The 1st of May is dedicated as May Day (or Labour Day) in Singapore, as a mark of solidarity among workers. As a designated public holiday, Labour Day is meant as a day set aside in honour of workers and their contributions to the country.
The annual May Day Rally speech was delivered by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on the May Day morning, at D’Marquee in Downtown East.
In his speech, PM Lee referenced the volatility of the global economic climate and provided insight on the local labour market and economic expectations for 2018. Businesses which are ready to leverage on the opportunities that new technology has to offer will be able to thrive in the new business environment. Local businesses should look ahead and be prepared for these changed. Multi-faceted renewal is also necessary.
This message culminated in the closing remarks of the May Day Rally. PM Lee called on the new generation of Singaporeans to renew Singapore by creating new possibilities and frontiers for the country – that is their responsibility for its era.
3 Key Highlights from the May Day Rally that You Need to Know:
2018 Economic forecast
Sustaining the momentum from 2017, economic growth for the whole year of 2018 is forecasted around 1.5% to 3.5%. Optimistically, growth of no less than 2.5% can be expected.
This follows from economic growth performance that exceeded expectations in 2017. 3.6% economic growth was recorded. A huge jump from the 1 to 2% previously forecasted. Productivity growth was also the highest recorded in 7 years, since rebounding from the Global Financial Crisis in 2009 to 2010.
Singapore’s vulnerability to external environment
What happens in the global environment will impact Singapore’s economy.
Brewing tensions between the major economic powers are clouding the global outlook. Citing the example of the US slapping duties on solar panels, steel and aluminium, and the Chinese following likewise on synthetic rubber products, Singapore will likely suffer from the collateral damage of these rising trade tensions.
Explaining the consequences of such unilateral behaviour, less respect and compliance to the rules can be expected. After all, why should the smaller players go by the books if even the bigger brothers are not leading the right way?
This will result in the international trading system to become “more uncertain, and more risky”.
“There will be less trade, there will be less investments.” Mr Lee acknowledged.
But the crucial warning Mr Lee gave was that “in a world where the rules are not followed, all countries will suffer, but small countries like (Singapore) will be worst hit.”
Hence, as more rivalry and suspicion brews between two economic superpowers, it is essential that small countries, like Singapore, maintain a consistent message. As a small country, Singapore is unable to significantly tip the global scales. However, at the very least, Singapore must maintain its credibility with and retain the trust of both sides.
Economic restructuring & Upgrading the workforce
The impact of technological disruption cannot be further emphasized. A frequent topic among any economic and labour discussions in recent years, its influence can no longer be ignored. Rather than lament about its pains, it is time for employers and individuals alike to embrace the change.
As Singapore’s economy goes through restructuring, the workforce needs to upgrade their skills and businesses need to transform and adapt as well. To create a more resilient and competitive economy, several initiatives to support local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) through this transformation process were launched earlier this year.
This includes the Industry Transformation Maps, where each features a detailed skills map to help individuals figure out the sought-after skills and capabilities needed to progress in that particular industry.
Zooming in on transport, banking and the retail and logistics industries, Mr Lee illustrated how current strategies, economic restructuring and (re)training of workers have helped to manage the impact of technological disruption.
At the end of the day, Mr Lee’s May Day Rally speech brings home this point – that it takes two hands to clap. To stay relevant and competitive in the current economic climate, it is necessary for employers and individuals to do their part to adapt and upgrade accordingly. Openness and receptivity to technology will allow businesses to ride the wave and go further.
As small and medium businesses make up 99% of Singapore’s enterprises, employs two-thirds of the workforce and is responsible for about half of Singapore’s Gross Domestic Product, it is necessary for SMEs to heed on this advice and enable themselves for the future. The winds of change have begun to blow. Embrace technology as an enabler and up-skill workers to leverage on new technological capabilities. This will allow businesses improve productivity while staying competitive.
JustLogin is a HR software provider specialising in cloud Payroll, Leave and Time & Attendance applications. We help you automate your HR, so you can focus on your people, culture and business. Sign up for a Free Trial now to learn how you can run your HR more efficiently.
That’s how long the average small business owner spends on payroll functions each month.
Have you ever thought of how you could possibly make better use of this time? Perhaps for a way to run payroll more efficiently?
So that you could use that time on tasks that could actually make more money for your business? You could be spending quality time interacting with customers, rolling out new marketing strategies or sifting through resumes to hire your next sales manager.
Regardless whether you outsource payroll or handle it in-house, there are ways that you can run payroll more efficiently. Here are 5 ways how.
Ensure all employees understand the policies when it comes to payroll.
Having an employee handbook can help with this. This will help eliminate questions pertaining to important topics such as leave policies, paid time-off policies, etc.
No, it doesn’t need to be a 100-page manual or encyclopedia. With the ready availability of technology nowadays, consider using a Human Resource Management System (HRMS) instead. Store all your employees’ information and have your company’s policies readily accessible to all staff from the HRMS.
If you’re able to direct your employees to the handbook, you can avoid being pestered with questions coming directly to you and you can run payroll more efficiently.
