Updated: May 5, 2021
MOM’s announcement on the new employment rules for DP holders has sparked unease for spouses and family members of foreigners working in Singapore.
As announced on 3rd March by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), Dependent’s Pass (DP) holders have to obtain work passes if they want to be employed in Singapore. The new rules will start to commence from 1st May 2021.
What will change?
At the moment, if you are the spouses or family members of foreigners working in Singapore and you want to seek employment here, you just need to get a Letter of Consent (LOC) from MOM.
However, the new rules will now require you (regardless of your dependent’s pass) to compete with all other foreigners who want to work in Singapore to get a work pass. You will be subjected to the same requirements as the rest of them.
If you are currently employed with LOC, you can still work in your company until your LOC expires. Once the LOC has ended, your company will need to apply for a suitable work pass in order to continue hiring you.
Despite MOM saying that it will facilitate DP holders in their transition to get formal work passes, the situation will no longer be that simple for them. Companies that employ DP holders with LOC will soon be affected by respective work pass criteria in order to hire those DP holders back.
The relevant qualifying salary, dependency ratio ceiling(quotas), and levies for the respective work passes are some of the factors employers need to consider once the new rules have been activated. Thus, it will be more difficult for DP holders to get a job in Singapore.
The new rules will affect quite a number of dependent’s pass holders’ lives in Singapore.
In 2020 alone, there were about 11,000 dependant’s pass holders who were working with LOC. We can only take a guess as to what will happen to them after their LOC expires.
By making it harder for them to work here, is Singapore risking losing foreign talents to other countries? Will Singapore no longer be as attractive to future foreign talents?
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References: Today (website)