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A thinking man with question markFrequently Asked Questions On Employment Pass (EP) In Singapore

Find answers to commonly asked questions pertaining to Employment Pass (EP) in Singapore.

 

 

Are employers required to buy medical insurance for Employment Pass holders?

  • Providing medical insurance is not a requirement for employing Employment Pass (EP) holders. Most EP holders may already have their own medical insurance, or may want to choose their own coverage.
  • For EP holders who do not have existing medical insurance, employers can choose to provide insurance coverage as part of their employment contract, or encourage their EP holders to get their own medical insurance.
  • The medical insurance requirement applies only to Work Permit and S Pass holders. This is in line with employers’ existing responsibility for the upkeep and maintenance of their migrant workers, including the provision of medical treatment.

Are EP holders covered under WICA?

Yes. The Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA) covers all eligible employees, including Employment Pass holders.

Can an employer refuse to cancel an EP, S Pass or Work Permit?

  • Employees have the right to resign at any time, by serving notice or by compensating the employer with salary-in-lieu.
  • As a work pass is meant for employment, employers must cancel an employee’s Employment Pass, S Pass or Work Permit within 1 week after employment ends.
  • Employers cannot use the refusal to cancel the work pass as a threat or retaliation for employment or contract disputes. If there is a dispute, both employers and employees should try to resolve it amicably or seek mediation. For salary disputes, you can approach TADM for assistance.
  • If your employer refuses to cancel your work pass after you have resigned and served your notice, you can contact MOM for assistance.

Can an Employment Pass holder be a shareholder of a Singapore-registered company?

Yes, an Employment Pass holder is allowed to own shares in a Singapore-registered company.

Can a WP Online user be added as an admin user or user for EP Online?

  • Yes. You can get your company’s EP Online admin user to add you as a user.
  • If there are no existing EP Online admin users, you can submit a request to MOM.

Can employment agencies update their client company’s particulars in EP Online?

No, the employing company will have to update the particulars themselves or write to Work Pass Division to have the particulars updated.

Can EP holders be registered as directors in another company apart from the company the EP is approved for?

  • Yes, but only if the EP holder has obtained a Letter of Consent (LOC) from MOM.
  • MOM recognises that secondary directorship positions in related companies, e.g. subsidiary, may be critical to the EP holder’s job role. As such, MOM would generally allow EP holders to take up such secondary roles by granting an additional “Letter of Consent”.
  • If the secondary directorship position is in an unrelated company, e.g. fund entities, MOM may still grant the LOC if it is relevant to the EP holder’s primary occupation.

Can I transfer my EP holder to a subsidiary company without making new application?

  • No.
  • Your subsidiary company need to apply for a new Employment Pass for the EP holder.

Refer to below info on transferring EP holder to related company:

Transfer of pass holders to a related company:

Who does this: Current employer

An Employment Pass holder can be transferred to a related company in Singapore (i.e. branch, subsidiary, or affiliated company. The current employer will need to follow these steps:

  • Get the related company to apply for a new Employment Pass for the pass holder. The related company doesn’t need to advertise the position on MyCareersFuture.
  • Cancel the existing Employment Pass when the employment ends. Cancellation must be done before the related company can get the new Employment Pass issued.

Note: If you are transferring Employment Pass holders because two companies are undergoing full merger, acquisition or amalgamation, you should change your business entity instead. Refer to below info for it.

Change in Business Entity

Who does this: Employer

You need to inform us if your company is undergoing the following types of changes that will result in the change in the CPF submission numbers:

  • Changing to another type of business entity (e.g. from a sole proprietorship to a private limited company), where at least one of the directors, partners or sole proprietor will move to the new entity.
  • Undergoing full merger, acquisition or amalgamation of entities.
  • Renewing a business registration with a different ACRA number while keeping the company name
How to apply

To update your business entity:

  1. Declare your Business Activity for the new business entity (with a new CPF submission number).
    Complete the Request Form for Change of Business Entity.
  2. Submit a scanned copy of the form using iSubmit. Under Request Type, choose option 6.
  3. Your request will be processed within 14 working days.
Upon approval:
  • There will be a one-time transfer of all your Employment Pass holders to the new business entity.
  • Your old business entity will no longer be able to apply for work passes.

