Qualifying salary for EP will be raised from $3,300 to $3,600 from Jan 2017
MOM announced this new revision plan on 26 July. It said that it is a part of regular update to keep pace with rising local wages and maintain the quality of the foreign talents.
The previous revision was held in Jan 2014, with the EP qualifying salary up from $3,000 to $3,300.
Responding to this news, one of articles on the Independent.sg introduced the opinion that they believe the increase of the EP qualifying salary does not have any effect on the rising number of foreign workers.
Instead the article raised the issue that it is simply equal to increase the salary by a higer 9.1% from $3,300 to $3,600. In comparison with the Singapore median gross monthly income from work (including employer CPF contribution) growth's being 6.6% in 2015, the writer highlights the unfairness.
However, the truth is that the current EP holders whose salaries are between $3,300 and $3,599 will need to find a way to renew the EP from next year. Those EP holders whose passes expire before 1 Jan 2017, are able to renew for up to 3 years.
If the employers cannot afford to upgrade the affected EP holders' salaries, they may need to consider of applying S Passes for them instead of EPs. Different from the EP, the number of S pass issued within one company is limited having a quota.
The employers also need to pay the Lavy for S Pass holders every month.
Every revision on the work permit always bring the challenge and we need to put our heads together to figure it out.