COVID-19: How has the pandemic affected you, and is your business ready for it?
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in Singapore has set up some temporary schemes to help business during this trying time — if you’re not completely aware of them and would like to know what they are, then read on!
COVID-19 has taken a toll on the Singapore economy. In February 2020, Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced that S$6.4 billion will be spent to support businesses and households amid the pandemic. Just five weeks later, Singapore has released a second stimulus package, worth S$48 billion, bringing the government’s total spend on virus-related relief packages to a staggering S$55 billion.
The first initiative we will discuss is the Jobs Support Scheme (JSS), which helps enterprises retain local employees during this period of uncertainty. Companies will now receive a 25% cash grant on each employee’s wages, provided they are Singaporeans or permanent residents. The JSS will cover up to nine months of employee wages, while the monthly wage cap will increase to S$4,600 for each employee — giving middle-income employees better support.
Under the government’s new Startup SG Equity co-investment scheme & SME GoDigital initiatives, an additional S$300 million has been set aside to provide equity investments to tech startups with strong intellectual property and global market potential. Firms will get more tax rebates, financial support in hiring, training and retaining workers, as well as access to health care supplies and equipment — given that COVID-19 is predicted to be a long-drawn-out battle that has negatively impacted businesses and the economy.
Another great initiative that business can make use of is the Foreign Worker Levy. From 24 March 2020, MOM has provided SMEs with an additional three months to make their levy payments, meaning that SMEs will now have at total of up to five months to make payments.
This temporary relief measure will apply to levies incurred in the year 2020, with an estimated 60,000 firms in Singapore benefitting from this measure.
Do you have employees affected by Leave of Absence (LOA) or Stay-Home Notice (SHN)? MOM is providing support to help businesses and self-employed persons affected by LOA or SHN requirements due to COVID-19.
Wondering if you are you eligible?
Claims for the $100 per day allowance can only be made by the following two groups: Self-employed Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents, or employers who have employees issued with Quarantine Orders (QO).
For employers, they must have a registered company in Singapore, and employees must be Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents or Work Pass holders.
Use the LOA/SHN calculator to see if you need to serve a LOA/SHN period.
Finally, all of us have a responsibility to help flatten the curve! If you are sick, please do your part and see a doctor immediately, and avoid going out in public.
Follow us on the trail as we navigate through this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, and strive to understand how we can stay united and support each other through these tough times.
Let us TraceTogether! Do also help your employees set this up.