Can my organisation apply for more than one EP Online account?

No. There is no need for more than one EP Online account. Under your EP Online account, you can allow up to 2 admin users and 4 users to access the eService.

Do Employment Pass holders need to seek approval to marry a Singaporean or Permanent Resident?

No, Employment Pass holders do not need to seek approval from MOM to marry a Singaporean or Permanent Resident.

 

Does an employer need to buy WIC insurance (WICI) for an EP holder?

Buying work injury compensation (WIC) insurance is only mandatory if you are employing manual workers or non-manual workers earning less than $1,600 a month.

Whether or not you have purchased insurance, you’ll still be required to pay compensation for an eligible claim.

Does my employment agency need a separate EP Online account for transacting on behalf of other companies?

No, you do not need to apply for separate Employment Pass (EP) Online accounts. Your employment agency can apply for an EP Online account under your EA number. You will be able to carry out transactions on behalf of your client companies and for your own agency under the same EP Online account.

Does the candidate need to extend an expiring visit pass after the EP or S Pass is issued in EP Online?

No, once the Employment Pass or S Pass has been issued online, the candidate does not need to extend the visit pass.

The successful issuance validates the candidate’s stay in Singapore.

Do I have to pay a fee to advertise on the MyCareersFuture job portal?

No. Advertising on the MyCareersFuture job portal is free of charge.

Do I need two separate EP Online accounts if my company has two CPF accounts?

No. Both Central Provident Fund (CPF) accounts will be tied to the same employing company.

How can my company link its branches or divisions to its EP Online account?

  • During online registration, a list of your branches or divisions will be displayed. Select the branches or divisions that you want to link to your Employment Pass (EP) account.
  • Your company can then perform EP Online transactions for itself as well as for its branches or divisions, without the need for separate EP Online accounts.
  • All users who are linked to the same EP Online account will be able to enquire about applications submitted by the other users.

Note: Subsidiaries or divisions that are registered with Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) can register for an EP Online account. Otherwise, only the company can register for an EP Online account.

How do I bring in an employee from an overseas offices or subsidiaries?

You will have to submit a new work pass application for the foreigner.

How do I cancel an Employment Pass (sponsorship)?

If the pass holder is in Singapore, you can make an appointment with Employment Pass Services Centre (EPSC) to cancel the Employment Pass (EP).

If the pass holder had left Singapore, you need to request to cancel the EP.

How do I check if an EP is cancelled?

You can check if an Employment Pass is cancelled by checking the validity of the pass. You don’t need to log in for this.

How do I go about employing an existing Employment Pass or S Pass holder?

You will have to submit a new application for the person. There is no need to cancel the existing Employment Pass or S Pass while doing so.

 

How do I know if my company is considered part of the Financial Services sector?

Firms conducting the following business activities are considered to be part of the Financial Services sector:

  • Fund Management ActivitiesHolding Companies regulated by MAS, or which have a nexus with MAS-regulated firms
  • Insurance Agents and Brokers
  • Insurance and Reinsurance Underwriting
  • Monetary Intermediation (e.g. Banks, Finance Companies etc.)
  • Provident and Pension Funding
  • Risk and Damage Evaluation
  • Securities and Commodities Exchange
  • Security and Commodity Contracts Brokerage
  • Trusts, Funds, and similar Financial Entities
  • Other Financial Services activities (e.g. Financial Leasing, Credit Granting, Factoring companies, Representative offices of foreign banks, Money-changing services, Remittance services etc.)
  • Other activities auxiliary to Financial Service activities (e.g. Trustee, fiduciary and custody services; Corporate finance advisory services; Clearing and settlement of financial instruments; Transaction/Payment processing services etc.)
  • Other activities auxiliary to Insurance and Pension Funding (e.g. Representative offices of foreign insurers and professional reinsurers, Captive managers etc.)