As with many business functions, being able to stay organized will be extremely helpful come the time to process your payroll each month.
Wouldn’t it be nice to not have to scramble to ensure everyone has handed in their timesheet, not missed any punches for the pay period, or made a last-minute change to their employment details without first informing you about it? All these tasks can force you to come to a grinding halt in the middle of your payroll processing as you need to resolve these items first.
Although at times, some mess is unavoidable, there are still methods you can employ to run payroll more efficiently. One way would be the use of automation. For example, your employees will automatically receive reminders to submit their timesheet if they have not done so before the due date. Additionally, having your payroll-related reports generated and filed orderly will come in handy in the long-run.
Being organized will help you to stay on track and run payroll more efficiently when the time comes.
Time really is money.
Make sure to cater adequate time regularly (whether this is weekly or monthly) to devote to running payroll. As a small business owner, you’re probably often running a mile a minute while trying to fit everything within.
Payroll management requires accuracy and efficiency. Paying your employees on time is also of utmost importance in order to maintain employee engagement and trust in your company. Thus, set some time aside regularly to be able to handle payroll-related matters. This will ensure that you’ll not end up having to rush through it and risk any important items that need to be entered.
This way, when someone clocks in (and out) for the day, you don’t have to worry about manually transferring that information to your payroll system. Save time on having to manually calculate the hours and eliminate the possibility for any human calculation errors.
The same goes for an integrated leave management system with your payroll software. Just as everyone deserves some time-off from work, so do you. With both systems integrated, you can be sure that your employees are taking the appropriate time-offs from work, which will be accurately reflected in their payslips.
Keep updated with new regulations.
This is one of the most common mistake when it comes to running payroll for any business.
Failing to implement the latest legal changes and regulatory practices can put your business at risk. Especially when money is already so hard to be earned, you definitely would not want to spend it on paying off late fees and penalties.
As a small business owner with a thousand things on your mind each minute, staying ahead with the new regulations may not rank the first. Nonetheless, staying compliant to local regulations is still imperative. An efficient way to do so would be using a recognised payroll software which is already compliant to local law and regulations. This way, you can run payroll more efficiently without having to worry about whether you’re compliant or not.
JustLogin is a HR software provider specialising in cloud Payroll, Leave and Time & Attendance applications. We help you automate your HR, so you can focus on your people, culture and business. Sign up for a Free Trial now to learn how you can run payroll more efficiently.
Dealing with payroll is part and parcel of a businesses’ operation process. Just as every employee needs their pay check, every business, whether small or big, will have to run payroll to pay its employees. Yet payroll mistakes are costing businesses thousands of dollars each year to rectify.
Payroll plays a significant role in staff retention and workforce morale. The signs of a good payroll management system include prompt and accurate payments, compliance with local regulations and the maintenance of proper records.
Here at JustLogin, while we work with thousands of businesses like yourself, often, the same questions pop up. So we’ve collated five common payroll mistakes to avoid to share with you.
Inaccurate Employee Details
For accurate payroll processing, it is necessary to keep an updated employee database that has all the relevant information. This includes employees’ age, nationality, date of commencement, immigration status (wherever applicable), bank account number (for salary crediting), etc. Often, companies do not have the habit of conducting periodic health checks on staff data. Any un-updated changes in bank account numbers or immigration status could take time to rectify and cause undue stress to employees. Constantly remind employees to update any changes in their employee details and be notified automatically when these changes occur. This is especially important in the event when for example, an Employment Pass holder secures a Permanent Residency status in Singapore. Such a change in immigration status will necessitate a change in the employee’s subsequent Central Provident Fund (CPF) deductions and contributions. If not done properly, hefty penalties could be unwittingly incurred by the organization. Similarly, salaries for hourly-rated employees and various staff benefits need to be clearly captured in the staff database as inaccuracies often lead to costly payroll mistakes. Thus, every organisation should run periodic audit of employees’ details.
Non-Compliance to Local Regulations
In Singapore’s context, apart from CPF contributions, did you know that employers also have several other statutory obligations relating to payroll? Employers are required to make Skills Development Levy (SDL) contributions for all employees, including all local and foreign, casual, part-time and temporary employees. The SDL contribution rate is of 25% of an employee’s gross monthly remuneration up to the first $4,500 or $2, whichever is higher. This is a separate levy from other payments such as the CPF contributions or Foreign Worker Levy. Additionally, in effect since 2016, employers are required to issue itemized payslips to all their employees who are covered under the Employment Act. Failure to comply will attract penalties. As these local regulations do change from time to time, some companies may tend to overlook them, especially when resources are stretched. This can result in heavy penalties being imposed. Thus, businesses either need to allocate resources to stay up-to-date about ensuring compliance or invest in a payroll software that helps them in this area.
