What is the Absentee Payroll Singapore Utilizes? How to Apply and Claim

Your workforce is the heart of every operation, so prioritizing the team’s education, training, and well-being is essential for fostering a highly engaged and profitable employee base. Adopt this mentality and you’ll witness higher motivation, productivity, and efficiency throughout your workforce.

The data agrees, a study done by Zippa found 92% of employees state that well-planned training programs boost their engagement levels, and companies with comprehensive training programs have 218% higher income per employee.

While the benefits of investing in continuous learning are evident, they do require a dedicated budget that isn’t always readily available for HR teams. That’s where programs like the absentee payroll Singapore offers can be helpful to boost learning initiatives for your organization.

What exactly is the absentee payroll Singapore administered initiative? Let’s explore the ins and outs of the grant, and walk through how to apply and claim to benefit your workforce.

What Is Absentee Payroll?

The absentee payroll (AP) is a grant that the Singapore Workforce Development Agency issues. The goal is to partially cover the manpower cost of sending employees for training or workshops.

In other words, this is the Singaporean Government’s way of incentivizing business owners to give their employees certifiable skills training, making them more skilled and informed in their fields.

But that isn’t all. The Government also formed two statutory boards, the SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) and Workforce Singapore (WSG), to work under the Ministry of Education. Their mission is to lead a nationwide initiative of holistic lifelong learning via training and education.

Determining Your Absentee Payroll Singapore Eligibility

When it comes to the absentee payroll Singapore offers, the eligibility criteria is an essential to understand. Let’s take a look at who exactly is eligible to take advantage of the absentee payroll benefit in Singapore.

Who is Eligible?

In order to be eligible for absentee payroll Singapore funding, the applicant company must meet the following criteria:

  • Company must be registered or incorporated in Singapore;
  • Trainees must be fully sponsored by their employer for supportable cost components (such as course fees) incurred on the training course;

Trainees must:

  • be full-time or permanent part-time employees of the sponsoring company
  • continue to receive their salary when they attend training
  • have achieved at least 75% attendance
  • have sat for and passed the examinations/ assessments where applicable
  • complete the course whilst under employment of the sponsoring company.
  • Trainees must be paid overtime pay in accordance with the employer’s HR policy (for training outside working hours)
  • Non-business entities not registered with ACRA, such as VWOs and societies, as well as sole proprietorships, are also eligible if they meet all the above criteria.

Government Skills Training Support Classifications

Understand the distinctions between various training fundings of the absentee payroll Singapore offers to assess how much money you can claim.

Course Fee Funding

This baseline course fee funding sponsors your employees for training courses. It pays up to 70% of the fees for courses that SSG-appointed Continuing Education and Training (CET) centers offer or up to 50% of the fees for certifiable courses approved by SSG.

Now, who can claim this classification of the absentee payroll? :

  • Singapore citizens, permanent residents, and LTVP+ holders
  • Sole proprietors who meet the general eligibility criteria
  • Non-profit organization unregistered with ACRA (like Voluntary Welfare Organizations (VWOs))

Enhanced Training Support for Small and Medium Enterprises (ETSS)

This enhanced subsidy offers you an additional 20% (to the baseline course fee subsidies), which amounts to up to 90% of the course fee.

Organizations that meet the following criteria are eligible to claim ETSS:

  • Small to medium enterprises (SME) containing a Singapore citizen or resident who owns no less than 30% of the local shareholding
  • Your workforce is up to 200 individuals, or your annual sales are up to 100 million Singapore dollars
  • Sole proprietors who meet the general eligibility criteria
  • Non-business entities not registered with ACRA

SkillsFuture Mid-Career Enhanced Subsidy (MCES)

If you’re unsure what to do about disengaged employees in their mid-careers, this subsidy allows you to hone their skills and address performance gaps.

With this classification of the absentee payroll, Singapore governmental organizations pay you 20% over the baseline course fee subsidies (that’s up to 90% of course fees!) To qualify, your company and employees in question must meet the following criteria:

  • Sole proprietors meet the general eligibility criteria for the baseline absentee payroll course funding
  • The employees in question are 40 years old or over

Absentee Payroll (AP) Funding

This grant is fixed, giving you $4.50SGD per hour of SSG-funded training, with an annual maximum of $100,000 per organization. You can claim AP funding if your organization/team is/are:

  • Sole proprietors who meet the general eligibility criteria for the baseline absentee payroll course funding (listed above)
  • Non-business entities not registered with ACRA
  • Not full-time national serviceman

Absentee Payroll Singapore Sign Up in 3 Steps

Signing up for AP funding can be achieved in 3 simple steps.

Step 1: Sign Up for Corporate Paynow [First-Time Applicants]

If you don’t already have one, click on your bank’s name to get Paynow, a secure funds transfer service. It’s key to receiving the absentee payroll Singapore grants.

If you can’t find your bank in the list, contact your bank’s customer service to inquire about setting up a Corporate Paynow account.

Step 2: Enable Corp Pass Access (First Time Applicants)

Follow the instructions below to enable Corp Pass access.

  • Go to www.corppass.gov.sg
  • Click on ‘Select Entity’s E-Services’
  • Type ‘SSG’ in the search box
  • Check the box next to the service
  • Click ‘Next’
  • Tap ‘Submit’
  • Click ‘Assign Selected E-Services’
  • Check the box next to your name
  • Tap ‘Next’
  • Check the box next to the E-service
  • Tap ‘Next’
  • Select ‘EPJS Enterprise User’
  • Add the date of the day under ‘Authorization Expiry Date’
  • Click ‘Next’
  • Tap ‘Submit’

Step 3: Make an Absentee Payroll Singapore Declaration

It’s critical to ensure that all information on your AP declaration is accurate and without error, as you are unable to edit your application once it’s submitted. For any amendments post submission, contact SSG via the feedback portal at https://portal.ssg-wsg.gov.sg/feedback.

  • Visit https://www.enterprisejobskills.gov.sg/
  • Tap ‘Digital Services’ in the top right-hand corner
  • Select ‘CLICK HERE’ under ‘Absentee Payroll (AP) Funding’
  • Click on ‘login’ under ‘For Enterprises’
  • Add your information, which is your UEN/Entity ID, Corp Pass ID, and password
  • Check the ‘Remember Entity ID’ box
  • Select ‘Login’
  • Choose ‘AP Funding’
  • Update your corporate Paynow account
  • Make sure your Paynow UEN is updated. This way, your company can receive the subsidy.
  • Choose the course name under ‘Course Title’
  • To begin your AP declaration, choose the course name under ‘Course Title’
  • Enter the monthly salary of the employee; ensure that it’s the correct amount
  • Complete the declaration, and make sure the data is correct
  • Click ‘Submit’
  • Close the pop-up window by clicking ‘OK’

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The absentee payroll Singapore subsidy makes investing in your employees more affordable and attainable than ever, helping you develop the skills of your employees and deepening engagement along the way.

Looking for additional resources to improve your HR practices and employee experience? Leveraging technology such as AI tools for HR can decrease administrative tasks, improve the accuracy and security of essential HR functions such as payroll and employee records management, and streamline your employee’s access to the benefits that keep them engaged.

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With Omni, you not only get the convenience of automation but also the peace of mind that comes with a solution designed to meet the specific needs of your business. Ready to take advantage of the convenience, efficiency and reliability of automated payroll? Book a demo with our team today to learn more.

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