Singapore boosts local qualifying salary by $200 to $1,600

Hourly rate also increases by $1.50

Singapore boosts local qualifying salary by $200 to $1,600

Singapore has raised the local qualifying salary from $1,400 to $1,600 per month in 2024. The hourly rate has also been increased from $9 to $10.50 per hour, according to Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong in his 2024 budget statement.

The number of local workers paid the LQS is used to determine the firm’s foreign worker quota entitlement. The LQS is regularly reviewed to keep pace with wage growth, to continue to uplift lower-wage workers and maintain foreign workforce controls, according to the budget statement.

As part of the government’s Progressive Wages moves, firms hiring foreign workers are required to pay all local workers at least the LQS, as of July 1, 2024. The foreign worker quota computation will correspondingly be adjusted with the new LQS to one local workforce count per local worker who is paid at least $1,600 per month, or 0.5 local workforce count per local worker who is paid at least $800 but less than $1,600 per month.

Uplifting lower-wage workers

Alongside increases to the local qualifying salary, the budget statement also outlined adjustments to the Workfare Income Supplement Scheme and the Progressive Wage Credit Scheme (PWCS).  

As of January 1, 2025, the qualifying monthly wage cap will be raised from $2,500 to $3,000, with the higher cap also applying to the Workfare Skills Support scheme. Additionally, Workfare payments will increase from $4,200 to up to $4,900 per year for eligible employees. Older workers and those with disabilities will continue to receive the highest payments, while the payments for self-employed individuals are set at two-thirds of the payments for employees and will be correspondingly increased.

Maximum Annual Workfare Payments for Employees:

Age Band

Before Enhancement

(For Work Done from Jan 1, 2023, to Dec 31, 2024.)

After Enhancement

(For Work Done from Jan 1,

2025.)

30-34

$2,100

$2,450

35-44

$3,000

$3,500

45-59

$3,600

$4,200

60 & above

$4,200

$4,900

60 & above

$4,200

$4,900

PWCS co-funding support will also be enhanced for wage increases given in qualifying year 2024, with the enhanced co-funding support will also applying to wage increases given in qualifying year 2023 that are sustained in 2024. For 2025 and 2026, the gross monthly wage ceiling for PWCS co-funding will be increased from $2,500 to $3,000.

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