Inconsistent Pay-run Schedule
How often you pay your employees can have a substantial impact on your operations and cashflow. And it also impacts your employees. Having a consistent salary disbursement schedule is essential to keep up the morale of the workforce. Any delayed payment can inadvertently affect employees’ expense plans or GIRO arrangements. Scheduled CPF payments is also critical to avoid non-compliance penalties. However, for businesses with limited resources may often get so consumed by day-to-day operations that they struggle to meet the deadlines to process payroll on time. This struggle may also lead to calculation errors that detrimentally impact the businesses’ accounts. Reduce this risk by considering the use of a payroll processing software that can help you to stay on schedule.
It is understandable that smaller-sized companies with lesser employees may not invest in a payroll software or outsource payroll management in a bid to save cost. However, the human element involved in tabulating all the various pay elements may be easily miscalculated. Such mistakes can be rather costly and may in fact be counter-productive for the company’s resources instead. An example where errors are commonly found is in the computation of CPF contributions, especially for employees who are on reservice for National Service, part-timers or those on probation. Likewise, errors are also common when computing employees’ salary disbursement when factoring in their different leave types, benefits and expense claims. Apart from these computation errors, the non-standardization of rounding procedures is also often a source of error. Nonetheless, these common payroll mistakes can be prevented with the help of a suitable payroll software and/or the specialized expertise of outsources payroll service providers.
Lack of Proper Payroll Records
Often overlooked, but the failure to maintain proper payroll records is a very prevalent mistake among small and medium enterprises (SMEs). This can be a significant issue when there is a dispute regarding payments made. It is a company’s obligation to produce records and provide proper forms in case of any enquiries from the government regulators. This is also to ensure that any discrepancies found can be rectified early and easily. In Singapore, businesses need to submit their tax submission forms to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) annually, before the 1st of March each year. Companies that do not pay appropriate attention to proper payroll management will eventually pay a hefty price for not tracking and keeping adequate records. Investing in a payroll software that helps you generate the appropriate records at your fingertips can help you to overcome being caught in such a situation. Alternatively, your outsourced payroll service provider will be required to maintain and produce the records upon request, as part of contractual obligations.
Having highlighted these common payroll mistakes to avoid, it pays to take a second look into your pay run process and ensure you have all grounds covered before proceeding.
If you are still running payroll manually, why not consider using an ePayroll software that can help you to automate your payroll process accurately? Sign up for a free trial today!
PSG is a streamlined approach to existing grant schemes that supports the adoption of pre-scoped and off-the-shelf productivity solutions.
What is PSG about?
The Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) is a new government initiative to assist businesses in their transformation journey. An initial S$110 million will be set aside over the next three years (until 2020) for PSG to support selected productivity solutions in line with the Industry Transformation maps (ITMs).
PSG will cover sector-specific solutions in retail, food, logistics, precision engineering, wholesale and landscaping industries, as well as broad-based solutions that cut across industries, such as in areas of human resource management systems, among others.
As businesses transit into the next phase of transformation, more substantial investments and longer-term commitments may be required. Thus, PSG will support in the following manner:
Funding of up to 70% of the cost;
Increase in grant caps;
Pre-scoping of IT solutions and equipment with pre-qualified vendors (for IT solutions); and
Simplified grant processes.
How is JustLogin Involved?
JustLogin is a pre-approved vendor under the “Human Resource E-scheduling System” category.
Our eTimeclock solution is a time attendance system that uses mobile devices (iPad/smartphones) to replace traditional punch card/fingerprint systems. Photos of employees and their GPS location can be captured and sent to the server in real-time. Roster scheduling is also enabled to set up shifts to be assigned to staff. OT hours will also be automatically calculated according to MOM rules, helping to relief the hassle of manual calculation.
The eTimeclock module is also integrated with our ePayroll and eLeave modules, to enable a seemless process for your HR needs.
What is Support Level for JustLogin’s eTimeclock?
70% for SMEs
Who is Eligible?
Businesses who meet the following criteria can apply for PSG:
Registered and operating in Singapore
Purchase/subscription of IT solutions or equipment must be used in Singapore
Have a minimum of 30% local shareholding (for selected solutions only)
In a manpower-lean economy and amid rising labour costs, how can Singapore’s manpower regulations help to address these challenges?
Over the past month, much has been discussed during the Budget and Committee of Supply debates. Just within the first day of the debates, manpower issues received a commendable amount of discussion in parliament.
In view of a shift in the median age of the Singapore population (ageing) and the introduction of new disruptive technologies (Industry 4.0), how will Singapore’s manpower regulations find its footing? With the Singapore workforce comprising two-thirds locals and one-third foreigners, will we be competitive enough for the global economy?
Besides various government incentives and programmes to help local businesses improve productivity and scale-up for the global economy, developing a strong talent core is also of paramount importance.
Here are the top 2 must-read manpower regulations updates to take note of:
1. Employment Act Amendments
The Employment Act is Singapore’s main labour law which provides the basic terms and working conditions for all employees, with some exceptions. The proposed updates to the Employment Act this year will be the first revision since 2012.
