Recently, the Ministry of Manpower (“MOM”) has announced an update to their regulations for Dependant Pass (“DP”) holders working in Singapore. Currently, DP holders are allowed to work in Singapore, provided that they have a valid Letter of Consent (“LOC”) issued by the MOM. There is no minimum salary requirement for LOC, the 28-day job posting requirement does not apply, and it does not take up the foreign worker’s quota of a company.
However, from 1 May 2021 onwards, the MOM stated that LOC will no longer be an option for employers seeking to hire DP holders. Instead, employers will need to submit a new work pass application subject to prevailing work pass requirements, such as (but not limited to) minimum qualifying salary, job posting requirements, quotas, and levies.
As for current DP LOC holders, they may continue working with their employers until their LOC expires. Thereafter, their employers will need to submit a work pass application for them to continue working for the company.
Do note that this new update does not apply to Long Term Visit Pass (“LTVP”) holders with an LOC. Employers may continue to apply for LOCs for LTVP holders who are married to a Singapore Citizen or a Permanent Resident of Singapore.
Things to Note
Since re-applying for an LOC is no longer an option, employers need to reconsider their next step before their employees’ LOCs expire. It would be advisable to reassess their total work strength as well as their employees’ eligibility criteria, and consider if applying for a work pass is a viable option.
Companies need to consider the following:
- Which work pass is my employee eligible?
- Do I have a quota for this pass?
If a DP holder is not eligible for a work pass or if the company does not meet the required quota, the company will have to be prepared to let the affected employees go, as they will no longer be allowed to work in Singapore.