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Over 99,000 employers to get SGD840M in scheme payouts

SINGAPORE (CNA) – By the end of March, SGD840 million in payouts will be given to more than 99,000 employers in Singapore, as part of the final tranche of payouts under the Wage Credit Scheme (WCS), said the Ministry of Finance (MOF) and the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) yesterday.

In a media release, MOF and IRAS said the upcoming payout will see the government co-fund

15 per cent of qualifying wage increases given in 2021, 2020 and 2019 to more than 780,000 Singaporean employees earning a gross monthly wage of up to SGD5,000.

This will benefit more than 99,000 employers, they said. Introduced in 2013, the WCS was intially a three-year initiative to support businesses in their transformation and share productivity gains with workers.

It was later extended, most recently at Budget 2021, with the aim of supporting increments to “help companies build up their local workforce and emerge stronger from COVID-19”.

To qualify for the upcoming tranche, employers must have given their workers a pay rise of at least SGD50 or have sustained the salary increase of at least SGD50 previously given to employees in 2019 and 2020. More than SGD2 billion in wage credits was disbursed in 2020 and 2021 to support employers during the pandemic, MOF and IRAS said.

“Employers do not need to apply to receive the payouts. Eligible employers will be notified by March 31, 2022 informing them of their payout amount,” they said, noting payouts will be credited directly to employers’ registered bank accounts through PayNow Corporate or GIRO.

Office workers at Raffles Place in Singapore. PHOTO: AFP