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NTUC: Freelancers, We Will Help You

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 possibleI 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.  

Enhanced 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.

Training Up for the Future

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.”

WHAT IS SEP INCOME RELIEF SCHEME (SIRS)? HOW DO I APPLY?

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. 

Eligibility Criteria

  • Must be a Singaporean Citizen (SC) who: 
  • Started work as an SEP on or before 25 March 2020
  • Net Trade Income of $100,000 or less
  • Employment income must be not more than $2,300/month
  • Live in a property with an annual value of $21,000 or less (covers all public housing and some private properties)
  • Do not own two or more properties
  • For married SEPs, SEP and spouse together do not own two or more properties
  • Assessable Income of spouse is $70,000 or less

How to Apply

  • Eligible SEPs aged 37 (as at 31 Dec 2020) and above in 2020 who declared positive SEP income to IRAS or CPFB for Work Year 2018 will be notified of the payouts by letter and SMS. 
  • They will automatically receive the SIRS payouts via direct bank crediting or cheque. There is no need to apply.
  • Other eligible SEPs aged 21 (as at 31 Dec 2020) and above may apply.
  • SEPs who narrowly miss the eligibility criteria may submit appeals.
  • NTUC will administer SIRS applications and appeals, and announce more details soon.

Please look out for further announcements from NTUC on the applications and appeals process.

Click here for more details on the SIRS Enhancement.


06/04/2020 00:00:00

06/04/2030 00:00:00