Do you have friends who’ve lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 outbreak? No? Then you have no friends.
Just earlier, we published an article about the status of unemployment in the US, whereby over 2 million people have lost their jobs.
In Singapore, you’d have at least one friend who’s been retrenched or is on unpaid leave.
Or maybe you’re one of them.
If so, fret not; while you won’t be receiving about SGD$3,500 a month like in the US (which could have repercussions because people might just stop working altogether), you’ll have $800 to survive and look for a new job.
Can’t believe one month ago, the Budget was all about helping businesses stay alive, and now, it’s to help people stay alive, eh?
S’poreans Who Lost Their Job Due to COVID-19 Will Get $800 a Month for 3 Months
While this sounds like the unemployment insurance you’ve been hearing about…yes, it is lah, to some extent since it works the same way.
Unlike a country like the US, Singapore has no unemployment insurance because it’ll encourage employers to justify retrenchment, and of course employees would abuse it.
However, now, there’s going to be a system that works just like unemployment insurance.
In the new COVID-19 support package, if you lose your job between May and September, and you’re a low- or middle-income worker, you can receive a grant of $800 a month for three months while you look for a new job, or undergo training under the COVID-19 Support Grant.
So what’s the definition of low- and middle-income worker?
You must not have a per capita household income of S$3,100 a month or live in a property with an annual value of S$21,000 or more, among other criteria.
Yes, in other words, you can’t get the grant if someone in your household is earning big bucks.
The Government has set aside $145 million for this.
But what if you’ve lost your job with immediate effect, your employer has run road and you’ve two months’ worth of unpaid salary, and just need the cash fast to buy chicken rice for your starving kids? If you need urgent help, you can tap on the Temporary Relief Fund first, which will be available in community centres from April 2020.
And just in case you’re wondering why Singapore’s not having unemployment insurance, you can read this article.