Tourism, aviation and aerospace sectors – worst-hit by the Covid-19 pandemic and resulting travel restrictions – will get a further six-month extension to the Singapore government’s Jobs Support Scheme (JSS).
In this programme, the government will cover part of the wages paid out by qualified companies, with subsidies ranging from 10 per cent to 30 per cent.
Payout for 30 per cent of wages paid from April to June 2021 will be issued in September, while another 10 per cent paid from July to September will come in December.
The wage support will apply to the first S$4,600 (US$3,476) of gross monthly wages paid to each Singaporean or permanent resident employee.
In addition, some schemes in support of career growth, training and attachment opportunities will also be extended.
The extended JSS is part of an S$11 billion COVID-19 Resilience Package announced for Budget 2021 this afternoon. It is also the fourth extension for the scheme since its introduction in February 2020.
Deputy prime minister Heng Swee Keat said the extended JSS will cost the government S$700 million, and adjustments will be made based on the projected recovery of the different sectors. Other sectors that qualify for the extended JSS include food services, retail, marine and offshore as well as arts and entertainment.
Since its launch, JSS has subsidised 25 to 75 per cent of wages paid for 10 months and supported over 150,000 employers for up to 17 months.
In all, JSS has cost the government more than S$25 billion.
Commenting on the latest JSS arrangements, Singapore Airlines (SIA) CEO Goh Choon Phong said the government measures, which include vaccination priority for the aviation industry, “will help to bolster the SIA Group’s plans to navigate the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, while remaining nimble and flexible to seize all opportunities as international routes re-open and travel sentiments improve”.
Goh added: “The initiatives will also help our employees to retain their knowledge and competencies, and acquire new skills if necessary, ensuring that they are future-ready during this critical period.”