Singapore labour regulation softens in light of the Covid-19 pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic gave rise to border closures in a number of parts of the world, and this resulted in shortages of labour where labour is typically accessed from across the border. This has been evident in Singapore, so Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower has decided to implement a temporary easing of regulations restricting renewals of work permits for certain business sectors. 

These sectors include building and construction, maritime shipyards and the process industries. Accordingly, a worker holding a work permit which will expire between July and December this year can now renew his or her permit for two years, notwithstanding that they are unable to satisfy the usual criteria for renewal. This will include criteria such as caps on the term of employment, or on the age of the relevant employee.

Where an employment pass holder is unable to enter Singapore because of a border restriction brought about by the pandemic, he or she will be given approval in-principle for the extension of their work permit for a period of up to one year.

The relaxation of labour regulation also includes the waiver of the minimum work experience requirement for a range of countries in the Asia Pacific region, including the PRC, the Philippines, Thailand, Myanmar, India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

This post is for information purposes only, and is not intended to constitute legal advice. For legal advice on this or any other related matter, contact

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