More income relief for lower-wage workers during Covid-19 crisis, says Zaqy Mohamad

07 Apr 2020 < 1 min read

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Half the workforce will get help from the Short-Term Relief Fund during the coronavirus pandemic.

Announcing the increased support in Parliament in the debate over the supplementary budget, Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad said that since April 1, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has increased this support from up to one month’s salary, currently capped at $1,000, to up to two months’ salary, capped at $4,600, depending on the worker’s income.

This enhancement will last until the end of the year, when it will be reviewed further.

As for the Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme, Mr Zaqy said that MOM will use Workfare criteria as a starting point, to ensure that the relief go first to self-employed people who are most in need.

MOM is now working with NTUC to provide details on how to apply and file an appeal and hopes to provide these soon, he added.

Firms implementing flexi-work amid Covid-19 can apply for MOM grant

Starting from April 20, companies implementing telecommuting and staggered work hours amid stricter restrictions to tackle Covid-19 can apply for government funding to purchase equipment for telecommuting.

Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Manpower Low Yen Ling said that companies will only need to have their workers on flexi-work arrangements for one month, instead of six months, in order to qualify for the Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM) existing Work-Life Grant. The grant provides $2,000 for every worker on flexi-work.

Ms Low told Parliament that the lower requirements will apply after the mandatory “circuit breaker” period ends.

Ms Low said the Work-Life Grant provides funds for the purchase of laptops, software and related equipment for telecommuting.