Agile Human Resource Optimisation

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6 Reasons to take advantage of Asia’s Gig Economy

Hiring a gig worker, freelancer, consultant or sub contractor to perform services traditionally performed by a company’s own staff and resources provides multiple benefits. It reduces costs, frees up time to the business and improves efficiency on project execution. In fact, there has been a 55% increase in contingent jobs being advertised in APAC since 2013 showing the mind shift to pay for service is more popular than ever. This is not even truly capturing the cost and operational efficiencies whom understand that you can engage an employee in any country around the world by using a PEO or EOR.

The most consistent increase in the flexible engagement of staff has been in the Technology, Engineering, Construction and Utilities sector growing to 34.3% of the overall workforce. In the engineering sector, small and large firms find it beneficial to outsource technical services to meet their business needs, and they have adopted this with 2.9% growth in contingent hires in 2017 – 2019 alone. Here are the top reasons why you should outsource your project team in 2020.

1. Cost and time savings

One of the main reasons you should outsource is to save money and time. For example, if you need to complete a design competition or executing a large project. Instead of recruiting, hiring and training people, you can simply outsource the skill required for the duration of the project. You will see that it is much easier to develop your product / Service when it’s handled by experts with the adequate skills. They can develop innovative projects in a short amount of time, which eliminates the time and cost of training. They are paid more on a day rate than permanent employees but studies have shown that they are sometimes paid only 4% more than employees by the time you take into account staff costs including: insurance, statutory required costs, training, IT and benefits.

2. Reduce entitlement costs

Hiring contractors can provide more flexibility and in some cases reduce the company cost of benefits, severance, taxes and a full-time salary. As you may know, employees and outsourced contractors have different rights and obligations. Employers usually have to pay wages, holidays, sick leaves, and insurances to their employees. On the other hand, contractors do not receive such advantages, as they are outside of the company. Their insurances and taxes are usually paid either by the consulting company or the contractor himself. However, be careful and avoid using employees and disguising them as contractors, in order to save costs. This practice is known as “sham contracting” and is illegal. Outsourcing has great advantages, but do it in an honest and legal way.

3. Focus on “Core Competencies”

According to businessman Mark Cuban, “companies have to know their core competencies and focus on being great at them”. He is absolutely right. If you want to follow this approach, outsourcing engineers can be a smart and an economical strategy. Let them be the ones responsible of engineering and maintenance processes. By bringing technical specialists, you will perform faster and allow your energy to be used into the most fun parts of your business. Do what you are best at, that’s why we concentrate on only supporting your expansion and leave all the technical stuff up to you. Agile helps the most dynamic brands in the market open a new country or location, within 48 hours, compliantly with HR Outsourcing because all we focus on is staying ahead of immigration and employment law in Asia. We are specialist in Corporate Immigration (Sponsoring your employee Visa’s), PEO (Professional Employment Organization – employing your people for you in-country), Payroll and HR / Talent services.

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4. Learn from experts

Whenever you have issues in your life, you often turn to your friends and family for their advice and opinions, right? Well, it is the same with companies. They often need an outside eye, in order to grow and innovate. For this reason, outsourcing can be a competitive advantage and give you access to rare resources that are not available internally. Indeed, external firms can quickly deliver senior talents with a wide range of skills and fresh perspectives. They can provide substantial improvements, innovation, and creativity to your projects. And the good news is that Agile can help to engage with experienced and high-performing consultants efficiently. We believe in sharing experiences and knowledge, we believe in mentoring and training our youth, we pride our selves on facilitating knowledge transfer. Check out some of our knowledge transfer programs with annuitants at www.agileHumansolutions.com.

6. Flexibility – Get with the gig economy!

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most American workers will switch jobs 10 to 15 times between the ages of 18 and 48. There is an emerging trend towards the outsourcing/decentralising model, as companies want to increase their flexibility. Hiring contractors allows you to pay for a service only when you need it. For example, if you are planning to manufacture a hydraulic system, you can easily hire a mechanical engineer contractor knowing that he will be gone when the job is finished. This can be very advantageous for companies with fluctuating workloads!

Besides, workers tend to look for jobs that are more flexible and that have a better work/life balance. With the use of Internet, it becomes much easier to work in different countries, on different projects, for different companies, etc. Being a contractor allows to have more flexibility and grow skills and knowledge, by discovering different work environments. As a contractor working with Agile you get this as well as a community that to learn and play with as you move between projects. As you can see, flexibility is the new black.

In conclusion, outsourcing brings a lot of benefits when companies carefully use it. This practice can be very beneficial, especially for short-term or specialised projects. According to Deloitte, outsourcing will continue to expand at rates ranging between 12% and 26% in the next years. Indeed, with world’s globalisation and the Internet of things, many companies are hiring contractors for their projects in different locations. If you would like to learn how book at 15 minute discussion with us at your convenience [email protected] or visit www.agileHumansolutions.com.