There are three main updates to the manpower regulations in the Employment Act:
Removal of Employment Act Salary Cap
This means that the following core employee benefits will also be extended to all employees:
At least 7 days of annual leave
11 paid public holidays
14 days of paid sick leave
60 days of paid hospitalisation leave
Other protection covered by the Act includes maternity leave, childcare leave and statutory protection against wrongful dismissal, among others. The removal of the salary cap is estimated to cover 430,000 more Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians (PMETs).
Additional Protection on Work Hours & Overtime Pay
This is done through an increase in salary threshold for non-workmen.
For non-workmen, the current cap of $2500 will be increased by $100, to $2600.
In terms of overtime pay, the salary cap for non-workmen will also be revised from $2250 to $2600. 100,000 non-workmen are estimated to benefit from these amended manpower regulations.
Changes to Dispute Resolutions
The Employment Claims Tribunal would now hear wrongful dismissal claims, as part of a streamlined organisational structure. As dismissal claims are often coupled with salary issues, the Employment Claims Tribunal will serve as a “one-stop” service for both employers and workers.
These changes to the Employment Act are slated to be implemented by April 2019.
2. Tightened Hiring of Foreign Workers
Foreign manpower remains a hot-button issue as it sits uncomfortably with the general public. While businesses may lobby for more flexible approaches to acquiring foreign manpower, the local public are also calling out for more manpower regulations that place locals as the preferred candidates. Hence, a need to balance both parties needs is necessary.
S-Pass Eligibility Updates
The minimum qualifying salary for S-Pass holders will increase from the current $2,200 to $2,400. This increase will be executed in two phases: by $100 from start of next year, another $100 from start of 2020.
For the first-step increase from $2,200 to $2,300, existing S-Pass holders whose passes expire before Jan 1 2019 will be allowed to renew based on the existing criteria. Holders of passes that expire between Jan 2019 and Jun 30 2019, will be allowed to do the same for a duration of up to one year. The same measures will apply for the second step increase from $2,300 to $2,400.
Work Permit Holders Updates
Work permit holders of R1 and R2 skill levels from non-traditional sources like Malaysia, India and Chinese in all sectors, will be able to extend their stay in Singapore for four more years. This will take effect from May 2018.
Businesses will also have more options to improve the quality of their foreign workers. From September, they can upgrade from R2 to R1 if they meet the minimum period of employment and salary requirements through the Market-Based Skills Recognition Framework. This will also help employers that want to hire and retain their better Work Permit-holder employees.
Fair Job Consideration for Local Workforce
While not directly a levy on foreign manpower, the expansion of the Fair Consideration Framework will also impact how businesses hire foreigners.
Starting July 1, firms with more than 10 employees and job positions that pay a fixed monthly salary of less than $15,000 will have to advertise job applications for at least 14 days on the National Jobs Bank, before submission of Employment Pass (EP) applications. EPs are more non-local PMETs who earn a minimum salary of $3,600 a month and hold acceptable academic qualifications.
This is a big move away from current manpower regulations, which exempt businesses with 10 to 25 employees and jobs that pay $12,000 to $15,000 a month, from the Framework’s advertising requirement.
With today’s breakneck pace of change, more adjustments to the manpower regulations will be needed along the way. But until then, businesses will have to adapt and plan for the long-run.
In an increasingly tight labour market, how should small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) attract and retain talent?
Rising labour costs, a limited pool of local highly-skilled labour and attracting and retaining younger workers were among the top HR challenges listed by firms, according to the National Business Survey 2017/2018 by the Singapore Business Federation. Of those surveyed, about 84% of respondents were SMEs, while the rest were large firms. Yet, the challenge of hiring, training and retaining labour in a manpower-lean economy is no stranger to all.
Yes, there is no doubt that SMEs are held up in the array of hiring challenges with the talent market volatility. But would SMEs really have to hire from the pool of leftovers that the big boys in the industry abandoned? Definitely not!
A little effort begets a little result and vice versa. To stand tall in this game, SMEs would have got to do something that makes the potential talent envious of working for them. A proactive and competitive SME with the right HR system can also attract, engage and get the most appropriate talents to stay.
Here are five must-read tips on how to excel in the game of talent acquisition and retention:
Understand the talent you are looking for
The first mistake many SMEs make is to trek the arduous talent search journey blindly. Understanding what employees value, their needs and aspirations for the job is important.
While monetary perks may be a basic consideration, it is no longer a deciding factor on its own. Well, people do work to get paid but it does takes more than just that to attract and retain talent, especially bright ones.
With millennials comprising 50% of the workforce by 2020, it is important to understand their expectations coming into the working world. Among them, is an overwhelming support towards the need for work-life balance.
This is echoed by Deloitte’s 2017 Millennial Survey, which highlighted the sentiment that flexible working practices bolstered millennial’s loyalty and foundation of trust towards their employers. Hence, understanding and encouraging such practices will definitely be a step forward to attract and retain young talent in SMEs.
Up your game by looking beyond the normal talent
It seems easier to get leads for potential talents by asking around. Who do you ask? Workmates and other human resource officers whom you can connect are possible choices. By establishing such a network of connections and referrals, you can be able to gauge your potential hires based on their innovativeness, personal and company achievements.
