First things first, what is the SDL?
The SDL, which is the Skills Development Levy, is a requirement as stated by the Skills Development Levy Act 1979 (2020 Rev Ed). All employers are required to pay the SDL monthly for all employees working in Singapore. This SDL is payable to all employees, Singaporeans, Singapore Permanent Residents and foreigners with valid work passes. This is a separate levy that is on top of the mandatory levies, where applicable, like the Central Provident Fund (CPF) or the Foreign Worker Levy (FWL).
All SDL monies are paid to the Skills Development Fund (SDF). The authorised collection agency for SDL monies is the CPF board. These monies are used to support workforce upgrading programmes and to provide training grants to employers when they send their employees to attend training under the national Continuing Education and Training System.
SkillsFuture Singapore Agency (SSG) is the agency in charge of administering the SDL and SDF.
What is the SDL contribution rate?
This is contribution is to be made by employers. Employers are not allowed to deduct the SDL contribution from the employee’s salary.
The SDL that every employer will have to pay is calculated as 0.25% of the first SGD$4,500 of each of their employees’ monthly remuneration subject to:
– A minimum of SGD$2 (This is for employees earning SGD$800 or less a month)
– A maximum of $11.25 (for employees earning SGD$4,500 or more a month)
How do employees make SDL payments?
Employers can make SDL payments together with their employees’ CPF contributions. i.e. How a company makes its CPF payments is the accepted method to make payments for the employees’ SDL.
If employers only have foreign employees and thus do not access the CPF portals to make CPF payments, they can pay SDL directly to SSG via GIRO or by issuing a cross cheque payable to ‘Skills Development Fund’ with details of the organisation’s name, period of payment, contact person and contact address. They can refer to the SSG website for more details regarding SDL payments.