Starting today (17 August), if you employ work pass holders who are Malaysians or Malaysia permanent residents (PRs) and who enter Singapore by land, you can now bring them in under the Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA) scheme. This is according to the Ministry of Manpower's latest update of the advisory for employers and employees travelling to and from COVID-19 affected areas.

Under the PCA scheme, Malaysians or Malaysia PRs with valid Singapore work passes should remain in Singapore for at least 90 days before returning to Malaysia for home leave.

The advisory stated that all other pass holders, including those on in-principle approval (IPA), Dependant’s Pass, Long Term Visit Pass and Letter of Consent (LOC), must continue to obtain MOM’s entry approval to enter Singapore.

Before requesting for MOM’s entry approval, employers must:

  1. Ensure they can fulfil the additional responsibilities to bring the pass holders in. This includes paying for their COVID-19 test and stay at the dedicated SHN facility, if applicable.
    • If the employer's work pass holders have dependants who are not employed (i.e. not issued a work pass, including LOC), they must fulfil their responsibilities towards their dependants.
  2. Use MOM's entry approval calculator to plan when to request for MOM’s entry approval. Requests received by 12pm are for arrivals within the next 30 days.
  3. Ensure there are available flights/transport and the pass holders can travel to Singapore on their planned arrival date before requesting for MOM’s entry approval.

Once MOM's approval has been obtained, employers should confirm the flight/transport for the employee immediately.

MOM's entry approval is needed for: 

  1. Work pass holders, including those with LOC. However, please note that those with LTVPs issued by ICA need to request for ICA’s entry approval, even if they have LOCs issued by MOM.
    • For the above individuals, the employer is required to request for MOM's entry approval.
  2. Dependant’s Pass (DP) or Long Term Visit Pass (LTVP)* holders who are not employed
    • For the above individuals, the local sponsor (i.e. employer of Employment Pass (EP) / S Pass holder) is required to request for MOM's entry approval.

Employers should note that the timeline for knowing the outcome of the entry approval request is as follows: 

  • If you submit the request from Monday to Friday, by 12pm, you will get the outcome on the same day.
  • If you submit the request from Monday to Friday, after 12pm, you will get the outcome on the next working day.
  • If you submit the request on weekends or public holidays, you will get the outcome on the next working day.

Employers of IPA holders must wait for the individuals to complete their Stay-Home Notice before getting their passes issued. Employers of EP, S Pass, DP or LTVP IPA holders with STVPs expiring within two weeks should request for an STVP extension.

While the validities of Work Permit holders' STVPs and IPAs will automatically be extended by two weeks. Employers should note that no letters will be issued for this extension.

In general, employers and employees should continue to be vigilant and adopt the following precautions where relevant:

  • Employers should defer all work-related travel plans and regularly check the Ministry of Health (MOH) website for the latest update on the COVID-19 situation.
  • Employers should remind employees of MOH’s travel advisory to defer all travel abroad and inform employees of the employers’ HR policies on the treatment of employees who travel abroad during this period, whether work-related or non-work related.
  • Employers should also obtain a health and travel declaration from their employees, on whether they have travelled overseas recently, or if they have any upcoming overseas travel plans.

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