• As Employers Prepare for Upcoming Job Posting Requirements, New Exemptions Announced
  • July 19, 2014
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • The Ministry of Manpower has announced that when new advertising requirements take effect August 1, 2014 under the Fair Consideration Framework (FCF), intracompany transferees (ICTs) and individuals on assignments of one month or less will be exempt. The Ministry also recently announced special requirements for employers with graduate recruitment programs.

    Under the FCF, employers must advertise job vacancies on an official job bank administered by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency for at least 14 days before they can file an employment pass application. The Ministry recently clarified that the following information should be included in the job advertisement: job title, closing date, skills, qualifications, experience, and salary range. Employers are also encouraged to provide a good indication of the salary range that they are prepared to offer.

    If the employer does not select a Singapore national for the position, the employer may hire a foreign national but must ensure that the employment pass application is filed within the three months following the job posting’s closing date.

    Exemption for ICTs

    The job posting requirement will not apply to jobs to be filled by foreign nationals who meet the definition of intra-corporate transferees under free trade agreements to which Singapore is a party, such as the World Trade Organization (WTO)’s General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS).

    In practice, this means a candidate must:

    • Hold a senior position (manager or executive) in the organization or have an advanced level of expertise (specialist);
    • Have worked for the company outside Singapore for a period of not less than one year before being posted to the branch, affiliate or subsidiary in Singapore; and
    • Plan on being issued an initial employment pass for three years, which may be extended for up to two years, for a total term not exceeding five years.

    In the employment pass application, sponsoring companies must declare that the applicant has met the one-year foreign employment requirement before being posted to the branch, affiliate or subsidiary in Singapore. Sponsors must also submit documents to establish that the applicant meets the definition of an ICT, such as the organizational chart of the company in Singapore and the applicant’s position in it. Where the applicant is a specialist, the job description should show that the applicant possesses knowledge at an advanced level of expertise.

    Exemption for Assignments of Up to One Month

    Companies sponsoring foreign staff for temporary deployments or to address short-term contingencies may also apply for employment passes without having to meet the advertising requirement. The duration of the assignment must not be more than one month. Employment passes obtained under this exemption are not renewable, and the holder may not apply for a new employment pass for a period of three months after the expiry of the previous pass.

    Special Requirements for Graduate Recruitment Programs

    Employers who recruit undergraduates at local and overseas universities prior to graduation will be allowed to use job advertisements on the official job bank up to two years before the date of the employment pass application. Job postings are generally only valid for up three months. To do so, employers will be required to:

    • State clearly in the job posting that the search is for suitable candidates to fill future positions;
    • Submit the employment pass application for a new graduate within six months from the date of completion of degree; and
    • Take part in recruitment exercises at one of the local autonomous universities in the same year the job advertisement is posted, by either participating in campus career fairs or posting on the university’s job portal.

    These employers are also required to keep records for the foreign employee’s first two years of employment and furnish these to the Ministry on request.

    More information on the new exemptions, as well as other updates on the FCF may be found on the Ministry’s website.

    What This Means for Employers

    From August 1, employers submitting employment pass applications (including for employment pass holders who are changing employers) are required to show that they have advertised for the position on the official job bank. Applications submitted before the close of the 14-day advertising period will not be allowed to proceed.

    Employers seeking an exemption from the advertising requirement must be mindful of the conditions attached to each exemption. Companies with graduate recruitment programs should be mindful of the special requirements for these candidates.