PERSONALISED EMPLOYMENT PASS FOR FOREIGNERS CREATES FIERCER COMPETITION WITH LOCALS?

Get PEP in 15 days

According to the TR Emeritus article “An expat’s enquiry about PEP Work Pass” (Jun 5) – ”

I recently applied for and got my PEP (Personalised Employment Pass) approved. My intent is to stay in Singapore for the long-run and eventually apply for PR.

The timeframe to get my PEP was very fast, a little over 15 working days.”

 

PEPs competing with Singaporean PMETs?

In this connection, I googled and came across a very interesting article, from which I have reproduced some parts below.

“It states that “Starting next month (December 2012), foreign professionals applying for a personalised employment pass (PEP) – which among other things, allows them to stay here continuously for six months while being unemployed – will have to meet more stringent criteria that includes a minimum annual fixed salary of S$144,000, up four-fold from the existing S$34,000 a year.

The validity of PEPs – which are non-renewable – will also be reduced from five years to three years.

 

$34,000 – “a premium pass for top-tier foreign talent”

However, I would like to take issue with creating and letting in this category of foreign workers all these years – How can a yearly salary of just $34,000 be called “a premium pass for top-tier foreign talent”? This monthly salary of just $2,615 is only about what a fresh graduate from the three local universities earn when they graduate.

 

Cheaper, better, faster than PMETs?

So, is it any wonder that so many Singaporean Professionals, Managers, Engineers and Technicians (PMETs) have been struggling competing against such “low-pay premium foreign talents”, who may be more experienced and qualified. but willing to work for relatively much lower pay?

 

Work for even lower pay?

As to “Those who are not eligible under the revised PEP criteria can continue to work and live in Singapore on an Employment Pass or S Pass, subject to the prevailing assessment criteria,” she (MOM pokesman) added”, this may lead to even fiercer competition with Singaporeans, as some may accept as little as $2,000 under the S-Pass in order to remain in Singapore.

Consequently, it may become even harder for Singapoean PMETs to compete in a slowing economy.

 

Accept lower pay to stay in Singapore?

If you are an unemployed or under-employed PMET, I think you may face even harder times going forward, as some of the current 12,000 PEPs may be willing to and under pressure to work for lesser pay in order to remain in Singapore under an Employment Pass or S-Pass, as the 31 December, 2014 deadline approaches for them to qualify under PEP at an annual salary of $144,000 against the current $34,000.

In a sense, it is likely that the pressure for current PEPs to accept a much lower paying job may increase once the 31 December, 2014 passes, as they would then have only six months left to get a job to remain in Singapore.

 

Foreigners downgrading?

If we allow foreigners to downgrade from PEP to E-Pass to S-Pass or for that matter if it is allowed to Work Permit in order to continue to stay in Singapore, we may be making things worse for Singaporeans, particularly PMETs, as they may simply end up being willing to work for lesser pay.”

 

Win battles lose war

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