Skills Development Levy (SDL)

As required by law under the Skills Development Levy (SDL) Act, all employers are required to pay a monthly SDL for each of their employees working in Singapore. Includes full-time, casual, part-time, temporary and foreign workers rendering services wholly or partly in Singapore.

Although payment for the SDL is generally handled by CPF (and sent along with the CPF employer payment) it is administered by the Workforce Development Agency or WDA.

Employers

An employer is defined as any person who pays or is liable to pay any remuneration to an employee. It includes:

  1. Any person, company, association or body of persons employing an employee;
  2. The owner of any vessel on which an employee is employed and/or;
  3. Any manager, agent or person responsible for the payment of wages to an employee on behalf of an employer.
  4. Representative Offices registered under International Enterprise (IE) Singapore

How it’s calculated

  • Employee Monthly Remuneration* < $800 = $2
  • Employee’s Monthly Remuneration* > $800 per month = 0.25% of an employee’s capped at $11.25
  • The above two calculations are done for every employee at the company
  • Each employee

*Remuneration is any wage, salary, commission, bonus, leave pay, overtime pay, allowance (e.g. housing) and other payments in cash.  Full list of what SDL is payable on

Example Calculation

Employee Remuneration for the Month SDL Payable Remarks
A $150.80 $2.00 Minimum of $2 is payable for remuneration below $800
B $609.50 $2.00 Minimum of $2 is payable for remuneration below $800
C $2,000.00 $5.00 0.25% of remuneration
D $4,500.00 $11.25 0.25% of remuneration
E $4,502.03 $11.25 Maximum of $11.25 is payable for remuneration above $4,500
F $10,000 $11.25 Maximum of $11.25 is payable for remuneration above $4,500
Total $42.75
Total SDL Payable (Rounded down) $42.00 The rounding down should be done at the organisational level i.e.  after adding all employees

SDL Reporting

Companies need to keep a record of two figures.  They record the amount calculated when totalling each employee every month and the Payable amount that is sent to the CPF

SDL Payment Procedures

Payments for the SDL should be made by the 14th day of the following month to the Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board (together with the CPF contributions) which is the authorised collection agency for the SDL.

Employers should make SDL payment to Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board, together with their CPF payments, unless otherwise advised by WDA.

However, for employers who have only foreign employees (i.e. no local employees hired), they can make the payment directly to WDA via a crossed cheque made payable to the “Skills Development Fund” with the name of the company indicated on the reserve side of the cheque, together with a payment form stating the following information:

  • Mailing address of the company
  • The name, FIN/Passport Number and gross salary  of the foreign employee(s)
  • Period for the payment
  • Contact person and number

Employers making payment by cheque to WDA should also ensure that the SDL Return Form is attached with the cheque before sending it.

Please click here for FAQs.

Summary

  • This is definitely a function of payroll but has no effect on the employee’s actual pay out.
  • It seems like this will be part of the CPF but we probably need to have report around this as well.  
  • If a company employees a completely foreign staff then we made need to help them print off the SDL Return Form however this probably is a later enhancement
  • We will want a report with a breakdown of each employee’s SDL amount, the total and the total payable