Tech as soon as possible will help your firm become future-proof. Tasks like managing benefits and payroll may be done more efficiently and effectively, freeing up your core workforce for more cognitively demanding tasks. HR technology, ironically, has the potential to make the workforce more humane by allowing professionals to better understand their employees.

Look closely with talents

We all know that automation will happen at some time in our lives, but no one really knows how to deal with it until it comes their way. To remain relevant in the future of work, automation will necessitate a significant amount of unlearning and learning processes.  However, not everyone has the luxury of gaining access to the knowledge required to succeed in the future of work resulting in a skills gap.

Skills gap or the mismatch happens between employers’ expectations and employees’ ability to deliver. This raises the risk of disrupted productivity, company culture, and profitability. The skills gap is also a direct result of the rising trend of using HR Technologies in the work landscape. According to the KPMG HR Pulse Survey, 3 out of 10 will reskill, 39% will work remotely, and 2 out 10 jobs will be redundant.

However, the skills gap isn’t just regarding technological skills. It is more on developing adaptability and turning people into more flexible workers, and most especially on developing their various complex cognitive skills like people management, critical thinking, and emotional intelligence.

Identifying the skills gaps in your company can be one effective way of guiding you as to how the programs should be made, thus a higher need for a diverse and expanded talent pool of human resources. As for the jobseekers, they should also consider reskilling towards more complex cognitive skills as repeatable jobs would become obsolete in the long run.

Working from home is here to stay

Everyone experienced how disastrous the pandemic, the virus hit fast, sending much of the world into lockdown just months after it was first detected. Businesses reacted rapidly, reorganizing supply chains, adopting remote-work models, and speeding up decision making with surprising velocity. 

This pandemic has given people a chance to see what it’s like to work remotely, and most of them, if not all, definitely prefer having control of their work time and it shows better productivity results compared to an in-house set-up. 

Millennials are looking for meaningful work and are demanding more freedom in the workplace to pursue their passions. While it may seem to manifest with the rise of the gig economy, shared resources and remote work mobility, flexibility is expected to impact more evolved work practices beyond time, location, and remuneration.

According to Harvard Business Review, 88% of today’s knowledge workers are doing their jobs remotely. This trend is expected to continue in the succeeding years, especially since the primary human resources would be millennials in the future.

We can witness less time is spent in the office because people work at their own speed. Without a strict schedule, they can work around it as long as the output is provided on time, a critical role of employee satisfaction in attracting new employees and the value of the brand image that goes beyond the company’s mission and goals.

HR Trends