5 Reasons to Expand into Singapore in 2020!

Singapore has now been rated number #1 by the World Economic Forum as the most competitive country in the world in 2019. They received this along with 13 other global accolades showing Singapore as the global country of choice for business expansion. Whether you are a non-resident individual, small and medium company or a multinational, opting for Singapore company expansion will give you a launch pad to region’s other developing economies. This aside, you can benefit from Singapore’s wide network of trade agreements, ease of doing business, an attractive tax system, and sound intellectual property protection.

One.

You are not just expanding into Singapore – Asia becomes your oyster.

Singapore has a unique position in the global economy and a pivotal role as a business epicentre in the heart of Asia. The city-state has been consistently acknowledged as a global business hub – one that features developed infrastructure with education levels per capita among the highest in the world.

Global businesses will find it advantageous to site their headquarters in Singapore. Strong trade and investment make Singapore the most competitive Asian country and the world’s easiest place to do business. With access to local growth economies like China, India, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, Japan, Korea and Myanmar; Singapore positions you perfectly to effectively expand via a hub and spoke strategy into your chosen markets with minimal investment. With all markets mentioned above, including Singapore, you can choose two routes. Company Incorporation, Singapore has taken much of the pain out of this but we would advise careful consultation on the process and liability. Or hit the road running and partner with a PEO (Professional Employment Organization) and have staff selling or operating for you within 24 hours.

Many multinational companies have chosen to set up their bases in Singapore, next to over 160,000 small and medium enterprises. Business owners all over the world regard Singapore as an ideal location to grow their businesses, with many of them using the country as a springboard to tap into other emerging markets in Asia. Flying is also a pleasure with up to 6.13 Million flight movements per month flying to neighbouring countries is as easy and cost effective as it can be. In 2019 62.2 million passengers pass through the airport annually which also makes it one of the worlds largest business networking hubs.

Singapore has established itself as a reputable financial and regional trading center. It is the world’s busiest port and a top location for investments in the Asia Pacific region. Factors such as strategic location, a competitive workforce, pro-business environment, and forward looking economic policies have enabled Singapore to be the world’s gateway to Asia.

Two.

Trust, Political Stability & Corporate Governance.

Widely considered as Asia’s most political stabile country due to the stability of the ruling PAP party and their 54 year seat of power and zero corruption policies. Singapore’s open business policies and the use of English as the main working language all contributes being Asia Pacific’s second highest rated country in Corporate Governance after Australia.

Singapore’s Company Act (C50) is strict and fair ensuring no wriggle room for the execution of company and individuals fiduciary obligations.  for intellectual property rights.

In 2015 – 2016 World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report Singapore was recognised for offering the best IP protection, infrastructure and incentives in Asia. It also comes a close second in that ranking globally, next to Finland and Luxembourg, which tied in the first place.

All this leads to greater customer trust of your brand, those that choose to trade in Asia also choose uncertainty in many countries but Singapore offers a far greater level of surety for you and your clients.

Three.

Tax efficiencies & MUCH MORE.

Personal income tax rates are marginal rates between 0 – 22% only! This alone attracts many business activities to Singapore. Having corporate, sales, support or other key staff based in Singapore can be efficiently achieved with a PEO partner, we can also advise a the list of great tax offsets you may be able to apply (like a 0% relief on those that travel more than 90 days per year).

Another benefit is that Singapore-based holding companies or headquarters can repatriate dividends from their directly held foreign subsidiaries to Singapore free of Singapore tax. Those whose foreign subsidiaries are engaged in substantive economic activities but are unable to meet the qualifying conditions for this tax exemption may apply for a specific exemption.

This is because Singapore adopts a territorial basis of taxation. Foreign-sourced income is taxed only when it is repatriated back into Singapore. In addition, tax is not levied on foreign-sourced dividends remitted back into Singapore if – the dividends are received from a country with a headline corporate tax rate of at least 15%, some tax was paid in that country (such as withholding tax paid on the dividends or income tax paid on the profits out of which the dividends were paid), and the exemption is beneficial to the Singapore company.

By situating their international HQs here, companies benefit from Singapore’s network of 76 comprehensive Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements. They also gain from Singapore’s many free trade agreements and the Investment Guarantee Agreements. Singapore, unlike some of its neighbouring countries and competing regional hubs have shown corporate tax softening as below.

Four.

Singapore’s government actually wants you here and makes it easy for you to bring wealth and knowledge to the country. 

Singapore makes entering and doing business in Singapore a breeze. They are consistently recognized by forums like World Bank’s Doing Business 2019 report. Again in 2019 they have been rated number 1 for being world’s best place to do business in the World Bank’s annual survey of 189 economies around the world.

We have set up entities in many counties which are well known to be “business hubs” and Singapore is still by far the easiest to country to enter. We can have your first employee engaged in a matter of hours or support incorporation within 1 day! Owning a company in Singapore can set up by anyone including foreigners and its all online!