Don’t forget to use social media as well! Social media platforms such as LinkedIn can be of great help in procuring diverse talent especially if you want to look beyond the normal pool of talent for tech-savvy graduates with no industry experience, for instance.
Talk of other magnetic benefits you offer
Did you know that conventional way of thinking can kill creativity and probably prejudice your process for acquiring apt talent for your team? Don’t try to emulate the MNCs with the benefits you are offering your workers.
Instead, have your own uniqueness and share these special benefits with the staff. They could simply be fortnightly sport challenges or active suggestion boards incentives. It’s no crime to let your employees think of long-term success – that as the company grows, so will they grow.
You can win this game if you can instill passion in your current and potential employees. Show them an alternative route to the top by providing continuous learning beyond the traditional learning methods or those learning methods akin to bigger corporations. This will help to explore and attract new talents, while retaining the old.
Move with the tide
Continuous innovation in HR technology has made it easier for businesses to attract and retain talent.
The advent of HR cloud technology has enabled increased mobility and accessibility of HR processes. No longer are employees tide down to apply for leave through their computers nor take their time attendance through punch cards. The availability of mobile applications have changed the way HR works and employee engagement.
In a tight labour market, where outsourcing and hiring of freelancers is increasingly popular, increased connectivity among the remote workforce is a bonus. With reduced paperwork, employees will be better able to focus on their jobs than fret over endless administrative tasks.
As SMEs, a key advantage to attract and retain talent is the flexibility to adapt in the ever-changing economy. Minus the red-tape and bureaucracy of larger organisations, SMEs benefit from adopting new technology to engage better with their employees.
Sell your brand
Build your brand through various marketing channels, both online and offline. This will not just increase customer sales but will help in brand recall and employee identification as well.
When trying to attract potential employees, it is much easier to reach out to them if you can skip the introduction of who you are and what your company does.
Ultimately, your employees are still the number one brand ambassadors and customers of your company. Give everyone a chance to represent your business in social gatherings or informal meet-ups. Show your employees that you trust them, and so will they show their loyalty to the company.
Still finding it hard to attract and retain talent? Looking for some government incentives that can help you drive productivity? JustLogin organizes frequent HR Grants Workshops to share about grants that help to tackle a variety of HR challenges. Check it out here.
ePayroll (General) Enhancements
Company address will be reflected on payslips as long as it is provided
Previously, the country and postal code fields were mandatory for company address to be displayed on payslips.
Mass import Cost Centre assignment
You can now do a mass update of cost centre assignment for your employees instead of manually updating each individual employee’s profile.
Learn how to mass import Cost Centre assignments here >
ePayroll (Singapore) Enhancements
Payrun Dashboard will show number rather than percentage of processed/unprocessed users.
Now, administrators are able to get a quick overview of the number of payroll left to process.
“Generated Bank File” on Payrun Dashboard properly reflects status
Previously, there was an issue of the “Generated Bank File” status being indicated as completed even though there is still one backlog file not generated. The status will now accurately reflect the number of backlog files not generated.
Allow two residential addresses in Appendix 8A
If your employee changed accommodation within the year, you can now add an additional place of residence to be displayed in the Appendix 8A form.
Learn how to allow indication of two different addresses in Appendix 8A here >
Export Appendix 8A in PDF and XML format simultaneously
Under Tax Export, select Export Type “A8A Export (XML) & A8A”.
Learn how to generate different IRAS forms and XML files here >
Separate CPF and SDL computations for each Pay Element
For each pay element, you can select whether they are CPF and SDL payable separately. This allows you to pay staff who may be exempted from SDL, CPF contributions.
Learn how to indicate CPF and SDL calculations on Pay Elements here >
eBenefit Admins and Approvers are able to cancel claims
Currently, only employees are able to cancel their own benefit claims. Now, both admins and approvers have the authority to cancel claims. You can also choose whether employees are allowed to cancel their claims.
Learn how admins and approvers can cancel benefit claims here >
Special characters allowed for Full Name
You can now include special characters for your employee’s full name in eStaff.
Mobile (General) Enhancements
Payslip PIN to accept alphabets, numbers and special characters
Mobile (iOS) Enhancements
Remarks box will always appear at the Clock In/Out page
Although the remarks box will always appear, you can select whether it is mandatory under eTimeclock Setup.
Learn how to make Remarks column mandatory on Mobile eTimeclock here >
For any questions regarding these new enhancements, please contact JustLogin Support.
The Singapore Budget 2018 speech took place last Monday, 19th February. During the speech, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat highlighted some new and improved initiatives and government grants for SMEs. With the key theme of Singapore’s future plans focused on economy transformation, how exactly is the government going to support SMEs moving forward?
