Training programs and workshops allow professionals to further develop their knowledge and skills. Whether these are for a specialized field or a broad spectrum of skills, training courses impart techniques that may help them perform more efficiently and productively.
Allowing your employees to look for these training programs and supporting them in their journey to self-improvement is one step to bettering your company’s workforce. This article provides you with a quick overview of absentee payroll funding, which is the Singaporean government’s way of supporting organizations in their workforce development initiatives.
What is Absentee Payroll (AP) Funding?
The Absentee Payroll (AP) fund is a government-funded grant given to companies and businesses to help cover the costs of training and workshops. This subsidy’s aim is to encourage business owners to support and allow their employees to attend certifiable skills training, which can help develop mastery and a deeper understanding of their chosen fields.
The Singaporean government came up with this funding effort in conjunction with establishing two statutory boards meant to lead the nationwide initiative of promoting lifelong learning. These are the SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) and Workforce Singapore (WSG), which operate under the Ministry of Education. The goal of these two boards is to promote a culture of holistic lifelong learning through jobs & skills training and education.
Is My Company Eligible for Absentee Payroll?
Singapore’s Absentee Payroll Funding has become an effective approach to boosting participation among business owners and entrepreneurs. The grant shoulders the overtime pay given to staff when they attend training programs and courses outside of office hours. However, not all companies can apply for AP funding for their employees.
Eligibility is one of the most common concerns of employers planning to enroll their employees in SSG-funded training programs. How do you know if your company is eligible for AP funding?
There are a couple of general requirements that have to be met for a company to qualify for an AP grant. These are if (1) it is incorporated in Singapore and (2) if they plan to fully sponsor other fees that trainees may incur throughout the program. Other eligibility qualifications for AP funding apply to the trainee or the employees a company enrolls for training.
Who is Eligible for Absentee Payroll?
It is relatively easy for a company to be eligible for an absentee payroll grant. However, trainees need to meet several requirements before qualifying for AP funding. One of the main conditions trainees need to meet for AP funding is that they should be Singapore citizens or permanent residents of Singapore. Long Term Visit Pass-plus (LTVP+) holders can also qualify for this grant. The applicant company should also enroll and fully sponsor their trainees.
To qualify, the employee must present a bona fide contract as proof of employment of the sponsoring company. The contract should include details such as the employee’s start date, salary, benefits, and working hours, among others.
AP funding support is only applicable if the certifiable course is related to the trainee’s job or field. The grant also requires a trainee to attend at least 75% of the training hours and pass all assessment tests to get the certification.
There are also some circumstances where AP funding is not applicable. These include the following:
- The trainee is repeating the same course
- The trainee is already a grantee of a different organization or funding agency’s program
- The trainee is a part-time employee and a full-time student
- The trainee is a freelancer or a casual employee
- The trainee is a student going through on-the-job training
As long as the company and the trainee meet the AP funding requirements, the application process is pretty straightforward. The SSG, however, also has other classifications identifying various types of skills training support under the government’s lifelong training program. You can find these in the table below.