Skip to main content
Industry NewsKingsforce News

Singapore’s Employment Pass Eligibility: Introducing the Complementarity Assessment Framework (COMPASS)

By August 2, 2023No Comments

COMPASS will apply to:

  • New applications from 1 September 2023
  • Renewals for passes expiring from 1 September 2024

As Singapore continues to thrive as a global business hub, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) recognizes the need for a balanced and diverse workforce. To enhance the Employment Pass (EP) eligibility process, the MOM has recently introduced the Complementarity Assessment Framework (COMPASS). This framework aims to strengthen the complementarity between local and foreign employees in the workforce, ensuring fair opportunities for both employees and employers alike. In this article, we will delve into the key aspects of COMPASS and how it impacts the recruitment landscape for companies based in Singapore.

Understanding COMPASS

The COMPASS initiative aims to evaluate the contribution and value that foreign employees bring to the Singaporean workforce. It emphasizes the importance of complementarity, meaning the ability of foreign workers to complement and enhance the skills and expertise of local employees rather than displacing them. By focusing on complementarity, MOM aims to create a win-win situation for both local and foreign talents, fostering a more harmonious and efficient work environment.


COMPASS is a data-driven framework that considers various factors when assessing the eligibility of Employment Pass applicants. It evaluates each applicant’s skills, experience, qualifications, and their potential contributions to the Singaporean workforce. The framework aims to identify whether a foreign employee’s expertise fills a specific skill gap or enhances the overall capabilities of the company.

  1. Job Role Analysis: COMPASS evaluates the job role of the Employment Pass applicant and compares it with the roles fulfilled by local employees. It assesses whether the applicant’s skills and experience offer unique advantages and are not readily available within the local workforce.
  2. Salary Benchmarking: The framework also considers the salary offered to the Employment Pass applicant. A competitive salary package that aligns with industry standards signifies the value the applicant brings to the company.
  3. Company’s Efforts to Hire Locals: Employers are encouraged to demonstrate their commitment to hiring local talents by actively advertising job openings to local candidates. COMPASS takes into account the company’s efforts to recruit local employees before considering foreign applicants.
  4. Sector-Specific Considerations: In certain sectors facing specific skill shortages, COMPASS may allow for more flexibility in EP eligibility to attract foreign talents possessing critical expertise.

How Does COMPASS Benefit Employers?

For employers in Singapore, COMPASS presents several advantages:

  1. Access to Global Talent: COMPASS acknowledges the importance of global talents in driving business growth and innovation. Employers can still hire foreign employees possessing unique skills and expertise that complement their local team.
  2. Streamlined Hiring Process: The framework provides clearer guidelines and criteria for EP eligibility, reducing uncertainties and expediting the application process.
  3. Enhanced Workforce Diversity: A diverse workforce enhances creativity, problem-solving, and cultural awareness within an organization, which can lead to increased productivity and competitiveness.

How Does COMPASS Benefit Employees?

For foreign employees seeking EP opportunities in Singapore, COMPASS offers the following benefits:

  1. Fair Assessment: COMPASS ensures that Employment Pass applications are assessed based on merit, skills, and qualifications, promoting a level playing field for all applicants.
  2. Transparent Criteria: The framework provides transparency regarding the EP application process, giving foreign employees a better understanding of their chances for approval.
  3. Professional Growth Opportunities: By encouraging complementarity, COMPASS encourages foreign employees to contribute their expertise while also fostering opportunities for learning and growth within the local workforce.

The introduction of the Complementarity Assessment Framework (COMPASS) by the Ministry of Manpower is a significant step towards strengthening the complementarity between local and foreign employees in Singapore. This initiative allows employers to access the global talent pool while ensuring a fair and balanced employment landscape for all. For both employers and employees, understanding the criteria and objectives of COMPASS will be crucial in navigating the EP application process and fostering a diverse and dynamic workforce in Singapore.

Leave a Reply

Customized Website Development by Calvin Seng Co Pte Ltd