To help you get up to speed with what to expect, we’ve round up these new and improved grants and initiatives that will likely pique your interest:
Productivity Solutions Grant *New*
The move towards digital transformation sees existing grants that support businesses to buy and use pre-scoped, off-the-shelf technologies being merged into a single Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG). This follows the expired Productivity and Innovation Credit scheme which enabled smaller companies to tap cash and tax incentives for adopting technology or innovative processes that raised productivity. The new PSG is meant to streamline some of the government grants for SMEs and to simplify the grant applications process. Under the PSG, funding support of up to 70% of qualifying costs will be provided and it can be applied for via the Business Grants Portal from April 1st onwards.
Enterprise Development Grant *Improved*
Helmed under the new Enterprise Singapore from April onwards, the Enterprise Development Grant will be a marriage of International Enterprise (IE) Singapore’s Global Company Partnership grant with Spring Singapore’s Capability Development Grant. This is targeted towards larger organisations seeking to innovate and expand internationally. The grant will offer up to 70% of funding support for activities such as product development, innovation and internationalisation. Until the grant is fully launched in the 4th quarter of 2018, businesses can continue to apply to the two individual grants separately on the Business Grants Portal.
Career-Trial Scheme *Improved*
An upgraded version of the current Work-Trial programme. Through this scheme, lower and middle-income workers are encouraged to try out new jobs and assess new careers amid the fast-changing work environment. At the same time, it provides training and salary support for companies to try out job-seekers with short-term work stints. It pays rank-and-file workers a training allowance for up to three months and gives them a bonus if they stay at the job for at least three months after the trial. More information about this revised scheme will be available in April.
Internationalisation gets Double Tax Deduction
The amount of expenses that can qualify for the double tax deduction for internationalisation, without prior approval from IE Singapore or the Singapore Tourism Board, will be raised from S$100,000 to S$150,000 per year of assessment (YA). This will take effect from YA 2019. Qualifying expenses include overseas business development and study trips, as well as participation in approved trade fairs abroad and locally.
IP and R&D Expenses get Increased Tax Deduction Rates
Tax deductions for businesses who build or co-innovate new solutions and engage in research and development (R&D) will get a 200% tax deduction, capped at S$100,000 on licensing payments per year, with effect from YA 2019 to 2025. The tax deduction for qualifying R&D expenses, for R&D done in Singapore, will also be raised from 150% to 250%.
Corporate Income Tax Rebate – Extension
To help firms manage immediate cost challenges, the corporate income tax rebate will be raised to 40% of the corporate tax payable, subject to a cap of S$15,000, for the tax YA 2018. This is an increase from the previous rebate of 20% of tax payable, subject to a cap of S$10,000 for YA 2018. The rebate will also be extended to YA 2019, although it will be back to 20% of tax payable, capped at S$10,000. In other words, the short-term rebate hike and its extension are targeted at companies with smaller profits. This is given that the cap still remains relatively low at S$15,000.
Wage Credit Scheme – Extension
While not a particularly new or improved implementation, the extension of the wage credit scheme (WCS) until 2020 is still a welcomed measure for local businesses. However, it will be in gradually reduced levels of co-funding by the government over the 3 years. For 2018, there will be 20% of co-funding, 15% for 2019, and 10% for 2020. The WCS has been around since 2013, where it started with the government co-funding 40% of wage increases for Singaporean employees. This extension helps firms cope with near-term cost pressures alongside encouraging employers to share productivity gains with staff. Unlike government grants for SMEs, employers do not need to apply for WCS payouts and will receive notification from IRAS if they qualify.
While speech day has come and gone, the Budget’s full impact on businesses in Singapore has yet to be affirmed. With the Budget debate and Committee of Supply debates going on over these few weeks, businesses can look forward to more details on the government grants for SMEs and what it will mean to them in the coming weeks.
Nevertheless, as part of the move towards digitizing businesses, other existing grants which encourage technological adoption are available. One such government grant for SMEs to adopt technological solutions is Spring Singapore’s Innovation and Capability Voucher (ICV). Claim up to S$5000 on pre-approved integrated solutions, such as JustLogin’s eTimeclock and more. Find out more on how you can improve your HR productivity with JustLogin now.
As we usher in the Year of the Dog, here are some Chinese New Year greetings that might just come in handy for the upcoming gatherings.
The value of Chinese New Year to businesses and individuals all around the world need not be overly explained. With a third of the world’s population celebrating the festival, it is no wonder that even offices explore fun ways to soak in the festivities.
Unlike the New Year celebrations on 1st of January, Chinese New Year celebrations are marked by all sorts of practices that are believed to be auspicious for the upcoming year. Called 农历新年 (nóng lì xīn nián – Lunar New Year) or 春节 (chūn jié – Spring Festival), it is customary for people to greet each other with New Year well-wishes which bring in blessings for the coming year.
A good way for companies to leverage on such festivities is to encourage the exchange of Chinese New Year greetings among staff, clients and even business partners. Regardless of whether individuals actually celebrate these cultural festivals, offering well-meaning greetings are seldom met with rejection. After all, who doesn’t welcome some good luck in the new year? Such exchanges can also help to increase staff interaction and create a lively atmosphere and build a strong company culture.
