How Singapore’s Jobs Support Scheme Alleviates Your Business’s Covid-19 Pressures
First introduced under the Stabilisation and Support Package of Singapore’s Budget 2020, the Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) has been extended up to Sep 2021 to cover the hardest-hit industries. Support measures have also been enhanced to greater support businesses during the Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) [P2(HA)] period.
The JSS was designed to improve assurance and support to workers and businesses most affected by the COVID-19 crisis in this time of economic uncertainty. The initiative will provide cash flow support to local businesses, incentivise companies to retain local workers, and encourage firms to share productivity gains with its employees.
Under the Scheme, the Government will subsidise a percentage of the first $4,600 of gross monthly wages paid to local employees. The JSS payouts are intended to compensate and protect employee wages. The wage support scheme has three tiers as follows:
**Firms in the built environment such as construction companies will receive 75% wage support for wages paid from June to September 2020 only. Thereafter, they will receive up to 50% (Tier 2) wage support instead.
Below shows the computation of JSS payout for employees from three tiers and three different wage rates:
Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) FAQs
Who are qualified for JSS?
All employers (not in the Employer Exclusion List^) who made CPF contributions for local (Singaporean and PR) employees will qualify for the payout. Local shareholders and directors earning wages with mandatory CPF contributions are also qualified for the payout. However, business owners (sole proprietors or partners in partnership businesses) earning wages or trading in their personal capacity are not eligible for the payout.
Firms and businesses that cannot resume operations on June 2, 2020 are also eligible for the payout. To help the business, the government will provide 75% wage support until August 2020 or when they are allowed to operate, whichever comes first. Businesses under this category include gyms, cinemas, retail outlets, and recreational centres.
UPDATED: Under the P2(HA) enhanced JSS measures, businesses required to suspend many, if not all of their operations, will also receive JSS support of 50% for the period from 16 May 2021 to 13 June 2021. This applies to affected gyms, fitness studios, performing arts organisations, and arts education centres.
Certain sectors not required to suspend operations but are considerably affected by the tightened measures, like retail, cinemas and family entertainment centres, will also enjoy enhanced JSS support of 30% from 16 May 2021 to 13 June 2021.
Other businesses significantly affected by the tightened measures in P2(HA) may also appeal for enhanced JSS support at go.gov.sg/jss.
^ Employer Exclusion List
- Local government agencies including ministries and departments, organs of state, and statutory boards
- PA services and grassroot units
- Government and government-aided schools
- High commissions, trade offices, embassies, consulate
- Foreign military units
- Unregistered local/foreign entities
- Representative offices of foreign companies, foreign trade associations, foreign non-profit organisations, foreign chambers, foreign government agencies, and foreign law practices
- Bank representative offices, insurance representative offices and other financial representative offices registered with MAS (Monetary Authority of Singapore)
- News bureaus
- International organisations
- Entities paying CPF but are not registered in Singapore
How to apply for JSS payout?
Employers do not need to apply for the JSS payout. All employers (not in the Employer Exclusion List) who made CPF contributions for local employees will automatically qualify and will be notified of the support tier they qualify for and the amount they will receive. Businesses with CorpPass access can check their notification emails through the IRAS’s myTax Portal.
How will employers receive the payout?
JSS payouts will be credited through the following modes in order of priority:
- Credited to the employers’ GIRO bank account used for Income Tax or GST;
- For those without GIRO accounts, the JSS payout will be credited to their registered PayNow Corporate bank account
- Otherwise, the JSS payout will be made by cheque.
Employers who are still not using GIRO or PayNow Corporate are encouraged to sign up for these modes to receive their JSS payouts faster.
When are the scheduled payouts?
Employers would have received the JSS payouts in April, July, and October 2020. A special payout was released in May 2020 to support businesses during the circuit breaker by providing support in advance. Eligible sectors will also receive subsequent payouts in March, June, September and December 2021.