Five.

It’s where the party is happening; don’t miss out. Free Trade!

The World Economic Forum reported this year that by 2030 two thirds of the worlds consumers would live and consume in Asia. This coupled with the growing support for Singapore over other Asia countries by global MNC’s paints a picture of growth for the financial hub in the next decade. With tax concessions, a strong currency, political stability and world leading personal safety more and more business will be coming to Singapore and I urge you not to miss out. Beyond this the barriers of entry, and exit, along with risk is low to doing business in Asia from Singapore. If you would like to know more we available at your convenience to share information on all the above topics.

Get in contact to have a comprehensive white paper on the payroll and immigration legislation per country in 2020. Connect via email or +65 3159 4151.

Coronavirus: Guidance for Better Mental Health

During the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be a lot of information about the

virus and its effects on mental health. Thatʼs because coronavirus and the social, financial and psychological implications it carries can seriously impact oneʼs mental wellbeing.

Government legislation, mass media coverage, and the increasing global death

toll will cause a lot of stress, especially for the older population, children, and

people with a history of mental health problems.

Itʼs of the utmost importance that we try to remain as composed as we can

during this time.

The fear and anxiety that is gripping the nation are as contagious, if not more

so than the illness itself. While we are in no way diminishing the severity of the physical and epidemiological worry surrounding coronavirus, it is crucial that everyone has access to mental health resources, and is clued up on how they can look after themselves and their own mental health.

People with pre-existing mental problems should continue to manage and track

their mental health. Self-care is vital, and itʼs also important to try and reduce

the stress for ourselves and others around us.

How Your Mental Health Might be Affected

The coronavirus might affect not only your physical wellbeing but also your

mental health. As we might be instructed to stay home due to the pandemic,

the mental health symptoms might worsen.

You might notice several mental health issues, such as:

  • Increased anxiety
  • Stress
  • Excessively checking for symptoms
  • Feelings of irritation
  • Insecurity
  • The normal aches will feel like you have the virus
  • Sleeping troubles
  • Feelings of helplessness

Check if you show these symptoms and try to control yourself as much as you

can.

Everyone Should Take Precautionary Measures

Itʼs crucial that you take precautions that can prevent you from getting the

virus, and spreading it if you already show signs of it.

Here are the precautions that everyone should take at this moment in time:

  • Wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds. Also, use hand sanitizer
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Avoid touching your face, especially the mouth and nose areas
  • Disinfect doorknobs, switches, or any parts of your house that might carry
  • viruses
  • Design a plan with your family. Try to isolate yourselves from the
  • neighbours as much as possible, and prepare for isolation of the potential ill
  • members
  • Masks are ineffective at the moment unless they are N95 or N99 masks
  • Protect the elderly

Plan for Staying at Home

During the COVID-19 pandemic, people might be instructed to stay at home.

People might also work from home, or you can enter self-isolation to prevent

yourself from getting the virus. Hereʼs what to know.

1. Find Somewhere Safe to Stay

Not everyone will be happy to stay at home, but itʼs for the best of everyone at

this point. However, for some, this will not be good as their home conditions

might not be the best.

You can try asking a friend or a family member to provide you with a more

pleasant place to stay. Itʼs best to check with your government and read the

government advice about staying at home.

Also, itʼs advisable to get some help with your housing problems.

2. Eat Properly and Drink Enough

At this moment in time, itʼs crucial that you eat well and drink enough water.

You should strive to bring all the necessary nutrients from your diet, and avoid

restaurants if they are open. Consider getting food deliveries to your home or ask someone to drop off the food at your home. Drinking enough water is also just as important. Itʼs not only good for your

physical health, but also for your mental health.

3. Keep Taking Your Medication

Itʼs important that you keep taking your medication, even at this time of the

coronavirus. You should try to order your medications to your home, and only

order from reputable sites. You can also ask someone else to collect the

medication for you.

4. Continue with Your Treatment and Support

Try to continue with the treatment that you might have been receiving prior to

the coronavirus outbreak. With the technology available, itʼs possible to

continue sessions with your therapists; they can be done by phone, online, or

by text.

Consult your therapist about the treatment, and ask them to support you if you

struggle without the one-on-one sessions.

5. Guidelines are Still Bound to Change

As the scientists are still uncovering the mysteries around the COVID-19

disease, some changes to the guidelines are bound to happen.

The pandemic might take a turn in a different direction, and you should follow

the guidelines provided by the medical institutions in your area.

6. Anxiety Symptoms Mimicking Coronavirus

If you suffer from anxiety and panic attacks often, you might start to think itʼs

the new coronavirus. Check the symptoms before you start assuming itʼs a

coronavirus, and try to calm yourself down.

