Can an Employment Pass (EP) holder serve as a director in a company other than the one for which the EP is approved?
According to the Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM) website, secondary directorship positions in related companies, such as subsidiaries, may be essential to the EP holder’s job role. In such cases, MOM generally permits EP holders to take up these secondary roles by granting an additional “Letter of Consent” (LOC).
If the secondary directorship position is in an unrelated company, such as fund entities, MOM may still grant the LOC if it is relevant to the EP holder’s primary occupation.
As outlined above, the requesting company must obtain approval in the form of a Letter of Consent (LOC) from MOM before appointing the EP holder as a director. It’s important to note that S Pass and Work Permit holders are not permitted to hold directorship positions in any Singaporean company.
Here’s the next steps you can take: If you decide to appoint an EP holder from another company to your Board of Directors, they will need to fulfill the directorship duties according to the Companies Act.
Who can apply: Employers intending to appoint an EP holder to the Board of Directors.
Processing time: Within 5 weeks.
Required documents: Appointment letter of the EP holder as a director.
As the employer and requesting company:
- Ensure that the EP holder’s employer has no objections to them taking on a directorship position.
- The requesting company must apply for a Letter of Consent (LOC) from MOM, as directorship duties are considered work. Use this form to appoint an EP holder from another company as a director on your company’s board: [URL to the form].
- If approved, the requesting company can proceed to register the directorship position with ACRA (Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority).
MOM generally grants an LOC if:
- Your company has a shareholding relationship with the EP holder’s employer, as reflected in ACRA records.
- The EP holder is assuming the secondary directorship for purposes related to their primary employment. MOM may request additional supporting documents.
It is advisable for companies to assess the impact of appointing an EP holder from another company to their Board of Directors, or if they are the employer of an EP holder serving on the Board of Directors of another company. BusinessDistrict.sg can provide guidance and assistance to ensure compliance with MOM’s requirements.
Secondary directorship appointments in eligible companies:
Directorships in related companies:
MOM generally grants an LOC to EP holders for secondary directorship appointments in companies related through corporate shareholding to the EP holder’s primary employer, as these appointments may be crucial to their primary job role. MOM may also grant an LOC for EP holders to assume secondary directorship positions in companies indirectly related through shareholding. This may include holding companies of the primary employer or subsidiaries of the primary employer’s holding company.
Secondary directorships are permitted in any of the companies other than the primary employer (as depicted in Scenarios 1 and 2 below). The company requesting the EP holder’s directorship appointment (“secondary employer”) must provide MOM with an organizational chart illustrating its relationship with the EP holder’s primary employer.
Directorships in unrelated companies:
If the secondary directorship appointment is in an unrelated company, MOM relies on the assessment of a sector-specific government agency responsible for regulating or promoting the industry’s development. The LOC may be granted if the agency supports the application.
For example, employees of fund managers licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) would be allowed to serve as directors for their investment vehicles, as supported by MAS. In exceptional cases, MOM may grant an LOC if the EP holder holds a senior position or significant ownership stake in the company. Each case is evaluated individually, and MOM may request relevant information for assessment.
Companies should carefully assess the impact of appointing an EP holder from another company to their Board of Directors, or if they employ an EP holder serving on the Board of Directors of another company. BusinessDistrict.sg can provide appropriate advice and support to ensure compliance with MOM’s requirements.
If you have any company-related queries, you may email us at [email protected]. When in doubt, seek legal advice or consult an experienced licensed Employment Agency with the Ministry of Manpower.
The editorial team at Singapore Employment Agency
For more useful articles and videos, visit the Singapore Employment Agency resource page.
If you would like to submit a question or would like us to do an article on certain topics, please email us at [email protected].
Little Big Employment Agency Pte Ltd is a licensed Employment Agency with the Ministry of Manpower with license number 19C9790.