Jobs Support Scheme: An Overview

What is the Jobs Support Scheme, and how can it help your company? We explain.

The Jobs Support Scheme (JSS), launched on 18 February 2020 by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat during Budget 2020, is intended to help companies keep their employees during this downturn.

Since its inception, the scheme has undergone revisions and extensions to better support companies during this time. Hence, we present an updated rundown of the JSS and what it entails.

What is the JSS?

The JSS operates by providing wage support to employers so that they can retain their local employees (Singaporean Citizens and Permanent Residents). Under the JSS, the Government co-funds between 25% to 75% of the first $4,600 of gross monthly wages paid to each local employee in a 10-month period (up to Aug 2020) and 10% to 50% of the same in the subsequent 7-month period (Sep 2020 to Mar 2021).

The subsidies are calculated based on a percentage of employees’ monthly wages. However, employers can allocate the subsidies of their businesses as necessary to keep their companies running and retain local employees.

How do I qualify for the JSS?

Generally, all employers who have made mandatory Central Provident Fund (CPF) contributions for their local employees (Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents) will qualify for the payout. However, employers should confirm with Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) if their company qualifies for the payouts.

Exceptions include:

  1. Local Government Agencies including Organs of State, Ministries and Departments, Statutory Boards
  2. Government and Government-Aided Schools
  3. PA Services and Grassroot Units
  4. High Commissions, Embassies, Trade Offices, Consulate
  5. Unregistered Local/Foreign Entities
  6. Foreign Military Units
  7. Representative offices of:
    1. Foreign companies
    2. Foreign Government Agencies
    3. Foreign Trade Associations/ Foreign Chambers/ Foreign Non-profit Organisations
    4. Foreign Law Practices
  8. Bank Representative Offices/Insurance Representative Officers/Other Financial Representative Offices (registered with MAS)
  9. News Bureaus (which are representative offices)
  10. International Organisations
  11. Entities which pay CPF but are not registered in Singapore

*Information on exceptions from IRAS website

How do I sign up for the JSS?

It is not required to sign-up for the JSS to receive payouts. IRAS notifies eligible employers by post of the tier of support and the amount of JSS payout payable to them. Employers are also advised to keep track of the payouts and report any discrepancies.

When are the JSS payouts due?

To date, the payouts in April and July have been successfully credited to eligible companies. There are more payouts scheduled in March 2021 and June 2021, with an additional special payout in May 2021. This brings the total wage support under the JSS to 17 months for most sectors.

The amount of payout and level of support each employer receives depends on what sector the company operates in. The level and duration of support each employer receives depends on the sector in which the employer operates.

How is the payout computed?

In addition to the general calculation above, employers receive different base tiers of support depending on the sector they operate in. Please refer to the image below:

*Image from IRAS website.

Tier 1 sectors include Aviation, Aerospace, and Tourism, and receive 50% in wage support from September 2020 to March 2021.

Tier 2 sectors include Food Services, Retail, Marine & Offshore, and others, and receive 30% in wage support from September 2020 to March 2021.

Tier 3 sectors are sub-divided into Tier 3A and Tier 3B.  Tier 3B comprises biomedical sciences, precision engineering, electronics, financial services, information and communications technology, media, postal and courier, online retail, and supermarkets and convenience stores. These sectors have been managing well, and are less affected by COVID-19 than most other sectors. As such, JSS support will be provided to cover up to Dec 2020 wages.

IRAS Website
Gobusiness Covid
Specific Industry Tiers and SSIC Codes