Firms can expect help with rising labour costs

The Singapore government is rolling out initiatives to help firms cope with wage increases and skill gaps of top leaders

Firms can expect help with rising labour costs

As part of Budget 2018, the Singapore government outlined initiatives to help firms cope with the increasing cost of labour. There will also be additional efforts to close any skills gaps caused by digital disruption.

Finance minister Heng Swee Keat announced that the Wage Credit Scheme (WCS) will be extended for three more years. This will help employers deal with wage increases for Singaporean employees who earn up to a gross monthly wage of $4,000.

Under the scheme, HR payroll can look forward to 20% co-funding for 2018, 15% for 2019 and 10% for 2020.

Additionally, Heng announced a deferment for the foreign worker levy increases for organisations in the marine shipyard and process sectors.

As for combating widening skills gaps caused by digital disruption, the government will be rolling out the Capabilities Transfer Programme which will support the transfer of skills from international specialists to Singaporean firms, enhancing companies’ training efforts.

“Economic transformation is a key focus of Singapore’s 2018 Budget, and with it, the need to upgrade the skills of its workforce,” said Jeff Thomson, president and CEO at Institute of Management Accountants.

“We recognise the need to encourage a culture of pervasive innovation for a vibrant economy to continue to thrive and with a more future-proofed workforce, it ensures that we remain competitive in the value we add.”



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