Although Singapore has adjusted its reopening plans as it gradually returns to Phase 3 (Heightened Alert) as of 21 June 2021, many companies registered in Singapore were affected by the COVID-19 restrictions that were in place under Phase 2 (Heightened Alert).
However, the Singapore Government has introduced measures to help businesses cushion the impact of the pandemic, including more salary support for affected firms to retain employees, one-off payments for rental relief and individuals.
This is what you need to know.
Updates in Wage Subsidies
Under the Jobs Support Scheme (JSS), wage subsidies will be enhanced. This scheme helps support employers in salary for each local employee's first $4,600 of their gross monthly wages.
To offset and cushion local workers’ wages for sectors that have been affected by Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) measures, enhanced JSS support will be extended to the following sectors from 16 May to 25 Jul 2021:
|Sectors with enhanced JSS support||Support measures for Phase 2 and 3 (Heightened Alert) 14 Jun - 20 Jun||Enhanced JSS support for 21 Jun - 11 Jul||Enhanced JSS support for 12 Jul - 25 Jul|
|Sectors that were closed or sectors with further safe management measures implemented, including:
|Sectors that were significantly affected, including:
*Personal care services are allowed to resume their full operations from 14 Jun onwards, and are eligible for 30% enhanced JSS till 20 Jun and 10% from 21 to 31 Jun, before reverting to the original JSS scheme. In the event that there are no further changes, JSS support levels will resume with its original schedule from 26 July.
The payouts for these enhancements will be disbursed from September 2021. Since JSS payouts are meant to offset and safeguard local workers’ wages, employers who place local workers on compulsory no-pay leave or retrench them will not be eligible for the enhanced JSS payouts for those workers.
Updates in Rental Relief
Eligible Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as well as non-profit organisations (NPOs) will be granted one month of rental relief, applicable for those with an annual revenue of below $100 million which are tenant-occupiers of certain commercial properties.
Coffeeshop stall holders and hawkers who are tenants of government agencies will also receive a one-month rental waiver.
Privately-owned commercial properties can benefit from a new scheme known as the Rental Support Scheme, where the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) will disburse half a month of rental relief cash payout to eligible tenants.
Depending on the latest contractual gross rent between 14 May to 29 May, this payout will be handed out from mid August.
Property owners who operate an SME or NPO on their personal property can also qualify for the cash payout based on the property’s Annual Value (or part of) for Year 2021 as at 14 May 2021.
Most eligible owner-occupiers and tenants will get the cash payout automatically without having to submit an application. However, tenants who rent part of a property or a mixed-use property (i.e. shophouse for both residential and retail use) will not be handed the cash payout automatically. These businesses will have to apply through an application to IRAS with supporting documents, which can be done here.
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