The IRAS (Inland Revenue Authority) and MOF (Ministry of Finance) of Singapore have reportedly announced that over S$5.5 billion payouts would be given to local employers from October 29 under the JSS (Jobs Support Scheme). The agencies further stated that over 140,000 employers would receive the payouts to fund the wages of approximately 1.9 million regional employees.
The newly announced amount is S$1.5 billion more than the previous disbursement that was done in July. So far, more than S$21.5 billion have been disbursed under the JSS, including the October payouts.
JSS was first announced by Heng Swee Keat, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister of Singapore in February's Budget. The scheme is a wage subsidy program established to help firms retain as well as pay their employees as business enterprises get severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Government of Singapore co-funds a certain amount, between 25% and 75% of the initial S$4,600 of the gross monthly payments, given to every permanent resident employee or Singaporean, in an effort to save jobs.
The October payouts were to be the last funds given under JSS, and then the scheme was effectively set to expire, as stated by the government. However, Mr. Heng reportedly announced the extension of the scheme for seven more months in August. This time the scheme would run using a tiered method, based on how affected a particular sector, is to provide wages till March 2021.
With regards to October payouts, firms will get funds for their regional employees’ payments given in August, July, and June in 2020, on the basis of the industry they are working in.
Employers in built environment, tourism, and aviation sectors will get 75% support since they are heavily affected. Meanwhile, other employers working in offshore, marine, land transport, entertainment and art, retail, and food services sectors would get 50% support from the government. Employers in the remaining industries will all have 25% regulatory support.