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Foreign Worker Levy (FWL)

The Foreign Worker Levy (FWL) is a pricing control mechanism to regulate the demand of foreign workers (including foreign domestic workers) in Singapore.

An employer who employs any foreign worker under a Work Permit or Special Pass is required to pay the monthly FWL and Skills Development Levy (SDL) at the prevailing rate for his foreign workers. He is not required to pay CPF contributions for them.

However, if a foreign worker on the FWL Scheme is subsequently granted Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR) status; he will be placed on the CPF scheme. This will take effect from the day he is granted SPR status.

For more information on the levy rates, please visit www.mom.gov.sg.

Know when to pay FWL

The FWL for any month (e.g. January) is due and payable on the first day of the following month (e.g. 1st February). However, employers are given up to the 14th of the month (e.g. 14th February) to pay the FWL. If the 14th falls on a Saturday, Sunday or Public Holiday, the levy must be paid by the next working day.

For employers who are on FWL IBG payment, the levy deduction will be made on the 17th of the month. If the 17th falls on a Saturday, Sunday or Public Holiday, the levy will be deducted on the next working day.

FWL late payment penalty

A penalty of 2% per month or $20, whichever is higher will be charged for any late payment. The penalty is calculated from the first day of the month in which the levy is due (e.g. penalty for January’s levy will be calculated from 1 February). The maximum penalty is capped at 30% of the outstanding levy.

Payment for FWL

It is compulsory for all FWL employers to pay the levy by Inter-bank GIRO (IBG). If the levy is due before the bank approves the IBG application or the IBG deduction is unsuccessful, employers will have to make payment through any of the following modes:

Payment mode Information
NETS
    Payment using NETS can be made at any SingPost office together with a FWL Payment Advice (FWL 50A). You can also use NETS to pay your domestic foreign worker levy at any SAM machine.

    Payment by NETS is subject to the daily withdrawal limit set by your bank. A receipt will be issued for payment.
Cash
Cash Card
Cheque
    The cheque should be submitted with the FWL Payment Advice (FWL 50A).

    Cheques should be crossed and made payable to the CPF Board. The reverse side of each cheque should indicate: (i) ‘For FWL Payment’ (ii) CPF Submission Number (iii) Name of Employer (iv) Contact Number. Please note that the Board does not accept post-dated cheque.
Diners Club Credit Card/D-Pay (ATM Cards)
    Payment by Diners Club Credit Card/D-Pay (ATM cards) can be made at any AXS station.
eNETS (also known as Internet Banking)
    You can perform eNETS through the iFWLB website www.mom.gov.sg > Services and Forms > Internet Foreign Worker Levy Billing system (iFWLB). You would need your SingPass and an Internet Banking account with DBS, UOB, OCBC or Citibank. To obtain a SingPass, please visit www.singpass.gov.sg.

Work permit cancellation

The employer must return his worker’s work permit or S Pass to the Work Pass Division immediately for cancellation when the worker leaves his employment. If the employer fails to do so, levy has to be paid for the worker for as long as the work permit or S Pass remains valid. For more details, please contact MOM (Work Pass Division) or visit MOM website at www.mom.gov.sg.

Waiver of FWL

Employers may apply for waiver of the levy under these circumstances.

The foreign worker:

  • is on overseas leave# for at least 7 consecutive days
  • fails to return to Singapore after overseas leave
  • is on hospitalisation leave (applicable to hospitals in Singapore only)*
  • is under Police Custody or is housed at the Embassy/Voluntary Welfare Organisation (VWO)
  • has been granted Singapore Permanent Resident status
  • is on board a vessel which leaves Singapore ‘s port for at least 3 consecutive days (applicable to workers who are in the harbour craft industry only)
  • is serving National Service in his home country for 3 months (applicable to Malaysian workers only)
  • has passed away


# During the trip, the foreign worker shall not engage in any form of employment, whether paid or unpaid. The levy waiver for each foreign worker under this scenario is capped at 60 calendar days per year.

* The levy waiver for each foreign worker under this scenario is capped at 60 calendar days per year.

Employers may submit their levy waiver request via our Online Application service, or complete the Application Form (FWL 12) and mail it back to CPF Board. Please refer to the application form for more information on the supporting documents required. You will need your CPF Submission Number (CSN) to complete the form.

The application must be submitted within one year from the start month of the waiver period requested. For example, if the waiver period requested is from January 2014 (start month) to February 2014 (end month), the application must be submitted by 31 January 2015. The amount waived will be used to offset any future levy or refunded to the employer if he is no longer employing any foreign worker(s). The refund will be made to the GIRO bank account maintained with the Board or a cheque will be issued in the absence of one.

Please note that the application for waiver of levy for the current month can only be processed in the following month. For example, if you apply for waiver of levy for January 2013, your application can only be processed in February 2013.

Refund of FWL paid in excess

If the FWL was paid in excess/in error, employers may apply for refund of the excess amount, after clearing all outstanding levy/penalty.

Employers may submit their FWL refund request via our Online Application Service, or complete the Application Form (FWL 7) and mail it back to CPF Board. Please refer to the application form for more information on the supporting documents required. You will need your CPF Submission Number (CSN) to complete the form.

The application must be submitted to the Board within 1 year from the end of the month in which the levy was paid.

 Last Updated on: Monday, September 29, 2014 at 5:25 PM
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