Once you realize that the symptoms of COVID-19 are very much different from

those of an anxiety attack, youʼll feel more at ease. The early signs of COVID-19 are coughing, sore throat, headaches, and fever. For anxiety attacks, itʼs usual to have a racing heartbeat, sweating, nausea, chest pain, shortness of breath (which is sometimes also a symptom of coronavirus).

7. Support for People with OCD and Anxiety

If you or any of your family members suffer from symptoms of anxiety or OCD

during coronavirus, contact your personal doctor or a psychiatrist.

They will ask you to assess the situation and evaluate what symptoms you

have. As itʼs not possible to attend one-on-one sessions at the moment, they

might arrange a video call with you or contact you in some other ways.

8. Mental Health Support Resources

As self-isolation sets in, more people are turning to online and digital resources

to help them get through this uncertain period.

Donʼt forget that there are plenty of apps for you to download to help keep you

in touch with loved ones, and there is a multitude of online self-help resources,

guided meditations, home workouts, podcasts, and online articles.

For more information about support during the coronavirus for mental health

problems, visit this website.

9. Taking Care of Your Mental Wellbeing

Try to take as much action as possible to ensure your mental health wonʼt

suffer during this time.

Here are some tips on how to take care of your mental wellbeing.

1. Connect with People without Meeting Them

As you may already be aware, itʼs recommended to stay at home and avoid

physical contact with other people as much as possible.

Larger groups shouldnʼt meet at all. Luckily, with modern technology, we can

easily connect with others online.

2. Set up a Routine

For people who stay at home during the COVID-19 outbreak, it might feel

slightly chaotic to stay at home for such a long period.

Therefore itʼs important that we set up a routine and stick to it to prevent us

from becoming lazy and depressed.

It would be a great idea to devise a plan and write it down, and then try to stick

to it on a daily basis.

3. Physical Activity is Key

Try to stay as active as you can. You can exercise at home, even without

equipment. Try to follow online videos, thereʼs a lot of resources for that.

Additionally, now you will have time to clean your home and do your chores,

which is a good form of activity. Go for walks in nature, and try to sit less.

4. Go Out into Nature and Get Some Air

Get as much sunlight as you can, especially if you live in an area where thereʼs

an opportunity to go out into nature. Go for walks, grab some fresh air, and

expose yourself to sunlight. Getting enough vitamins not just during the COVID-19 outbreak, but at all times, is crucial for a stronger immune system and mental wellbeing.

5. Work or Study from Home

You might be instructed to do that, but prepare yourself properly. Make a

working environment where youʼll be able to focus on your work. It might be

hard to do that, especially if you have children to care for.

Try to keep them as busy as possible – make sure they do their homework and

avoid other children. For employees working from home, read everything about

your rights and ask the employer about the policies.

6. Keep Yourself Busy

Now that we will have more time to spend, make sure you keep yourself busy.

Do activities, clean your home, have a clear out, sort your computer files,

photos, or anything that needs sorting.

7. Keep Your Brain Challenged

Read books, magazines, articles, online material, solve puzzles or crosswords,

watch shows or films, listen to podcasts. Anything that will keep your mind busy

and your thoughts free of the coronavirus.

8. If You Start Feeling Claustrophobic

Open your windows, get out of the house and grab some fresh air. You can do

the chores on your garden, or even look out your window more often to get a

sense of space. Change rooms youʼre in often.

9. Limit Your Media Diet

Being informed about the coronavirus spread is helpful, although excessive

worrying about it doesnʼt help your mental health. Especially if you watch the news or listen to the radio, where almost the only thing thatʼs talked about is the COVID-19 spread. Keep a balance between being informed and excessively following the news.

Too much information every day can become stressful. Check the news once or

twice a day, which is more than enough to get the latest news. Plus, limit your time you spend on social media platforms such as Facebook or

Twitter, where everyone shares their thoughts and feelings on the novel

coronavirus.

We are all in this together. If you are feeling concerned about your ability to manage your mental space reach out to someone. Anyone, we are also a listening ear if you are stuck. [email protected] or call +65 3159 4151

Productivity Solutions Grant – The how to guide.

PSG OVERVIEW

Technology is not about fancy and expensive high-end solutions. You can kick start your technology journey by taking simple steps to automate existing processes and improve productivity. The Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) supports companies keen on adopting IT solutions and equipment to enhance business processes.

For a start, PSG covers sector-specific solutions including the retail, food, logistics, precision engineering, construction and landscaping industries. Other than sector-specific solutions, PSG also supports adoption of solutions that cut across industries, such as in areas of customer management, data analytics, financial management and inventory tracking.

These solutions have been pre-scoped by various government agencies such as Enterprise Singapore (ESG), National Environment Agency (NEA) and Singapore Tourism Board (STB).

With up to 80% funding support, PSG serves as an avenue for companies to make long-term technology investments. The list of readily adoptable solutions can be found on Tech Depot.

ARE YOU ELIGIBLE?

