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Workfare
 

Workfare is a key pillar of Singapore’s social security landscape to provide support for low-wage workers so they have the best chance to progress. In his Budget Statement, the Minister for Finance announced enhancements to the Workfare Income Supplement (WIS) scheme and the introduction of the Workfare Training Support (WTS) Scheme. With these changes, Workfare will be a holistic scheme that supplements the incomes and CPF savings of low-wage workers, encourages work, and enhances their skills and employability for the future.

Workfare Income Supplement Scheme

The Workfare Income Supplement (WIS) Scheme was introduced in 2007 to supplement wages, encourage older low-wage workers to work regularly and build up their CPF savings. For employees, a major component of WIS goes towards building up their CPF assets while a portion of WIS is paid in cash to help employees meet their immediate needs. For self-employed persons, WIS is paid into their CPF Medisave Account. Through its emphasis on rewarding work, WIS provides an income supplement to low-wage workers while preserving the work ethic.

 
The key enhancements to WIS which will take effect from 1 January 2010 are as follow:
 
i) The income threshold to qualify for WIS will be raised from $1,500 to $1,700 from 2010 onwards.
ii) WIS payment quantum is also increased. For example, the maximum WIS that a worker aged 60 and above can receive will also increase from $2,400 to $2,800.
 

For more information on the WIS enhancements, as well as general information on the scheme, please click here or call our hotline at 1800-222-6622 (Mon-Fri: 8am-6pm).

 

Workfare Training Support (WTS) Scheme

Besides supplementing income, Workfare will now also help low-wage workers train and upgrade so that they can earn more and move out of low-wage employment. The Workfare Training Support (WTS) Scheme aims to encourage employers to send their older low-wage workers for training, and workers to go for and complete training. The WTS will come into effect from 1 July 2010 and run for a period of three years. It will complement the WIS.

 

WTS comprises three components:

 
(i) An Employer Grant that provides 90% to 95% course fee subsidies and absentee payroll funding for employers who send their low-wage workers for training;
(ii) A Training Commitment Award of up to $400 a year for WIS recipients who complete the requisite training modules; and
(iii) Workfare-Skill Up to provide customised training programmes for low-skilled workers, especially those without secondary education. This covers all low-skilled workers regardless of their employment status.
 

For more information on the details of WTS, please click here or call the WTS hotline at 1800-536-8333 (Mon-Fri: 8.30am to 8pm, Sat: 8.30am to 1pm).

 Last Updated on: Thursday, June 30, 2011 at 5:48 PM
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