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Navigating the New Norm: Key Changes to Construction Sector Requirements from January 2024

Are you employing migrant workers in your construction company? If so, you must meet specific requirements for their source region, country, levy, and quota. You also need to stay up-to-date with the Ministry of Manpower’s requirements to ensure compliance.


Having an HRMS like Adaptive Pay can help simplify how you manage your new and existing employees. Our all-in-one HR software in Singapore will keep you productive and streamline your operations as it lets you work anytime, anywhere.


In this blog, we will share some key changes to requirements in the construction sector for hiring migrant workers. You’ll also learn how our comprehensive HRMS platform can help you stay compliant with these new norms.


Who’s eligible?


You’re only allowed to hire migrant workers who can satisfy the conditions for (1) source regions or countries, (2) maximum period of employment, and (3) age when applying. Here are the basics to take note of.


Source regions or countries


You can hire migrant workers from:

  • People’s Republic of China

  • Malaysia

  • Non-traditional sources or NTS (India, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh)

  • North Asian sources or NSA: Macau, Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong


Age when applying

All non-domestic migrant workers must be at least 18 years old when applying. For work permits, Malaysian workers must be under 58 years old, and non-Malaysian workers must be under 50 years. 


Maximum employment period

In the construction sector, the maximum employment period for Work Permit holders varies by nationality and skill level:

  • Basic Skilled Workers (R2) from North & South Asia (NTS) and People's Republic of China (PRC): 14 years

  • Higher-Skilled Workers (R1) or Upgraded Workers from NTS and PRC: 26 years

  • Workers from Non-Traditional Source Countries (NAS) and Malaysia: No maximum period


Important Note: Regardless of nationality or skill level, all workers in Singapore can only be employed up to the age of 60.


Quota and levy


If your company has project contracts or tenders called on or before February 18, 2022, you can use the MYE (man-year entitlement) quotas to hire workers from North & South Asia (NTS) or the People's Republic of China (PRC).

This allows you to employ these workers until December 31, 2024, or the project's completion date, whichever comes first.


If your contracts were tendered or awarded after February 18, 2022, you don't need prior approvals (PAs) or MYEs to hire PRC or NTS workers. You can hire them directly as long as it falls within your allocated quota.


All Work Permit holders are subject to a levy, which is a fee paid to the government.

The quota for construction companies is based on a dependency ratio. This means you can employ a certain number of Work Permit holders (typically 5) for every local employee earning a minimum salary (local qualifying salary).


The levy rate as of January 1, 2024 is:

  • $500 (Monthly) and $16.44 (Daily) for NTS (Higher-Skilled)

  • $900 or $29.59 for NTS (Basic-skilled)

  • $300 or $9.87 for Malaysia, PRC, NAS (Higher-Skilled)

  • $700 or $23.02 for Malaysia, PRC, NAS (Basic-Skilled)

  • $250 or 8.22 for Off-site construction (Higher-skilled)

  • $370 or $12.17 for Off-site construction (Basic-skilled)

If your company has project contracts with the tender called or awarded on or before February 18, 2022, you can apply awarded MYE quotes to employ NTS workers at reduced levy rates:

  • $300 (Monthly) or $9.87 (Daily) for NTS – Higher-skilled (Up to December 31, 2024, or project completion date, whichever comes first)

  • $400 (Monthly) or $16.44 (Daily) for NTS – Higher-skilled (From the project completion date or January 1, 2025, whichever is earlier)

  • $700 (Monthly) or $23.02 (Daily) for NTS – Basic-skilled (From Project Completion Date or up to December 31, 2024, whichever is earlier)

  • $900 (Monthly) or $29.59 (Daily) for NTS – Basic-skilled (From January 1, 2025, or project completion date, whichever comes first).


Remember: This is a simplified overview, and specific regulations may change. It's recommended to consult the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) website for the latest details.


Calculating these rates will be easier when you have Adaptive Pay as your HRMS. Our HR software in Singapore is up-to-date with the MOM’s latest requirements for the construction sector in 2024 to ensure your compliance every time.


Try our HRMS today and see why it’s the best HR software in Singapore


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