But wait – exactly what should we say in Mandarin? Apart from the usual 新年快乐(xīn nián kuài lè) and 恭喜发财 (gōng xǐ fā cái) phrases, of course. Well fret not, as we’ll be sharing 38 useful Chinese New Year greeting phrases. Whether you are writing a greeting card to your clients/partners, or belting out well-wishes to colleagues and clients or friends and relatives when going around to 拜年 (bài nián), the following phrases will definitely come in handy.
Chinese New Year Greetings to Wish Wealth & Prosperity
Money and wealth are highly valued in Chinese culture. They are even more so when they are regarded as being intertwined with having good luck. It is considered polite and appropriate to offer money-related greetings in the New Year. Especially towards our colleagues and bosses, these Chinese New Year greetings are extremely well-received. Here are a list of wealth and prosperity phrases that you can use right away:
恭喜发财 (gōng xǐ fā cái) – May you be happy and prosperous
财源广进 (cái yuán guǎng jìn) – May your money and treasures be plentiful
招财进宝 (zhāo cái jìn bǎo) – May wealth and treasures fill your home
一本萬利(yī běn wàn lì) – Wishing that you reap a huge profit from a small investment
财源滾滾(cái yuán gǔn gǔn) –May wealth come pouring in
吉星高照 (jí xīng gāo zhào) – May good fortune fall upon you
大吉大利(dà jí dà lì) – May you have great luck and great profit
年年有馀(nián nián yǒu yú) – Wishing you abundance and prosperity every year
狗年大吉 (gǒu nián dà jí) – Wishing you luck in the Year of the Dog
Chinese New Year Greetings to Wish Success
Another popular set of phrases are those that express aspirations of success and progress in their work or business. Yes, we know some of them are also about money – it’s hard to get away from that theme! These are great for wishing clients as well as colleagues.
生意兴隆 (shēng yì xīng lóng) – May your business flourish
事业发达 (shì yè fā dá) – May your career take off
飞黄腾达 (fēi huáng téng dá) – May you have rapid advancement in your career
事业有成 (shì yè yǒu chéng) – May you have great success in your career
平步青云 (píng bù qīng yún) – May you have a meteoric rise (usually to wish for promotions)
升官发财 (shēng guān fā cái) – May you get promoted and receive a raise
蒸蒸日上 (zhēng zhēng rì shàng) – May your business grow and expand with each day
马到成功 (mǎ dào chéng gōng) – May you have instant success
万事胜意 (wàn shì shèng yì) – May you achieve success in all that you do
Chinese New Year Greetings for Happiness, Health & Peace
Of course, there are other important things apart from just good fortune and good luck. You can also wish them peace, good health and immense happiness. Whether towards your elders, friends, family or colleagues, these greetings are generally good for anyone you love and care about:
恭贺新禧 (gōng hè xīn xǐ) – Good luck in the year ahead
心想事成 (xīn xiǎng shì chéng) – May all your wishes come true
万事如意 (wàn shì rú yì) – May everything go well for you
笑口常开 (xiào kǒu cháng kāi) – May your year be filled with abundance of smiles and laught
五福临门 (wǔ fú lín mén) – May the five blessings (longevity, wealth, health, virtue, and a natural death) come to you
身体健康 (shēn tǐ jiàn kāng) – Wishing you good health
龙马精神 (lóng mǎ jīng shén) – Wishing you lots of energy and good spirit
出入平安 (chū rù píng ān) – Wishing you safety and peace where ever you go
福寿双全 (fú shòu shuāng quán) – May you enjoy both longevity and blessing
一帆风顺 (yī fān fēng shùn) – May all that you do go smoothly
阖家幸福 (hé jiā xìng fú) – May your whole family be filled with happiness
四季平安过旺年 (sì jì píng ān guò wàng nián) – Wishing you four seasons of peace and a flourishing year
Phrases for Chinese New Year Greeting Cards
Yet to write your Chinese New Year greeting cards to your business partners and clients? Looking for the appropriate phrases to express your well wishes? You’re in luck! Below is a list of 8 CNY greeting phrases that will likely suit your needs. From wishes for good health to prosperity, we’ve got you all covered!
恭贺新禧，祝身体健康、事业发达 (gōng hè xīn xǐ, zhù shēn tǐ jiàn kāng, shì yè fā dá) – Happy New Year, I wish you good health and lasting prosperity.
恭祝健康、幸运，新年快乐 (gōng zhù jiàn kāng, xìng yùn, xīn nián kuài lè) – Good health, good luck and much happiness throughout the year.
祝来年好运，并取得更大的成就 (zhù lái nián hǎo yùn, bìng qǔ dé gèng dà de chéng jiù) – Good luck and great success in the coming New Year.
祝好运、健康、喜悦、伴您度过一个快乐新年 (zhù hǎo yùn, jiàn kāng, xǐ yuè, bàn nín dù guò yī gè kuài lè xīn nián) – Good luck, good health and good cheer in the New Year.
谨祝新年快乐幸福，大吉大利 (jǐn zhù xīn nián kuài lè xìng fú, dà jí dà lì) – I hope you have a most happy and prosperous New Year.