Please note that the above list may not be exhaustive. Firms which are considered to be part of the Financial Services sector would have been notified separately by MOM. You can refer to MOM’s press release for more information on the higher Employment Pass qualifying salaries for the Financial Services sector.

How do I retrieve a draft application in EP Online?

To retrieve a draft application:

Log in to EP Online and do either:

  • For new applications, click Apply > Retrieve Draft Application and enter the criteria.
  • For renewal applications, click Renew > Retrieve Draft Application and enter the criteria.
  • Click the relevant search result.

How do I submit an application if my EP, S Pass or Training Employment Pass candidate lost their educational certificate?

Your candidate must get a replacement certificate from the awarding body or institution.

Alternatively, you can upload a verification proof from a global verification agency.

How many draft Employment Pass or S Pass applications can I save in EP Online?

MOM advises you not to save more than 20 applications as drafts.

If an EP or S Pass holder changes jobs, is the existing pass automatically cancelled?

No. If an Employment Pass (EP) or S Pass holder changes jobs and the new pass is approved, MOM does not automatically cancel the existing work pass. This is so that the current employer has a notice period.

The employer needs to cancel the pass using EP Online.

If I am an EP holder, can I apply to be a Singapore permanent resident (PR)?

Yes. If you wish to become a Singapore permanent resident, you can apply through the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA). The application will be assessed based on ICA’s PR criteria.

If my company engages a recruitment agency, do we still have to advertise on the Jobs Bank?

Yes, you will still need to advertise on the Jobs Bank. The recruitment agency may place the advertisement on behalf of your company.

If my company has an existing WP Online account, can we register for an EP Online account?

Yes, you can register for both a WP Online and EP Online account.

If my company wants to offer a permanent position to a foreign trainee on Training Employment Pass (TEP), do we need to advertise on the Jobs Bank?

Yes, your company is required to advertise on the Job Bank. TEPs are issued for training, not for permanent work.

Employers are strongly encouraged to advertise all job vacancies on the Jobs Bank to reach out to as many eligible job applicants as possible.

I am an EP or S Pass holder, how I can update my contact details?

You can update your contact details using EP Online with your SingPass.

 

Is a foreigner required to apply for an EP if he is registered as a director of a company in Singapore but not a resident of Singapore?

Foreigners who are not residing in Singapore, e.g. Social Visit Pass holders, don’t need to apply for an EP to be a registered director of a company.

Must an employer pay for sending an Employment Pass or S Pass holder home?

All employers who wish to bring in foreign employees are required to bear the full costs of employing them, including the cost of repatriation. This includes the flight ticket, pre-departure tests and connecting transport costs, if any, to the international port of entry in your foreign employee’s home country nearest to their hometown. Unless the pass holder gives consent, the employer is responsible for sending an Employment Pass or S Pass holder home at the end of employment.

If consent is given, it has to explicitly state that the pass holder agrees to pay for repatriation costs. The pass holder must sign the document to acknowledge consent.

A clause in the employment contract would suffice if the contract is signed by the pass holder. However, a clause in the company’s HR policy may not suffice if the pass holder does not sign the document.

In response to Covid-19, MOM understands that many countries have introduced different public health protocols, e.g. quarantine and swab tests. There are different practices in different countries, some Governments will bear the costs for their returning citizens, while others require returning citizens to pay for these expenses.

Employers are not required to pay any costs incurred for public health arrangements in the foreign employee’s home countries. However, where there are requests from their foreign employees, they should discuss with their employees and come to a mutual agreement on such costs to fulfil their legal obligation in repatriating their employees, and to avoid any delays in employees returning to their home countries.

Employers should settle all outstanding obligations, such as salary payments, before the employee leaves Singapore.

Must I terminate my EP Online account if my business is going to close or become insolvent?

Yes, you will need to inform MOM and state the termination date of your Employment Pass (EP) Online account.

