Jointly introduced by SBF and the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on 2 March 2020, SBF ManpowerConnect was set up as a temporary scheme to help companies in the manufacturing and services sectors to better manage their manpower needs in view of the COVID-19 situation by allowing companies in these sectors to hire existing Work Permit holders (WPHs) who are in Singapore, with the agreement of their current employers within their own sectors.
The temporary arrangement allowing transfers across sectors was discontinued from 1 March 2021, in view of the low demand for such transfers.
The process has been simplified from 1 June 2021, for the hiring of existing Work Permit (WP) holders with permits that are more than 20 days to expiry (with the current employer’s consent).
With this change, employers will no longer need to approach SBF when they want to hire workers whose WPs are more than 20 days to expiry (with the current employer’s consent).
For transfers where the permits are less than 21 days to expiry, employers can continue to approach SBF.
Role of SBF
SBF will help to connect employers who are looking to release their WPHs to those who are experiencing a shortage of manpower. Companies (i.e. both current and hiring employer) and the workers must mutually agree on a suitable transfer arrangement for the workers.
With SBF’s endorsement, MOM will allow the hiring employer to apply for a work permit for the existing WPH who is in Singapore. The hiring employer should apply when the worker’s work permit is still valid under the current employer. This service by SBF will be free of charge for the whole period of the temporary scheme till 31 August 2021.
For transfers of WPHs within their own business sectors with Work Permit more than 21 days to expiry (with current employer’s consent):
- The prospective employer will be able to submit work permit applications directly through Work Permit Online (WPOL);
- MOM will send an email or SMS to the current employer; and
- The current employer can confirm their consent through WPOL. If the current employer does not consent within 7 calendar days, MOM will reject the WP application.
For transfers of WPHs from 20 days to Work Permit expiry, agreement from the current employer must be obtained from 1 September 2020. This is to give the current employer sufficient time to make repatriation arrangements for their workers before the Work Permit expires, should the worker be unable to find another employer.
Hiring firms will be required to meet the prevailing Work Permit criteria under their respective sectors.
A. For Companies Looking to Release WPHs
Contact SBF ManpowerConnect and furnish workers' basic information including their years of experience, specific skills as well as the expected date of their release.
Forms to complete and submit:
- List of Workers to Release
- Sample Letter of Consent – Personal Data (Worker)
- Sample Letter of Consent – Personal Data (Employer)
B. For Companies Looking to Hire WPHs
Contact SBF ManpowerConnect and furnish their manpower requirements, including the sector and skills required of the workers.
If they find a suitable worker from the database of available WPHs, the hiring company should liaise directly with the worker’s current employer to obtain consent for the transfer of the worker's employment.
Forms to complete and submit:
- Request to Hire Workers
- Sample Letter of Consent – Transfer of Employment (upon successful connection with current employer) Note: This document should be endorsed by both current and hiring employers, as well as the worker.
What Happens After A Successful Connection?
The hiring company is required to submit to SBF the Letter of Consent, endorsed by the current employer to transfer the employment of its worker to the hiring company. Once the consent has been verified, SBF will inform both MOM and the hiring company, which can then proceed to submit a work permit application to MOM via Work Permit Online (WPOL) after three working days but no later than a month.
All prevailing work permit criteria as well as the current fee of $35 per work permit application will apply.
The releasing company does not need to cancel the work permit of their WPH. The work permit will be auto-cancelled once the hiring company issues the work permit for the worker.
Frequently Asked Questions
Click here to access a list of FAQs on SBF ManpowerConnect.
Contact SBF ManpowerConnect