Simplify process to certify NSmen's salary claims

A member of my staff was called up for reservist duty recently.

I asked him to apply to be paid directly by the Singapore Armed Forces for the call-up period, and I received an e-mail from the NS Portal asking me to verify his claim.

I clicked the link in the e-mail and was directed to a confusing webpage containing many distracting and irrelevant pieces of information.

After reading the entire page, I found a link that directed me to yet another confusing webpage. Finally, I managed to find a link that directed me to sign in with my SingPass.

Thisled me to the homepage of the NS Portal, which contained many links for information relevant to national servicemen but not to me, his employer. I had to click on several links before finding one that indicated "Submit a Claim".

However, when I clicked on this link, I could not find any claim submitted by my staff member. So I called the NS hotline for help, but decided to give up after listening to many confusing messages that were not relevant to me. I had spent more than an hour on this but failed to certify the claim.

Later, I learnt that I could complete a manual form and fax it to SAF instead, which took me just five minutes.

We have had NS for 50 years. Surely the SAF should have a simpler way for employers to certify a claim by NSmen?

The link in the e-mail should have taken me directly to a log in page, without any other distracting information. The claim page should have been displayed right after I had logged in.

Singapore aspires to be a Smart Nation. Can we be smart enough to create a simple process for employers to certify the claim submitted by employees called up for reservist duty?

Tan Kin Lian

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 23, 2018, with the headline 'Simplify process to certify NSmen's salary claims'. Print Edition | Subscribe