Opting for third-party cleaning professionals to clean and disinfect premises can be quite costly because of the chemicals used and the process involved. Understanding this struggle, the Singapore government has set aside funds to aid premises owners cover expenses on cleaning and disinfection of premises with confirmed cases of COVID-19.
This scheme is called the Cleaning Assistance Scheme or CAS and was announced by the National Environment Agency, Singapore Tourism Board and Enterprise Singapore. It takes effect from 1st April to 31st December 2020. Here are the essential things you need to know about the new Cleaning Assistance Scheme.
What are the types of premises supported by NEA under the cleaning assistance scheme?
The scheme does not cover all types of premises. The following are the types of premises that NEA supports:
- Residences, such as condominiums, public housing, landed dormitories and homes. If third-party professional cleaning firms conduct cleaning or disinfection jobs for common areas in Town Council areas and condominiums, the scheme also applies to them.
- Private educational institutions, private offices or shops in non-retail constructions, which include enrichment and childcare centres, preschools, and commercial stores like clinics, hair salons and banks in non-retail buildings.
- Food establishments in non-retail structures, including a cafe, restaurant, food stall, coffee shop, supermarket, mini market, bakery, food court and takeaway store.
- Religious institutions, such as mosques, churches and temples.
- Recreational facilities, including gyms, bowling alley and country club.
- Community facilities, such as private nursing centre and clan associations.
What are the eligibility criteria for the cleaning assistance scheme?
Apart from the premise’s types, the following are the eligibility requirements for the scheme:
- Applicants for residential premises must provide proof of nationality, either Singapore citizen or permanent resident status, for confirmed cases.
- Applicants for non-residential premises have to meet the following criteria:
- They must be registered in Singapore
- They should have at least thirty percent local shareholding
- They must have a group annual sales turnover of not exceeding $100 million or group employment size of not exceeding two hundred personnel
- The qualifying expenses must be incurred and paid between 1st April 2020 and 31st December 2020.
- NEA will only support expenses for third-party professional cleaning or disinfection services. Applicants are advised to refer to NEA’s website for more information, which includes the list of cleaning firms that can perform the cleaning jobs.
- In case the disinfection services hired are beyond the list given by NEA, applicants must ensure their service provider completes the attached declaration form and submit it along with a completed application form.
- COVID-19 confirmed cases and family members must not violate the SHN or QO. Otherwise, the full grant will be recovered.
- Applicants must declare they have not produced the same claims from other government bodies, such as the Singapore Tourism Board or Enterprise Singapore, where applicable.
- Applicants must declare they had implemented safe distancing standards in their establishments, where applicable.
Cleaning assistance scheme’s level of support and application evaluation
Subject to NEA’s evaluation, successful applicants will get funding support of up to fifty per cent of third-party qualifying expenses, capped at SGD 3,000 for every application. All applications will be evaluated on a case-to-case basis.
How to apply for the scheme?
Applicants may download the application form at NEA’s website. They can first submit a soft copy of the signed and completed application form along with the all other supporting documents’ soft copies.
For the grant’s approval, applicants are required to submit the following documents’ hardcopies to NEA:
- Signed and completed application form. The sign must be a wet ink signature
- Documents proof of confirmed cases and details contained
- Proof of Singaporean nationality or PR status of confirmed cases for residential premises, except employees’ dormitories
- ACRA Bizfile with a record of not exceeding six months from the application date for employees’ dormitories and other non-residential sites
- Every proof of payment for qualifying expenses with detailed costing breakdown, which includes:
- Receipt and original invoice from the vendor offering cleaning services or the certified true copy of an invoice endorsed with the applicant’s complete name, date, wet-ink signature or thumbprint, company stamp (if applicable), certified true copy stamp, on every printed page
- Proof of payment to the vendor, such as bank statement or cheque
Hiring third-party professional office cleaning and disinfection services in Singapore can be pretty costly. Fortunately, NEA’s Cleaning Assistance Scheme helps ease this burden by covering up to fifty percent of the cleaning and disinfection services cost for premises with confirmed cases of COVID-19. Therefore, qualified premise owners should take advantage of this assistance and apply for the scheme.