SMEs can apply for PSG if they meet all of the following criteria:

● Registered and operating in Singapore

● Purchase/lease/subscription of the IT solutions or equipment must be used in Singapore

● Have a minimum of 30% local shareholding

EITHER has an annual sales turnover of no more than S$100M OR employ fewer than 200 employees

ARE YOU ELIGIBLE FOR THE PSG WITH AGILE?

SME must be a new client of this AGILE solution package, or deploying this solution to a new location.

● SME has never been invoiced by or paid to AGILE.

● SME’s AGILE solution is not deployed to an existing location. PSG Application will be rejected if the solution package has been deployed to the same before.

● Grant cap of $30,000 per entity per financial year (1 April to 31 March) applies.

If you are not sure drop us a mail and we can let you know and explore other grant opportunities with you. [email protected]

THINGS TO NOTE

1. All five packages are full-suite, and inclusive of implementation and training charges.

• For implementation, only company set-up and addition of employees are included.

• No claims or leave structure set up

2. No pro-ration of packages allowed; quote must follow package exactly

• Since our packages are in multiples of 50, we cannot prorate the cost of the package for 30 employees.

3. Package is for 1 year and payment must be made upfront – no instalments are allowed.

4. PSG must be applied before any quote is accepted and before any payment is made

• SME can begin applying for PSG from 26 September 2019 onwards

5. SMEs must personally apply for PSG; AGILE is not allowed to apply on behalf of any SME

7. Up to 70% reimbursement given, capped at SGD 30,000 per financial year (1 Apr to 31 Mar) for all PSG Grants applied by the client. Please refer to Point 9.

8. For additional purchase items, a separate quotation is required

9. Under the Resilience Budget 2020, with effect from 1 April 2020 to 31 Dec 2020, the maximum support level of PSG will be raised from 70% to 80% of qualifying cost.

Hopefully this help and whether suitable for your business or not we would love to explore cost, grant and technology efficiencies with you feel free to set a 15 minute phone call with us at [email protected] or call +65 3159 4151.

Agile Human Solutions gets recognised as the best payroll provider in Singapore!

It was a pleasure to be recognised by Best In Singapore’s review of all payroll suppliers as the leading and the number one payroll company in Singapore. Agile Human Solutions was humbled; we takes great pride in always putting humans first and ensuring that we protect there experience above all else. Supporting Community & Compliance driven Global Expansion for our impressive and innovative clients is made easy by having the best and most fun team of colleagues.

Read the full article about how to chose your payroll partner here:

https://www.bestinsingapore.co/best-payroll-services-singapore/#1_Agile_Human_Solutions

It feels great to now be getting recognised as a leader in all key services areas.

  • Incorporation & Advisory Services throughout Asia
  • Responsible Corporate Immigration (Compliant & Socially Responsible Visa Services)
  • Global Mobility (In-country support and Logistics)
  • PEO Services (Inclusive of EOR & GEO Services)
  • Talent Advisory Services

If you would like more information on any of the above services please reach out to ,,[email protected] or sg. +65 3159 4151 usa.+1-888-242-0061.

What is the difference between PEO & GEO?

Fundamentally Professional Employment Organisations (PEO) started in the USA to help businesses of all sizes have access to economies of scale while procuring benefits for their workers and they help to navigate the different employment law across different states. Then using a PEO (Professional Employment Organization) become a popular employment option for companies with operations in additional to the US, Africa & Asia, where there is wide difference between country or state laws on corporate registration, employment and payroll.

A PEO is useful where a company (foreign or domestic) wants to assign or employ staff in multiple states or countries, but wants to avoid the expense and administrative tasks of incorporating and or complying with diverse state laws and regulations. Some of the benefits of PEO’s did not translate across international boarders so the evolved the international PEO’s began to call themselves Global Employment Organisations (GEO). But don’t worry they are most commonly the same.

Professional Employment Organisations (PEO’s) are extensively used in foreign countries for employment and payroll support, and act as a ‘co-employer’ for the client-company. Sometimes the term is used interchangeably with GEO (Global Employment Organization), but there are a few key distinctions between these two employment outsourcing services which are outlined in this guide. In most cases a GEO is a sole and legal employer of record. On the most part Domestic and US centric PEO’s simply shares some of the employment and payroll tasks with the client.

For example; Agile (www.agilehumansolutions.com) is an International PEO and a GEO, this is because we help our client’s hire and expand compliantly and efficiently across the globe. The reason we are both, is because we offer Employer of Record (EOR) and co-employment formats dependent on the location operational requirements and local employment laws.

What is International PEO

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A definition of PEO is a HR outsourcing (HRO) service, that assists a company with the management of employment related tasks, including employee benefits, compliance with legislated regulations, servicing payroll and risk management. It is essentially a ‘co-employment’ relationship between the PEO and the client-company, so that the PEO can assume some of the employer responsibilities for the client.

