SINGAPORE – Employers of non-Malaysian work permit holders can now share the costs of stay-home-notice (SHN) and related Covid-19 tests with the firm that hires the same worker within 12 months.

Announcing this on Friday (Nov 12), the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said such costs can be shared if the worker is transferred to another employer within 12 months of completing their SHN.

This is meant to benefit employers across all sectors, said MOM.

The move follows an earlier recommendation in September that employers who hire transferred migrant domestic workers share the cost of their SHN and related Covid-19 tests.

The amount of costs shared must not be higher than what the current employer had paid for.

Both the current and new employers must sign a written agreement, retain it for a year from the date of the agreement, and provide it to MOM upon request to show that they did not receive more than what they had paid for.

MOM said it recommends current employers of such workers to bear the costs proportionately to how long the work permit holder had worked for them during the 12 month period.

The ministry gave an example where employer A paid $1,800 for a worker’s SHN and Covid-19-related tests, and the worker works for employer A for six months before being transferred to employer B.

In this situation, if both employers agree to pro-rate the cost by the number of months worked, then employer A should bear $900 of the costs and claim the remaining $900 from employer B.

In another scenario, employer A paid $1,800 for the worker’s SHN and Covid-19-related tests. But this time, the worker worked for employer A for three months, was transferred to employer B for five months, and then employer C.

All three employers agreed to pro-rate the cost by the number of months worked.

In this case, said MOM, employer A should bear $450 of the costs for the three months the worker worked for him, and recover the remaining $1,350 from employer B.

After that, employer B should bear $750 in costs for the five months the worker worked for him, and recover the balance of $600 from employer C.

Those using the services of an employment agency for the transfer of the worker should get the agency to help facilitate the cost sharing, added MOM.

It added that the announcement does not apply to Malaysian work permit holders, as they are able to change employers without needing to obtain their employer’s consent.

Instead, employers of Malaysian work permit holders may wish to consider having employment terms such as a minimum employment period or notice period for terminations in employment contracts. These terms should be mutually agreed upon and reasonable in duration, said MOM.

“If the work permit holder breaches such employment terms, they will have to reimburse the employer the costs of SHN and related Covid-19 tests. The reimbursement can be partial or full, depending on their length of service,” said the ministry.

Last modified: November 12, 2021