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Foreign Worker Levy (FWL) Rates for Various Sectors in Singapore

Updated: Jun 17, 2023

Foreign Worker Levy

Under the Foreign Worker Levy (FWL) system, employers in Singapore are subject to both quota restrictions and a monthly levy for each foreign worker they employ.

Foreign Worker Levy Rates

Quota

In Singapore, a quota system known as the dependency ratio ceiling (DRC) is implemented to regulate the employment of foreign workers in different sectors. The DRC sets a maximum limit on the ratio of foreign employees to the total workforce that a company operating in a specific sector can hire.


The purpose of the quota is to strike a balance between the employment of foreign workers and the employment opportunities available to local residents. It ensures that companies maintain a reasonable proportion of local workers in their workforce and helps manage the inflow of foreign labor in a controlled manner.


Foreign workers quota is determined by the number of local employees hired. Therefore, it is important for a company to provide accurate and timely declarations of the paid salaries and CPF contributions of local employees to ensure the correct calculation of quota.


In terms of counting local employees, the following criteria apply to Singaporean or Permanent Resident employees who are employed under a contract of service, including the company's director:


1. A Singaporean or Permanent Resident employee who earns at least the Local Qualifying Salary (LQS) of $1,400 per month is counted as one (1) local employee.


2. A Singaporean or Permanent Resident employee who earns at least half the Local Qualifying Salary (LQS) of $700 to below $1,400 per month is counted as 0.5 local employee.



Levy

The foreign worker levy, commonly referred to as the "levy," is a system in place to regulate the number of foreigners working in Singapore.


Employer are required to make monthly levy payments for each Work Permit holder they employ. The levy liability begins from the issuance date of the Temporary Work Permit or Work Permit, whichever is earlier, and it continues until the permit is cancelled or expires.



Levy Rate

The levy rate the employer are required to pay is determined by two main factors:


1. The qualifications of the worker:

Workers with higher academic or skills-based qualifications and certifications are considered higher-skilled, and they will be subject to a higher levy rate.


2. The number of Work Permit or S Pass holders employed:

The total number of Work Permit or S Pass holders the company have hired also affects the levy rate. Employers with a larger number of foreign workers may be subject to a different levy rate compared to those with fewer workers.



Foreign worker levy (FWL) rates for various sectors in Singapore are as follows:


1. Construction

Construction sector FWL rate

2. Manufacturing

Manufacturing sector FWL rate

3. Marine Shipyard

Marine sector FWL rate

4. Process

The process sector encompasses facilities involved in the production of petroleum, petrochemicals, specialty chemicals, and pharmaceutical products. This sector comprises plants and factories engaged in the manufacturing processes associated with these industries.

Process sector FWL rate

5. Service

Service sector FWL rate

Source: Ministry of Manpower (MOM)


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