恭贺新禧，万事如意 (gōng hè xīn xǐ, wàn shì rú yì) – Best wishes and happiness throughout the New Year.
祝您新的一年快乐幸福 (zhù nín xīn de yī nián kuài lè xìng fú) – Wish you happiness and prosperity in the coming year.
事业成功，家庭美满 (shì yè chéng gōng, jiā tíng mẹ̌i mǎn) – Wish you a successful career and happy family.
Well, as they say – 狗 (go) big or 狗 (go) home.With these 38 Chinese New Year greeting phrases in your pocket, we’re sure you’ll be ready to take on the festivities that is to come! Pair these Chinese New Year greetings with a pair of mandarin oranges and some ang baos for the ultimate welcome.
From the whole team here at JustLogin, we’ll like to wish you a very Prosperous and Happy Chinese New Year!
JustLogin is a HR software provider specialising in cloud Payroll, Leave and Time & Attendance applications. We help you automate your HR, so you can focus on your people, culture and business.
We only have to briefly look around us to see that mobile technology permeates every aspect of our lives. From mundane things like online banking, to complex tasks such as learning new languages, things that used to be stationary are now able to travel with us.
Employers should take the opportunity to follow suit, with leave processing as a great starting point. Organizations took a step in the right direction when they implemented on-premise software for handling time off requests; however, new advances are rendering this obsolete in favor of something mobile and – more importantly – intuitive.
Of course, like with any technological shift, there will be some resistance. Despite the abundance of benefits, some companies will see mobile leave applications as a hindrance. To better understand why this might be the case, it’s important to look at why some organizations dislike the idea of this technology. Then, effectively clarify why these “cons” are harmful and subjective.
Let’s start with taking a look at why some organizations may mistakenly see them as harmful.
Many managers mistakenly assume that vacations are detrimental to the company’s productivity, but this couldn’t be more wrong. Research has shown that employees who are afraid to use their vacation time are detrimental to productivity. In fact, a survey of worker productivity and vacation published in the Harvard Business Review, found that corporate leaders in countries with more paid leave days were more likely to work at a faster pace with a higher quality focus. Improved creativity and better mental health of employees are also some of the attributes of taking regular time off.
If anything,embracing mobile leave apps could be a convenient way for staff to help promote productivity and maintain workplace morale.
While some employers may have a more restrictive attitude, others might value a more personal approach to doing business. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to maintain a direct connection between management and employees. This is why supervisors could prefer helping their staff face to face.
This might be feasible in a smaller organization, but such good intentions will come at the expense of their bottom line.
Alternately, this could also be an issue of control. Some managers keep certain functions close because they either don’t trust external systems or have a desire to micromanage their people. Regardless, it’s a terrible attitude to have, and nobody benefits.
Advantages of Mobile Leave Apps
For those companies who are sitting on the fence or dead against mobile leave apps, knowing what they are missing out on could just change their minds. Hopefully, the following benefits will effectively change some minds and help these businesses gain the edge they need.
Naturally, the goal of any business is to make as much money as possible. Companies of all sizes understand (to varying degrees) how overhead is affected by supply costs – specifically paper.
Mobile leave application means a reduction of paperwork, literally. Cloud storage allows easy information access anytime, anywhere.
Reducing paper usage is also a huge selling point in a world that’s becoming more environmentally conscious. Organizations who market themselves as “green” through their practices generate goodwill with the public and employees alike.
Productivity is critical for performance. Every minute spent dealing with a leave request, is time that could otherwise be spent on more pressing concerns. While most managers are happy to be helpful, it is easy for them to be distracted by other more pressing tasks.
Mobile leave apps allow employees to manage their own leave applications. The system can automatically determine whether too many people will be off at the time of the requests. This effectively prevents short-staffing. In comparison, the lack of automation would mean more manual work for the supervisor, who will have to de-conflict the multiple requests.
Companies need to keep records of employee activities, leave days being just one of them. Again, when left to be handled by supervisors, this becomes a daunting task. Since employees typically have a limited “bucket” of available days or hours, those responsible for approving time off have to make these calculations.
Conversely, an automated system will help to handle the math. Simultaneously, employees will also be able to see their available time off and plan their leave accordingly.
While nothing is foolproof, human error is a more common source of mistake than automated systems. Glitches occur, but companies don’t have to worry about a software program not working efficiently due to illness, personal problems, burnout or a “bad day”. Software is also much easier to fix than a person.
In other words, a precise, specialized system is highly unlikely to make processing errors. If anything, users may accidentally input the wrong dates or times for their leave requests. An intuitive, accessible app can make it easy for employees to correct mistakes.
Overall, the benefits of mobile leave apps are irrefutable. Preventing their implementation due to flawed logic or a poor company culture puts businesses at a competitive disadvantage. For those who are entrenched in their preference for on-premise or even paper options, changing these attitudes is a process that needs to come from within. But like any type of progress, it’s simply a matter of time and perseverance.