Jointly introduced by SBF and the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on 2 March 2020, SBF ManpowerConnect was initially set up as a temporary scheme to help companies in the manufacturing and services sectors to better manage their manpower needs in view of the COVID-19 situation.
The scheme allows companies to hire existing People’s Republic of China (PRC) Work Permit holders (WPHs) who are in Singapore, with the agreement of their current employers.
Starting 1 April 2020, the scheme has been expanded to allow inter-sectoral transfer of existing WPHs for all sectors. Companies in all sectors can hire existing WPHs (who are in Singapore) from other sectors, with the agreement of their current employers. This relaxes the current rule that only allows transfers within the respective sectors. All prevailing work permit criteria as well as the current fee of $35 per work permit application will apply.
The expanded scheme will give companies even more flexibility to manage their manpower needs. Companies facing a shortage of manpower can tap on a bigger pool of experienced WPHs and save on search and recruitment expenses. At the same time, companies that have excess manpower can transfer their WPHs to other companies more quickly, giving their WPHs the opportunity to continue working in Singapore and save on repatriation costs.
As entry approvals for new work pass holders from overseas remain limited to reduce the risk of importation of COVID-19 to Singapore, the temporary scheme will be extended to 28 February 2021 to help more companies hire workers who are already in Singapore.
Role of SBF
SBF will help to connect employers who are looking to release their WPHs to those who are experiencing a shortage of manpower. Companies (i.e. both current and hiring employer) and the workers must mutually agree on a suitable transfer arrangement for the workers.
With SBF’s endorsement, MOM will allow the hiring employer to apply for a work permit for the existing WPH who is in Singapore. The hiring employer should apply when the worker’s work permit is still valid under the current employer. This service by SBF will be free of charge for the whole period of the temporary scheme till 28 February 2021.
For inter-sectoral transfers (more than 40 days or less than 21 days before Work Permit expiry), companies can approach SBF at for more information.
For transfers of WPHs with Work Permit expiring between 40 and 21 days (inclusive), including inter-sectoral transfers, companies can submit their request via an online form or visit MOM’s website for more information.
For transfers of WPHs from 20 days to Work Permit expiry, agreement from the current employer must be obtained from 1 September 2020. This is to give the current employer sufficient time to make repatriation arrangements for their workers before the Work Permit expires, should the worker be unable to find another employer.
A. For Companies Looking to Release WPHs
Contact SBF ManpowerConnect and furnish workers' basic information including their years of experience, specific skills as well as the expected date of their release.
Forms to complete and submit:
- List of Workers to Release
- Sample Letter of Consent – Personal Data (Worker)
- Sample Letter of Consent – Personal Data (Employer)
B. For Companies Looking to Hire WPHs
Contact SBF ManpowerConnect and furnish their manpower requirements, including the sector and skills required of the workers.
If they find a suitable worker from the database of available WPHs, the hiring company should liaise directly with the worker’s current employer to obtain consent for the transfer of the worker's employment.
Forms to complete and submit:
- Request to Hire Workers
- Sample Letter of Consent – Transfer of Employment (upon successful connection with current employer) Note: This document should be endorsed by both current and hiring employers, as well as the worker.
What Happens After A Successful Connection?
The hiring company is required to submit to SBF the Letter of Consent, endorsed by the current employer to transfer the employment of its worker to the hiring company. Once the consent has been verified, SBF will inform both MOM and the hiring company, which can then proceed to submit a work permit application to MOM via Work Permit Online (WPOL) after three working days but no later than a month.
The releasing company does not need to cancel the work permit of their WPH. The work permit will be auto-cancelled once the hiring company issues the work permit for the worker.
Frequently Asked Questions
Click here to access a list of FAQs on SBF ManpowerConnect.
Contact SBF ManpowerConnect