Over 98,000 bosses will be getting S$940 million in Wage Credit Scheme (WCS) payouts by end of this month, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) and Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) said on Thursday (18 Mar).
The authorities said that the Government will co-fund 15 per cent of qualifying salary increases given in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 to over 800,000 Singaporean employees earning a gross monthly wage of up to S$5,000.
To receive the payouts, employers do not have to apply for them, and those eligible will get letters from IRAS by 31 March.
The letters will inform them of their payout amount, which will be credited directly to employers’ registered bank accounts via PayNow Corporate or GIRO.
The WCS was first introduced in 2013 and it co-funds salary increases to support business transformation efforts and urge sharing of productivity gains with workers. It was extended for another year in Budget 2021.
In a Facebook post, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said that WCS is “one of the ways to uplift our workers” as it “remains at the very centre of all that we (Government) do”.
“As we make every effort to cope with the pandemic, and continue to transform our economy and businesses, uplifting our workers remains at the very centre of all that we do.
“The Wage Credit Scheme (WCS) is one of the ways to uplift our workers, by supporting businesses to provide wage increases to Singaporean workers,” said Mr Heng, who is also Singapore’s Finance Minister.
He also noted that including the upcoming payouts, more than S$2 billion in wage credits have been given out during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last year, more than S$1 billion was disbursed to over 95,000 employers for salary increases in 2019, said MOF and IRAS.
In June 2020, a payout was made on top of the annual payout in March 2020.
“It is heartening that many employers, despite having to cope with the stresses and strains posed by the pandemic, are continuing to do their part to uplift their workers.
“These are uncertain times for many workers and businesses. I encourage employers to continue to make use of this and other schemes to redesign jobs and upskill their workers,” he said.
“By continuing to put the well-being of our workers at the heart of what we do, businesses will build stronger bonds with their workers, and emerge stronger together in a post-pandemic world,” said Mr Heng.
The authorities stressed that any appeals regarding the WCS payouts must be submitted to IRAs by 30 June this year.
Such appeals will be considered on a case-by-case basis.