What are the advantages of a PEO over doing it yourself? Other than avoiding the cost and energy requirements of establishing a new incorporated entity in a foreign jurisdiction; One primary reason may be that the PEO has a built in HR support structure that includes:

· Risk Management and Worksite Safety

· Payroll & HRIS Servicing

· Insurance and Workers Compensation Coverage

· Regulatory Compliance

· Withholding and Taxation

· Corporate Immigration when sending employees to new countries

· In-Country facilitation and procurement

· Local Employment law advisory

· IP protection and Off-boarding

How does my business engage with a PEO?

International PEO’s contract in a business-to-business arrangement with the client to handle defined aspects of the employment duties to the employees. This can be a comprehensive service, or in some cases may be scaled down to suit the client’s specific needs.

The client-company will advise on the content of employment contract with the employee, the international PEO will then advise on local laws and employment norms. Both will agree to changes from the clients typical hiring conditions to match the local landscape. They will then co-negotiate compensation and manage the work activity. The employee should feel that the PEO is actually just an extension of their companies Human Resources department.

Pros and Cons of Using a PEO

There are pros and cons to using an international PEO as with any professional service, and each company will need to assess their own needs and weigh any disadvantages in their decision.

Pros

· A ‘ready-made’ HR support infrastructure and In-country HR Team, that a company can plug into at any time and with different degrees of service

· Frees up time for recruitment and management of key employees

· Reduces compliance risk across state and national borders when expanding

· Brings an efficient ‘co-employment’ partnership to set the company apart from others

Cons

· Additional expense of the service fee.

· Perception of a ‘loss of control’ of some business or HR functions

· Limited ability to build local procurement and supply partnerships.

As mentioned, there is a difference between some entities definition of PEO and GEO employment solution. The basic distinction is that the GEO offers the client a sole and legal employer of record in the location where business is being done. The employment contract is between the EOR and employee based on local laws. Many international PEO’s provide this under one banner. This service is provided based on what is required locally and by the specific business. So it is important to ask these questions to be clear on what service you are paying for:

The PEO service can be more arms-length as a ‘co-employer’, and is essentially in place to support the employment relationship with the end client though various HR related administrative tasks and services. Determine what service you will receive with these questions:

What is my Employer Relationship in-country with the said employee?

Potential Answers.

· PEO: The PEO becomes a ‘co-employer’ along with the client, meaning liability and responsibilities still rest with the client, but the PEO can minimize compliance risk.

· EOR or International PEO: Employees become fully employed by the Employer of Record, and the EOR has all responsibilities for the administration of employment.

What employer Insurance will I have to hold for the employee?

Potential Answers.

· PEO: Some insurance is provided but may have to be opted into and paid for in addition to service costs. The client still needs to carry their own insurance for protection as a co-employer. It may also be difficult for PEOs to get Workers Comp insurance for non-clerical industries. This often becomes the client’s responsibility.

· EOR or International PEO: Agency and client become protected from risks such as litigation and compliance matters related to the employment of the employee. The Employer of Record’s insurance covers the employee fully, including General Liability, Professional Indemnity and Workers Compensation. The Employer of Record is compliant with healthcare reforms and offers medical plans to its employees on behalf of its client

Do I need to have an Employment Contract with the Employee?

Potential Answers.

· PEO: The employment contract is with the client, not with the PEO.

· EOR or International PEO: The employment contract is between the employee and EOR ‘Employer of Record’, with a service agreement between ‘Employer of Record’ and the agency/client

Do I need a Company Registration in- Country?

Potential Answers.

· PEO: Client is still required to register their company in every location where they wish to have employees or conduct business, but the PEO may assist.

· EOR or International PEO: Using an Employer of Record means you don’t need to register in multiple locations as they are already set up as a legal employer.

What are my Statutory Requirements?

Potential Answers.

· PEO: Transfers all risk to the client, but can advise on statutory changes and regulatory compliance.

· EOR: All the risks are carried by the EOR to meet statutory employment laws.

Who Uses a PEO?

The question of what types of companies will use a PEO depends on several factors such as:

· The HR department’s time is dominated by paperwork and administrative tasks

· The company wants to stay on top of changing employment regulations in multiple business locations

· HR needs to focus on recruitment and retention of skilled employees, rather than employment administration

· Benefit and insurance compliance are a major problem and expense

If these points describe your HR department, then a PEO can offer one reasonable solution to your employment needs, but a GEO could also do the same thing with an EOR to act as full legal employer.

I know that we make it confusing by naming our service so many things PEO, EOR, GEO & HRO. It is like we are trying to compete with the periodic table for annoying and confusing acronyms. But the key to navigating this minefield is asking the correct questions.

Which is best for you? This can only be answered by your management and HR departments; based on workload, appetite for risk, profit margins, duration of endeavour and understanding and experience in the said jurisdiction. Both PEO and GEO (also termed International PEO) can be hugely helpful in expansion and global scaling. It is just important you understand your exposure and work with experienced professionals. Which is the time for a plug. Agile’s leadership consists of 50% Senior Global HR professionals and 50% Global scaling and start-up directors who know the complexity of global expansion because they have done it and with 25 years experience supporting business’s enter new countries across the world we are the most compliant choice. For a quick 30 minute exploratory discussion about our services contact us here or download a country specific guide and white paper here.

