MORE than 95,000 employers in Singapore will receive over S$450 million in payouts by the end of this month under the Wage Credit Scheme (WCS), the Ministry of Finance (MOF) and the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) announced in a joint statement on Thursday.
"The Wage Credit Scheme co-funds wage increases given by employers to Singaporean workers. This is one way the government supports businesses which are able to innovate and increase the productivity of their workforce — a win-win-win for workers, businesses and Singapore," Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said in a Facebook post on Thursday morning.
"Even as the Covid-19 situation evolves, our priorities remain the same — to keep our workers employed and help viable businesses stay afloat. I strongly urge employers to make full use of the support available and hold on to your workers," he added.
Through the WCS payouts in June 2020, the government will co-fund 20 per cent of qualifying wage increases given in 2019, 2018 and 2017 to more than 800,000 Singaporean employees earning a gross monthly wage of up to S$5,000.
This comes after Mr Heng announced in Budget 2020 that the WCS would be enhanced to benefit more Singaporeans.
The government's co-funding levels for qualifying wage increases in 2019 and 2020 were raised by five percentage points to 20 per cent and 15 per cent respectively. In addition, the gross monthly wage ceiling was raised to S$5,000 from S$4,000 for both years, which enabled more to qualify for the wage credit, MOF and IRAS said.
Employers eligible for the Budget 2020 enhancements will receive the supplementary payouts in June. They do not need to apply to receive the WCS payouts and eligible employers will receive letters from IRAS by June 30 informing them of their payout amount.
In line with Singapore's Smart Nation efforts, IRAS has adopted digital payment modes for WCS payouts, and will no longer issue cheques, MOF and IRAS said.
As such, the payouts will be credited directly to employers' registered bank accounts through PayNow Corporate or Giro. Employers can sign up for PayNow Corporate by linking their company's Unique Entity Number to their bank account via Internet banking.
Appeals regarding WCS payouts must be submitted to IRAS by Aug 31, and will be considered on a case-by-case basis, MOF and IRAS said.