Please provide at least 14 working days advance notice to terminate your EP Online account.

What are my medical obligations as the employer of an EP holder?

You are obligated to provide paid sick leave, including dental leave, to any employee covered under the Employment Act.

Under the Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA), you are also obligated to any pay eligible claims for workplace injuries.

Finally, if your Employment Pass holder is a manual worker, you are required to purchase work injury compensation insurance for them.

What changes to my job advertisement on MyCareersFuture will require me to extend it for another 14 days before I can apply for an EP or S Pass?

Employers are generally required to advertise a job position on MyCareersFuture for 14 days before they can apply for an Employment Pass (EP) or S Pass for that position.

However, you will need to extend the advertisement for another 14 days if you make changes in any of the following areas:

  • Salary offered
  • Occupation
  • Number of vacancies available
  • Employing company

To find out more, you can also read the full requirements for Employment Pass or S Pass.

What does it mean if I have uploaded documents and the status is “Follow Up”?

It means that the documents you have uploaded when getting a work pass issued or renewed are incorrect, unclear or incomplete.

You will need to resubmit the correct or clear copies of the documents by doing the following:

  • In WP Online, click Re-Submit > Re-Submit Document.
  • In EP Online, click Issue > Re-Submit Documents.

What if I want to change jobs while I am on an EP?

You should ask the new employer to apply for a new Employment Pass for you. There is no need to cancel the existing EP before applying for a new one.

Your application will be considered based on its merits and under prevailing guidelines.

What is a fixed monthly salary?

Fixed monthly salary = basic monthly salary + fixed monthly allowances.

Basic monthly salary: This is payment that does not vary from month to month, regardless of employee or company performance, and regardless of whether the employee takes medical or personal leave.

Fixed monthly allowances: These are monthly allowances that do not vary from month to month. Examples include fixed food and housing allowances.

Fixed monthly salary does not include the following:

  • Variable allowances
  • Overtime payment, bonus, commission or annual wage supplements
  • In-kind payments
  • Any form of reimbursements, including for expenses incurred by an employee in the course of his employment
  • Productivity incentive payments
  • Contributions payable by the employer to any pension or provident fund, including any contributions made on the employee’s behalf
  • Gratuity payable on discharge, retrenchment or retirement of the foreign employee

What is the qualifying salary for hiring or renewing an EP holder if my company is in the Financial Services sector?

  • From 1 December 2020, the minimum qualifying salary for EP candidates in the Financial Services sector will be further raised to $5,000 for new applicants. The qualifying salaries for older and more experienced candidates will be raised correspondingly, with those in their 40s needing to meet around double the minimum qualifying salary for the youngest applicants.
  • For EP renewals, this new salary criteria will apply to those whose passes are expiring on or after 1 May 2021.

What should I do if I cannot find my candidate’s qualification in the Self-Assessment Tool (SAT) or the work pass application form?

If you are unable to find your candidate’s qualification, you can choose an equivalent level from the drop-down list. If prompted for the educational certificate, please also upload supporting documents (e.g. a school letter or diploma supplement) to show that the qualification is equivalent to the one you chose.

Alternatively, you can choose not to indicate this particular qualification in the SAT or work pass application.

Who can sign the Declaration Form for an EP Online account?

The Declaration Form for EP Online User Agreement should be completed and signed by:

  • Sole proprietor for sole proprietorships.
  • Partner for partnerships.
  • Licensee for employment agencies.
  • A person with designation of manager or higher for private limited, limited, or limited liability partnership (LLP) companies.

Only the original copy will be accepted.

 

Please refer to MOM website at www.mom.gov.sg or www.cpf.gov.sg for more detailed information and up-to-date guidelines with regulations.

 

ACHI BIZ is one of the licensed Employment Agencies in Singapore. We will assist your work pass related applications and appeals at our level best with the regulatory authority Ministry Of Manpower (MOM) for successful outcome.

 

Please refer to our GUIDES for more information, SERVICES to meet your requirements or CONTACT us if you wish to avail these or many other services.

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