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Industry Insights

Tripartite partners update retrenchment guidelines for firms, including longer notice periods

Posted on 27/10/2020 by Paula Formantes

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These guidelines include longer notice periods, denied Government support grants and work pass privileges, and proper retrenchment.

Even more comprehensive guidelines of retrenchment exercises updated by the Tripartite partners -the Manpower Ministry (MOM), the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), and the Singapore National Employers Federation on 17th October, Saturday.

Some of the exercises include longer notice periods and a new checklist for responsible retrenchment.

There were numerous feedbacks received by the Tripartite parties by workers who were retrenched over the last few months have not been notified about being laid off or the reason.

With this being said, it is important for employers to retain capable Citizens and Permanent Residents as part of their workforce in order to build the Singapore core.

Understanding with the Government supports to subsidize workers’ wages and the Covid-19 pandemic continuously dragging on, some employers in harder-hit sections have realized that there is still a long way to recovery and have to result in retrenchment.

Hence to be fair to all parties, the Tripartite parties have rolled out guidelines which include:

  1. Preparing Managers to notify affected workers sensitively.
  2. Taking feedback and answering queries of retrenched staff.
  3. Allowing time to adjust to retrenchment before requesting them to vacate their workplace.
  4. Abruptly asking retrenched workers to leave immediately or to be escorted out by security unless with legitimate reasons.
  5. Provide counseling support if necessary.

Despite turning to retrenchment, employers should properly plan any retrenchment exercise by considering business sustainability and long-term manpower needs. This should also be done with empathy and care.

With the rise in retrenchment, the Ministry’s probe of retrenchment cases found that employers have generally not discriminated against Singaporeans.

The Government has been closely looking at companies who act irresponsibly in Cost-saving measures or retrenchments and might deny them in the future Government support or suspending their work pass privileges. Thankfully, the authorities have not done so and every effort will be made to help Singaporeans affected by retrenchment to get back to work. 

The Government has provided stronger support for its local employees via the Jobs Support Scheme and Jobs Growth Initiative, among others.

For more information and job availabilities, please contact +65 6334 4328.

Reference: https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/tripartite-partners-update-retrenchment-guidelines-firms-including-longer-notice-periods