Singapore's biggest employer - the government - will give its 85,000 civil servants a mid-year bonus of half a month's pay in July, the same as last year. They will also receive, for the first time in almost three years, a one-off lump sum payment of $300, with lower-wage civil servants getting $500.
In announcing this yesterday, the Public Service Division (PSD) said the decision to give the mid-year payments was made after close consultation with public-sector unions, and taking into account the recommendations of the National Wages Council (NWC).
The same payment could also be given to the other 60,000 or so employees in the public sector, as statutory boards and other government agencies typically take their cue from the civil service. The civil service payout is also used as a guideline by private-sector companies.
Earlier this month, the NWC, in the light of a brighter economic outlook, had proposed a one-off bonus to reward workers in companies with productivity gains.
It suggested that workers earning a basic monthly wage of up to $1,300 should get between $300 and $600 of this special payment.
About 1,450 civil servants in Grades IV and V of the Operations Support Scheme will get the higher one-off payment of $500.
The last time civil servants received a one-off payment was in 2015, when each received $500 to mark Singapore's 50th birthday.
The PSD also said that the 540 or so Grade V officers, who earn $1,250 to $1,581 a month, will get a built-in wage increase of $20 in their monthly salary. This is on top of their annual increments.
Unionists welcomed the payout. National Trades Union Congress assistant secretary-general Cham Hui Fong said it signals the PSD's recognition of the hard work and effort put in by civil servants in the last few years.
"We hope our private-sector companies will take cue to reward their workers duly and fairly," she added.
Mr G. Muthukumarasamy, general secretary of the Amalgamated Union of Public Daily Rated Workers, cheered the $500 payment to lower-wage civil servants. He urged them to spend the money wisely on their families, and to save for a rainy day.