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BLOG: Navigating Change: Unveiling Singapore’s COMPASS Framework and its Impact on Companies and Workers

Singapore, Singapore – Singapore, a country known for its dynamic business ecosystem and global talent attraction, is set to implement a groundbreaking change in its workforce dynamics. Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has introduced the Complementary Assessment Framework (COMPASS), a revolutionary system that is set to reshape the employment landscape, impacting businesses, local workers, and foreign professionals alike.


The framework’s implications go beyond Singapore’s borders, potentially influencing other parts of Asia and the global job market. In a recent feature by Lianhe Zaobao*, the COMPASS framework takes center stage, and our parent company Reeracoen Singapore Pte. Ltd along with our Group CEO Mr. Kenji Naito, provide insights into its potential impact. Let’s delve into the key takeaways and explore the socio-economic ramifications of this transformative change.


Decoding the COMPASS Framework: Empowering Fairness and Transparency

Starting from September 1, 2023, foreign professionals applying for an Employment Pass (EP) will undergo assessment through the COMPASS system, which evaluates candidates based on four core criteria: Salary, Qualifications, Diversity, and Support for Local Employment.


A minimum of 40 points is required for employers to qualify for foreign hire visa applications. The minimum qualifying salary for new EP applicants is S$5,000, rising to S$5,500 for those in the financial sector, with incremental increases based on age.

The framework not only promotes fair compensation, but also advocates for skill development and education. Criteria such as degree-equivalent qualifications from top-tier institutions hold substantial weight in the assessment process, highlighting the importance of continuous learning.


Impact on Singapore Businesses

For Singaporean businesses, the COMPASS framework ushers in a new era of workforce planning. Employers gain enhanced clarity and confidence through tools such as the Workforce Insights Tool accessible on the myMOM website. By delving into foundational criteria, companies can strategize better and align their hiring practices with the evolving landscape.


With the publication of PMET salary benchmarks, employees, both local and foreign, will gain insight into compensation structures. This transparency could lead to increased expectations for equitable remuneration, prompting companies to ensure fair pay practices. The disclosure of these benchmarks has the potential to raise compensation standards across industries, benefiting both local and foreign workers.


The framework could potentially impact foreign workers’ decisions to seek opportunities in Singapore. Those who meet the stringent criteria of COMPASS will likely see Singapore as a destination that values their skills and contributions, fostering a more diverse and talented workforce.


Impact on Local Workers and Foreign Professionals

Local workers stand to benefit from increased transparency and fairness. The publication of PMET salary benchmarks allows them to better understand the compensation earned by their foreign counterparts. This transparency could drive conversations within organizations about remuneration and equity, leading to adjustments that align salaries with individual contributions.


Foreign professionals eyeing opportunities in Singapore need to be mindful of the new assessment framework. Meeting salary and qualification criteria will be vital for their success in the local job market. As the system encourages fair compensation, it could positively influence job satisfaction and motivation among both local and foreign workers.


Socio-Economic Implications and Global Influence

From a socio-economic perspective, COMPASS could lead to a more skilled and motivated workforce. As businesses compete to attract foreign professionals, they are likely to enhance compensation packages, benefiting both local and foreign workers. This shift in the labor market could also result in increased spending power, potentially boosting local businesses and the economy.


COMPASS’s influence extends beyond Singapore’s borders. As other countries observe this initiative, they might adopt similar frameworks to ensure fair compensation and transparency in their employment markets. This could have far-reaching effects in shaping international hiring practices and encouraging equitable remuneration across industries.


Regional and Global Implications

Singapore’s innovative COMPASS framework could inspire other countries in Asia and around the world to reevaluate their workforce planning strategies. By championing equitable compensation and transparency, this initiative could set a benchmark for international employment practices, ultimately fostering a global culture of fair remuneration.


A New Era Awaits

Singapore’s COMPASS framework heralds a new era of fairness, transparency, and competitiveness in the employment landscape. This transformative change has the potential to elevate both local and foreign workers’ job satisfaction and financial well-being, fostering a dynamic and motivated workforce. Amidst these changes, businesses that proactively adapt will not only thrive, but also contribute to Singapore’s continued growth and prosperity on the global stage.

As the world watches, Singapore’s innovative approach to workforce planning could influence global employment practices, ultimately leading to a more equitable job market across industries and continents. Other nations might follow suit, fostering a global culture of fair compensation and empowering workers worldwide.


*Nanyang Sin-Chew Lianhe Zaobao, commonly abbreviated as Lianhe Zaobao, is the largest Singaporean Chinese-language newspaper with a daily circulation of about 136,900 as of 2021.


Note from Reeracoen:

We are honored to have our company’s insights featured alongside MOM’s initiatives in Lianhe Zaobao. As we navigate this pivotal development, our commitment to keeping our clients informed and prepared remains unwavering. We will continue to provide guidance and support as Singapore’s employment landscape evolves with the implementation of the COMPASS framework.

Tips on Navigating Through Change: Strategies for Success

As Singapore’s business landscape adapts to the COMPASS framework, businesses, workers, and prospective foreign talent can navigate these changes effectively:


Strategic Compensation & Diversification: Embrace competitive compensation strategies to attract and retain both local and foreign talent. Explore alternative pathways like the S Pass for mid-level technicians to ensure flexibility in recruitment.


Invest in Skills: Encourage continuous skill development among local employees, enhancing their competitiveness in the job market.


Transparent Communication: Maintain open lines of communication with employees about changes in compensation practices, fostering understanding and trust.

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