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Absentee Payroll and everything you need to know about it

By Matthew Ong on May, 9 2020
Picture of Matthew Ong
Written By: Matthew Ong
On May, 9 2020  -  4 MINUTE READ

Absentee Payroll (AP) funding is a grant to help employers defray the manpower costs incurred when they send their employees for certifiable skills training.

Starting 1st of May 2020 - 31st of December 2020, employers are able to enjoy an upsized absentee payroll of UP to $10/hr (90% of their employees hourly wage) when they send their employees for skills upgrading (training).

FAQS for enhanced Training Support Package (ETSP) - Absentee Payroll

Here's how you can visualise your cost and savings:


Michael (Business Owner) wishes to send his full-time employee, Valerie, for's home-based learning WSQ Social Media Marketing 16-hour course during the circuit breaker. 

Course Fees Payable:

As an SME, the nett fees after the 90% subsidy for the above course to send his SG/PR employee will be: S$95.23.

Absentee Payroll Calculation:

1) Calculating Hourly Wage:

Valerie is being paid $2,000 a month and works a 44-hour work week, 176-hour per month. Valerie hourly wage is equates to ($2,000 ÷ 176 hours) = $11.36

Government subsidise absentee payroll of 90% of hourly wage equal ($11.36 x 90%)  = $10.24 (Of Up to $10/hr)


=> If hourly wage is higher than $10, than the amount has to be rounded down to $10. Otherwise, if it is lower, for example $9.23, it will be taken as that amount per hour. 

2) Checking if the course training hours is within Valerie's working hours:

If Valerie works between 12pm - 8pm and the course is between 9am - 6pm for two days.

Training hours within working hours = 5 hours x 2 days = 10hrs

=> Michael is able to claim a total of $100 (10hrs x hourly wage of $10) for employee who is absent from work

Training hours outside of working hours = 3hours. x 2 days = 6hrs

=> Based on Michael's internal HR company policy, they are required to pay Valerie overtime of 6hrs x overtime rate x hourly rate. 

Regardless of whether the working hours are within or outside Valerie's working hour, the absentee payroll claim will go straight to the company. Michael will receive a total of $160 (16 hours of course X $10/hr of hourly wage)

If the company would like to justify training conducted outside employees working hours and not pay over time rate, they can submit their supporting documents (Flexi-work arrangement, circuit breaker change in working hours, etc), however, it will be subjected to SSG review and approval

Eligibility Criteria
  1. Company must be registered or incorporated in Singapore
  2. Company must fully sponsored employees course fees or supportable fees incurred on the training course;
  3. Trainees must be full-time or permanent part-time employees of the sponsoring company
  4. Trainees must continue to receive their salary when they attend training;
  5. Trainees must have achieved at least 75% attendance and attain a "competent" grade in order to be eligible for the absentee payroll claim
  6. Trainees must be paid overtime pay in accordance with the employer’s Human Resource (HR) policy (for training outside working hours).
    Arrange a 10-minute call here with a programme advisor to build a training plan for your company! 
How to apply?
All our WSQ courses at are supported under the Absentee Payroll funding. 
Step 1: Enrol into a course under corporate-sponsorship (employee or HR assisting)
1. Search for the desired course here:
2. Create a Corporate account here:
3. Login into your corporate account by following the e-mail instructions sent to you upon registering your corporate account.
4. On the side-menu, click on "My bookings" > "Create new bookings" button > search for desired course > input enrolee detailed > Submit >  Pay by Credit Card or Cheque (We always prefer card!) 
Step 2: Set-up your company profile and apply for your employee here.


1) As an MNC company, do I qualify for the upsized absentee payroll of UP to $10/hr of 90% of their employees hourly wage?

Yes MNCs inclusive. From 1st of May 20, the rates applies to all companies registered in Singapore. 

2) As a sole proprietor / self-employed, can I claim as an owner?

Yes you can, it's owner's inclusive.


Arrange a 10-minute call here with a programme advisor to build a training plan for your company!

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