People walk out for their lunch break at the Raffles Place financial district in Singapore. (File photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)
SINGAPORE: Starting Jan 1, employers retrenching staff will have to adhere to new requirements on notifying authorities.
Those who retrench five or more employees within a six-month period will have to notify the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), said the ministry, National Trades Union Congress and Singapore National Employers Federation in a joint press release on Friday (Nov 25).
The notification to MOM has to be done within five working days of retrenching staff. Failure to notify within the required timeline is an offence and employers may face penalties including a fine of up to S$ 5,000.
“These notifications will provide more complete and timely retrenchment information, to better enable Workforce Singapore and the Taskforce for Responsible Retrenchment and Employment Facilitation to assist retrenched local employees find alternative employment and relevant training to enhance their employability,” they said.
Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say said in Parliament earlier this month that there was no clear evidence that cases of irresponsible retrenchment were on the rise in Singapore. This was in response to a question on whether the Government will address cases of “disguised retrenchments”, where a company avoids treating a displaced worker as a retrenchment so as to evade paying fair benefits.