Close to $100 billion has been dedicated in the past four Budgets to help Singaporeans through the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. While the COVID-19 situation in Singapore has come under control, the resulting economic impact on the global and Singaporean economy is severe, and will last for a while.

In a Ministerial Statement on 17 August 2020, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat announced additional measures to help Singaporeans through this crisis.

Here’s a summary on the measures to protect workers and jobs:

1) Extension of Jobs Support Scheme

The Jobs Support Scheme (JSS), which was launched at the start of the pandemic, helps companies to retain jobs by covering the salary of workers - currently up to August 2020. The JSS will now be extended by up to seven months, covering wages paid up to March 2021.

The support given will vary based on the sectors, with hardest-hit sectors like aerospace, aviation and tourism receiving more.

Sectors Extension of support under the JSS 
 Aerospace, aviation, tourism sectors 50% of wages paid for seven more months
 Built environment sector 50% of wages paid for two more months, before lowering to 30% for wages paid up to March 2021
 Arts and entertainment, food services, land transport, marine and offshore, and retail sectors 30% of wages paid for seven more months
 For the large majority of the remaining sectors 10% of wages paid for seven more months
 For the few sectors that are managing well, such as biomedical sciences, financial services, and ICT sectors  10% of wages paid for four more months, for wages paid up to December 2020

2) Jobs Growth Incentive

To help sectors that are doing well - such as the biomedical sciences, financial services, and ICT sectors - create new jobs for workers, the Jobs Growth Incentive (JGI) will support firms in hiring of local workers.

  • The Government will co-pay up to 25% of salaries of all new local hires for one year, subject to a cap.
  • For those aged 40 and above, the co-payment to firms will be up to 50%. 

3) Extension of the COVID-19 Support Grant to Dec 2020

The COVID-19 Support Grant was introduced earlier in May to help Singaporeans who are unemployed or suffered significant income loss. The grant will now be extended to December 2020. 

  • From October 2020, both existing recipients and new applicants can apply for the grant.
  • Unemployed applicants must demonstrate job search or training efforts to qualify

The Ministry of Social and Family Development will share more details in early September.

4) Extension of Workfare Special Payment

For the earlier announced $3,000 Workfare Special Payment, the eligibility criteria will be widened. Those who were not on Workfare last year but have received or will be receiving Workfare for work done this year will be eligible as well.

 
 

For those of you who have fallen on hard times, we will continue to support you and walk this journey with you.
DPM Heng Swee Keat, 17 August 2020

For more on the further support for aerospace, aviation, tourism sectors and transforming our economy for a post-COVID-19 world, click here.

If you're an employee looking for support measures, read more here.

If you're a business owner/self employed person looking for support measures, read more here.

The SMEs Go Digital programme can help your business adopt digital solutions. Subscribe to the Telegram channel here and get regular updates.

For more on Budget 2020, visit www.singaporebudget.gov.sg