EP holders getting retrenched

7/8/2020, By Sze-Yen Chee

Dear Yen, 

A number of our exiting staff are not locals. Besides the obvious, like canceling his/her EP, what else should I prepare for? How do you support an EP holder in an exit management exercise? 

Concerned HR Manager 


Dear Concerned, 

In Singapore, when a foreign executive leaves his job, his Employment Permit (EP) has to be terminated by the company. 

At the point of cancellation, the individual is then legally allowed to remain in Singapore for 1 month, after which he has to apply to immigration again to either extend his visa or leave the country. 

When the EP is canceled, all related Dependant's Passes, Long Term Visit Passes, and Letter of Consent will also be canceled. That means his entire family will be impacted. His children’s schooling may be disrupted. And many other elements too: current leasing agreements, phone bills, utility, and other subscriptions. 

Our recommendation is to give the employee a longer notice period to help him take care of all the disruptions. Help him list down everything, and point him to the relevant agencies that can support his transition. Don’t forget may probably still be dealing with the emotional trauma of losing his job, and maybe overwhelmed with all the additional admin work. 

An Outplacement program can help. 

They know how to work with the individual on everything mentioned above. 

One final thing to note is that the Employer is responsible for bearing the full cost of employment, and that includes the cost of repatriation. 

Unless the pass holder gives consent, the Employer is responsible for sending the Employment Pass holder home. The Employer is also obligated to settle all outstanding obligations, including salary payments before the employee leaves Singapore. Do include the costs of repatriation into your calculations. 

 For more information, you may visit www.ica.gov.sg and www.mom.gov.sg/ or contact us at [email protected] 

All the best! 

Yen