NTUC will be stepping up efforts to help freelancers and Self-Employed Persons (SEPs) make appeals to the Government for their SEP Income Relief Scheme (SIRS) applications. This was announced by NTUC Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng in Parliament on Monday, 6 April 2020.
NTUC TO HANDLE APPLICATIONS AND APPEALS
NTUC will be stepping up efforts to help freelancers and Self-Employed Persons (SEPs) make appeals to the Government for their SEP Income Relief Scheme (SIRS) applications.
This was announced by NTUC Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng in Parliament on Monday, 6 April 2020.
The announcement follows feedback to the unions that some freelancers and SEP were disappointed that they do not meet the criteria for SIRS.
Mr Ng said: “We will try our best to push for inclusion and make this process as straightforward as possible. I know that many freelancers and self-employed are going through hard times and we will work to facilitate appeals starting 20 April.”
Whilst MOM is the owner of the SIRS programme, NTUC will be assisting to manage applications and appeals for SEPs who do not auto-qualify for SIRS.
During the same Parliamentary sitting, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat announced further enhancements to the SIRS, through the year’s second supplementary budget, also known as the Solidarity Budget.
Mr Heng stated: “First, I will extend SIRS to automatically include self-employed persons who also earn a small income from employment work.
“Second, I will raise the current Annual Value threshold from up to $13,000 to up to $21,000, to include those who live in some condominiums and other private properties.”
Mr Ng welcomed the enhancements, especially the broadening of the threshold to include more SEPs.
Though he applauded the Government’s Solidarity Budget efforts to supplement cash directly to Singaporeans, Mr Ng emphasised on the need to help Singaporeans with their jobs.
He said: “As the Labour Chief, I have vested interest in companies’ survival and success, because our workers can only succeed when companies succeed.”
Mr Ng hopes that employers will do their part to keep workers employed, making use of the support provided to send workers for training.
On NTUC’s end, he stated that the congress will continue to help in whatever way they can, helping to ensure workers are being fairly treated in this difficult time.
In his closing statement, Mr Ng stated: “COVID-19 is one of the biggest challenges we have faced to date.
“The Government, the Labour Movement and employers are working with Singaporeans, to overcome this together.”
Assistance Provided: 3 quarterly cash payouts of $3,000 each in May, Jul and Oct 2020 to support SEPs with less means and family support.
Please look out for further announcements from NTUC on the applications and appeals process.
Click here for more details on the SIRS Enhancement.