Wage portage, the successful combination of salaried and independent employment, is a form of employment that has been gaining in popularity in recent years. Wage portage is ideal for professionals who want autonomy when exercising their profession, and it also meets the needs of expatriates who want to work as consultants or freelancers abroad. Many professional activities are compatible with wage portage in Singapore. 

The Singapore job market

Singapore is one of the most popular destinations for those who want to set up and work as independent workers in Southeast Asia. This city-state offers numerous job opportunities for foreigners who want to work as conventional employees or who want to become ported employees. The standard of living is also relatively high.

Singapore’s labor market has been turned upside down by COVID, as it has virtually everywhere else in the world. The country’s industries were heavily impacted. Some companies had to close their doors, while others have proven to be particularly resilient and have survived. Still others have been able to expand their operations.

However, according to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), other areas are excellent sources of employment. Although the job market has not yet returned to its pre-pandemic levels, several industries stand out:

  • Financial services (banking, insurance, etc.),
  • Information technology,
  • Engineering (robotics, IT, Internet, etc.),
  • Health and biomedical,
  • Social services,
  • Biotechnology,
  • Information and communication technology (ICT),
  • Human resources,
  • Tourism and related activities (crafts, shops, hotels and restaurants, etc.).
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The country offers opportunities for both resident and non-resident foreigners. However, it is advisable to check with the local authorities to find out which industries and occupations are open to foreigners. As in many countries, Singapore may require a work permit or work visa for certain professions.

What are the advantages of working on a wage portage basis in Singapore?

Wage portage is one of the solutions to consider when testing out a professional activity in a foreign country. If your work as a ported employee is successful, you can always take the plunge into becoming an independent entrepreneur. Companies that want to set up a subsidiary in Singapore can also use this form of employment to get started and assess their chances of success.

What’s more, while there are plenty of opportunities for businesses to grow rapidly in Singapore, it’s not always easy for foreigners to set up a company there. Foreigners may find local administrative, legal and tax procedures and regulations especially complicated. The same applies to hiring employees and managing company personnel.

By starting as a ported employee, you avoid the complications and investments involved in setting up your own business. You can save considerable time and minimize the risk of loss, especially in terms of investment. You can also start working immediately by finding your first assignments. Your portage company will take care of the paperwork for your business.

As the employer, the portage company will take charge of all administrative, legal, accounting and tax procedures relating to the activities of the ported employee, even if the employee is a company. Your portage company will comply with the laws and regulations in force in Singapore when performing these various tasks. Your portage company can even give you useful advice to help you comply too.

For companies working as ported employee, the portage company takes care of human resources management (including on-site recruitment and management of employment contracts) and payroll. However, these companies are free to choose their employees, but the portage company can suggest talents that might meet their needs.

Finally, some portage companies in Singapore offer workspaces to their ported employees and office space to their ported companies. Last but not least, ported employees can also telecommute.