How to incorporate a company in Singapore in 2hrs.

Incorporation in Singapore can be done as quickly as 1 – 2 hours and can be done 100% online for as low as SGD$700. Singapore has made it easy for start-up and scaling companies to move into Singapore as well as local entrepreneurs to flourish. It is as easy as 1 – 2 – 3.

Step 1.

Contact Agile ([email protected]) and arrange a Zoom call or phone call for advice on the best incorporation for you. Then complete an incorporation & KYC information form that will be sent to you immediately.

Step 2.

Choose a great name. This name will be vetted by Singapore so should be socially acceptable and not include the word Singapore. You may also choose to do a search www.acra.gov.sg to see if someone has stolen your great name.

Step 3.

Once all the above is received it will be uploaded all on our easy to used online platform. You will input our COVID discount code and may payment of only $700 for incorporation and year one (Year 2 is only $400) corporate secretarial services and you are done. Once vetted and approved by ACRA (may take up to 48 hours dependent on the name chosen), your company will be incorporated! We can then help to set up a bank account (around 5 – 10 days), nominee director or accounting services where needed.

Final step is to start making money and the lifestyle you have always wanted. Agile is always here for all the boring but important back office and HR outsourcing (Employment law and contracts, payroll & work visa sponsorship) if needed so you can concentrate on the important things.

Accessing Singapore’s New Digital Acceleration Grant

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has just released information on the new Digital Acceleration Grant accessible to many of Singapore’s small to mid-sized financial organisations. This bolsters the already generous start-up supportive grant environment in Singapore. The Financial Sector Technology and Innovation (FSTI) Digital Acceleration Grant (DAG) scheme supports Singapore-based smaller financial institutions and FinTech firms to adopt digital solutions to improve productivity, strengthen operational resilience, manage risks better, and serve customers better. Being a Start-Up and Digital transformation facilitator, Agile is obviously very excited about this additional financial support from the government. It includes (but is not limited to) funded purchase and installation of digital HRIS (Human Resources Information Systems including Payroll, Leave & Attendance management), Digital / AI Recruitment & Screening tools, Employee Engagement technology and Global Mobility / Corporate Immigration Management software that Agile ,(www.agilehumansolutions.com) supports.

How much?

  • 80% co-funding of qualifying expenses for applications submitted by 31 Dec 2021.
  • 70% co-funding will apply thereafter.

How long?

  • Institution Projects: 1 Year
  • Industry Pilots: 2 Years

Who can apply?

Singapore-based FinTech firms ,certified by the Singapore FinTech Association , with not more than 200 employees

Grant 1. Institution Project

To support individual smaller FIs and FinTechs to adopt digital solutions.

Qualifying solutions must:

  • be deployed and used for at least 6 months in Singapore;
  • contribute to improvements in productivity, efficiency, risk management, operational resilience, or customer service;
  • belong to any of the categories listed below; and
  • not be built from scratch nor require investment in heavy infrastructure e.g. servers.

The categories of solutions supported are:

  • Cloud services;
  • Communication and collaboration tools;
  • Compliance & KYC tools (including transaction monitoring tools);
  • Customer relationship and engagement tools (including digital customer onboarding);
  • Data-related services (including data warehousing, data automation, data analytics);
  • Enterprise services (including HR and accounting systems);
  • Marketing productivity tools (including customer sensing tools, insights generation);
  • Office productivity tools;
  • Project management, software development and testing tools;
  • Security-related solutions; and
  • Solutions to support alternative working arrangements, operational resilience, and BCP.

80% co-funding of qualifying expenses listed below, capped at $120,000 per entity, for the duration of the scheme:

  • Hardware and software, including licences, maintenance and subscription costs; and
  • Professional services (e.g. consultancy, cybersecurity testing, IT audit, training, change management).

Eligible entities can claim for expenses incurred from 1 February 2020.

The funding period is capped at 1 year.

Submit your application form (84.1 KB) to [email protected] .

Grant 2. Industry Pilot

This track supports joint projects by multiple FIs to customise an existing solution with a solution provider.

Applicants should be Singapore-based FIs, with headcount not more than 200 staff. Each project should have a minimum of 3 participating, eligible FIs.

Qualifying solutions must:

  • be deployed and used for at least 6 months in Singapore;
  • contribute to improvements in productivity, efficiency, risk management, operational resilience, or customer service;
  • belong to any of the categories listed below; and
  • not be built from scratch nor require investment in heavy infrastructure e.g. servers.

