Singaporean seafarers receive additional unemployment assistance
Additional unemployment assistance was given to Singaporean seafarers who were unable to secure shipboard jobs between May and December 2020 due to the associated impact of COVID-19.
As of 1 May 2020, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) along with the Singapore Maritime Officers' Union (SMOU) and the Singapore Seamen's Organisation (SOS) have given financial assistance of up to $800 per month to each Singaporean seafarer who, due to crew change constraints, was unable to secure shipboard jobs between May-July 2020.
Under the Seafarers Relief Package (SRP), the financial assistance was extended by a further three months , i.e. from a three-month (up to $2400) limit to six months (up to $4800).
In the midst of COVID-19 related travel restrictions, the current humanitarian crisis faced by seafarers has left over 400,000 seafarers stranded at sea and 400,000 more unable to board ships.
As a result, it jeopardized the livelihoods of seafarers unable to sign onto ships.
“Seafarers play a vital role in enabling global seaborne trade, and keeping the supply of critical goods flowing. To enhance our safety net for Singaporean seafarers, we will extend the Seafarers Relief Package to provide more help to those whose jobs are affected by COVID-19. We will also support seafarers to go for training and to upgrade their skills,” Chee Hong Tat, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stated.
Maritime Business World