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Understanding the Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM) levy and quota system is crucial for employers in Singapore’s construction sector. This guide delves into the specifics of this system, offering insights to help employers navigate these regulations efficiently.

Understanding the Levy System:

The levy system imposed by MOM is a critical aspect of employing foreign construction workers in Singapore. It entails a fee that employers must pay for each Work Permit holder, with rates varying based on the worker’s skill level and source country.

Decoding the Quota Limitations:

MOM sets a quota for the number of foreign workers that can be employed in the construction sector. This is to balance the workforce and encourage local employment. Employers must stay within these quota limits to ensure compliance and avoid penalties.

Levy Rates for Different Skill Levels:

  • Higher-skilled (R1) workers attract lower levy rates compared to Basic-skilled (R2) workers.
  • The levy rates also differ based on the worker’s source country, with different rates applicable for workers from Non-Traditional Sources (NTS), Malaysia, and North Asian Sources (NAS).

Impact of Skill Classification on Levies:

  • Upgrading workers from Basic-skilled to Higher-skilled status can lead to significant savings on levies.
  • Programs such as CoreTrade and Multi-Skilling are beneficial for skill upgrades.

Best Practices for Levy and Quota Management:

  • Regularly review your workforce composition to ensure compliance with the quota limits.
  • Consider investing in training programs to upgrade the skills of your workers, thus benefiting from lower levy rates.


Effectively managing the levy and quota system is key to optimizing your workforce in Singapore’s construction sector. By understanding and adhering to these MOM regulations, employers can not only ensure compliance but also enhance their operational efficiency.


For more detailed information on the levy and quota system for construction workers in Singapore, visit the MOM’s official page on Construction sector Work Permit requirements.