The categories of solutions supported are:

  • Cloud services;
  • Customer relationship and engagement tools (including digital customer onboarding);
  • Office productivity tools;
  • Compliance & KYC tools (including transaction monitoring tools);
  • Data-related services (including data warehousing, data automation, data analytics);
  • Enterprise services (including HR and accounting systems);
  • Project management, development and testing tools;
  • Security-related solutions;
  • Communication and collaboration tools;
  • Marketing productivity tools (including customer sensing tools, insights generation); and
  • Solutions to support alternative working arrangements, operational resiliency, and BCP arrangements.

80% co-funding of qualifying expenses, capped at $100,000 per participating entity, per project.

Qualifying expenses may include hardware and software, professional services, and manpower costs.

The funding period is capped at 2 years. Submit the application form (85.5 KB) (1 form for each participating FI) to [email protected] .

If you need any help or advice on these Grant Scheme please Contact Us or email [email protected].

Published by Leon Farrant

How the $48 Billion COVID government stimulus can help my Singapore based business

If you can’t beat it join it. Be the Virus; adapt, settle into new environments and multiple! Many governments have done so much to support economic growth and their people through this tough time. It is my view that Singapore is a global leader with their decisive and generous budgetary action.

However, as with all things that come for free the path to access them can be confusing. This is meant to be a short succinct list of the available grants and support funds with a link to apply.

Grants to support individuals

,,JSS (Jobs Support Scheme).

Singapore based employers can now get 25% of the first $4,600 of monthly salaries, up from 8% on the first $3,600 previously.

,Wage Credit Scheme (WCS)

$1.1 Million To support businesses embarking on transformation efforts and encourage sharing of productivity gains with workers, eligible employers can look forward to the seventh tranche of Wage Credit Scheme (WCS) pay-outs in March 2020.

,,COVID-19 Support Grant

Covid-19 Support Grant has been introduced to support those who have lost their jobs due to the Covid-19 outbreak. This grant will help them to find a new job or enrol themselves for training. Successful applicants will receive a cash grant of $800 for 3 months. ,You can apply to an SSO near you.

Temporary Relief Fund

Similar to the Covid-19 Support Grant, the Temporary Relief Fund focuses on providing immediate assistance. They will now be able to get financial help to assist them with their basic day-to-day expenses. They will now be able to apply for a one-off cast assistance of SGD $500 from 1 – 30 April 2020. ,You can apply to an SSO near you.

Grants to support Self-Employed Persons (SEPs)

SEP Income Relief Scheme (SIRS)

Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme will directly provide cash assistance to the self-employed. Those eligible will receive SGD $1000 per month for 9 months. Those 37 years or older will automatically be credited if they meet the criteria ore details will be released on this soon.

,SEP Training Support Scheme

Self Employed Persons Training Support Scheme will provide support for them to make use of this period to train upskill. Up to 90% of course fees will be subsidised and also, from 1 May 2020, there will be a training allowance given for SGD $10/hour.

There will also be an automatic deferment of income tax payment for 3 months.

To apply will have to add your personal details here and submit your supporting documents for a Letter of Eligibility here.

Grants to support Businesses

,Property Tax Rebate

This relief will be granted to owners of qualifying commercial properties (hotels, serviced apartments, tourist attractions, shops and restaurants), to help them with the cost pressure during this period. With this enhancement, owners will now be granted rebates of up to 100% of their property tax payable from 1 January – 31 December 2020.

For companies: Cash Flow Support

During this period, the government will support those who are facing cash flow challenges, with the following support:

  • Expanded Temporary Bridging Loan Programme to all sectors and the maximum support loan extended to SGD $5 million
  • Increased maximum loan quantum to SGD $1 million under the Enterprise Financing Scheme – SME Working Capital Loan
  • Increased maximum loan quantum to SGD $10 million and Government risk-share to 80% under Enterprise Financing Scheme – Trade Loan
  • Increased subsidies for loan insurance premiums to 80% under the Loan Insurance Scheme

You can click here to find out more information regarding the application process.

Capability Development Grant

This grant focuses on supporting the exposure to learning in diverse areas of functions and practices within the arts field. This grant can be used for workshops, masterclasses, seminars, conferences, residencies and other professional training programmes.

The support level for Productivity Solutions Grants and Enterprise Development Grant has been raised to 80% and 90% respectively, till the end of 2020.

To apply submit an application on the Business Grants Portal

Resilience Building

The SG Together Enhancing Enterprise Resilience (STEER) programme will support funds set up by the TACs or industry groupings, aiming to help businesses who have suffered during this period. Under this programme, Enterprise Singapore will match SGD $1 for every SGD $2 raised by such initiatives, up to SGD $1 million per fund.

For the criteria and application process for the STEER programme, contact Enterprise Singapore.

I hope that this was informative, if you need help with any of the grants or want to know more about doing business in Singapore or greater Asia in these tough times Contact Us and we will be sure to help.

Look out for our next article on corporate immigration and work visa provision during the COVID pandemic.

Written by Leon Farrant

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