2022 Appropriations Committee Debate, Day 3: Tan See Leng on Points-Based COMPASS for Employment Pass Applicants


Companies wishing to hire foreign professionals will soon have to meet the requirements of a new assessment framework, COMPASS. This is a points-based system that determines how suitable an Employment Pass (EP) holder is for Singapore’s workforce. Candidates must first reach the qualifying salary and score enough points to qualify for an EP. Manpower Minister Tan See Leng, who announced it to Parliament on Friday March 4, said it was a “significant change”. Companies would need enough time to adapt. Therefore, it will come into effect for new EP applications from September 1, 2023 and for renewal applications from September 1, 2024. Dr. Tan said COMPASS is designed to be balanced and reasonable. Employers will find the system industry-friendly and easier to navigate as it is a transparent, predictable and clear framework. It also recognizes efforts to build a strong local pipeline and maintain a diverse overseas workforce. For the local workforce, it will provide greater confidence that the PE holders here are of high caliber and will complement their teams better. Dr Tan said COMPASS will keep Singapore open to complementary talent for pioneering industries in the next stage of growth. He also highlighted several new measures aimed at strengthening Singapore’s core workforce. He said that with workers, unions, business and government on the same ship, he has no doubt that Singapore will continue its journey towards an “even brighter future”.


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