Singapore Job Support Scheme: Over $28.1 billion disbursed since Febuary 2020

  • April 20, 2022

1. From 31 March 2022, over 19,500 companies will receive final JSS payouts totalling more than $145 million under the Jobs Sustain Scheme (JSS) to support the wages of over 289,500 local employees. These employers work in industries such as food services, which were impacted by safe management measures implemented in the second half of 2021.

2. With this payment, more than $28.1 billion in JSS subsidies will have been distributed since the scheme’s inception in the Unity Budget in February 2020. During the epidemic, the JSS provided salary support to firms and assisted them in retaining local staff. From March to December 2020, the JSS is predicted to have saved 165,000 local employment and supported local wages.

3. The March 2022 payment will cover wages from November to December 2021 (for more information, see Annex A Announced JSS support from November to December 2021, PDF, 13KB). Employers who made mandatory CPF payments for their local employees by the deadlines in November and December 2021 will be eligible for the award. The amount of the reimbursement will be mailed to eligible companies later this month. They can also view an electronic copy of their letter by logging onto myTax Portal.

Payment of Enhanced JSS for the Food Services Sector    

4. Employers must be in the specified sectors to qualify for the increased JSS. The company must have a valid Singapore Food Agency (SFA) food license for the food services industry and be registered under the Singapore Standard Industrial Classification (SSIC) codes 56 or 68104. (meaning they are registered as food services operators, including food courts, coffee shops, and canteens).

5. Enterprise Singapore (ESG) and the Ministry of Finance had already extended the improved JSS to several firms having valid SFA licenses but no SSIC numbers. Based on previous experience, this was based on the presumption that these firms were stallholders providing food services and should qualify for the JSS even without the required SSIC codes. At the time, IRAS had continued with the payments to ensure that money was disbursed to all affected companies as soon as possible. However, in January 2022, IRAS discovered that the assumption was false for 38 such groups, including unions, clubs, associations, and religious organizations. These entities hold a food license (for example, to operate a small canteen), but they are not in the food services business. As a result, these 38 entities are receiving incorrect JSS payments. All 38 entities have been notified and have agreed to reimburse the $32.2 million overpayments.

6. There may also be cases where a company does not have the required SSIC codes and hence does not get JSS payments but derives most of its income from food services. Some of these could be enterprises that began in another industry and then transitioned to food services but have not changed their SSIC codes with Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority. Companies can file an appeal in such circumstances, and IRAS have reviewed such requests on a case-by-case basis.

Employers Who Use PayNow Corporate Or GIRO Will Receive Their Payments Sooner.

7. Employers who have registered for PayNow Corporate as of 27 March 2022 or have current GIRO arrangements with IRAS can expect JSS payouts to begin on 31 March 2022. Other employers will begin receiving payments on 22 April 2022.

Mandatory CPF contributions are being reconsidered, as are consequences for exploiting the JSS.

8. It is critical that companies contribute the appropriate amount of CPF to their employees based on actual salaries earned. The amount of JSS payout is determined by the amount of CPF contributions made by employers.

9. To ensure that reimbursements are distributed fairly and appropriately, about $5 million in March 2022 rewards have been withheld from 292 employers pending their assessment and submission of supporting papers to IRAS to confirm their eligibility. Employers will be paid once IRAS has validated the legitimacy and correctness of their provided information. Their rewards will be modified or denied if problems are discovered throughout the review.

10. The penalties for attempting to exploit the JSS are severe. In addition to having their JSS payments withheld, offenders can be charged under Section 420 of the Penal Code, resulting in up to ten years in prison and a fine.

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