Pandemic-era notification to MOM about wage cuts to cease from Aug 1

On Aug 1, an advisory on retrenchment benefits owed to laid-off employees will also cease to take effect. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

SINGAPORE - Employers with 10 or more workers will no longer have to inform the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) of wage cuts taken in the name of cost-saving from Aug 1.

This comes as average monthly notifications fell to eight on average in the first three months of this year, compared with a peak of 1,713 at the start of the circuit breaker in April 2020, MOM said.

It instituted the reporting rule in March 2020 to monitor the pandemic impact on workers, as well as to provide timely aid to employers.

It was a temporary measure, said MOM.

On Aug 1, its advisory on retrenchment benefits owed to laid-off employees will also cease to take effect.

The May 2020 advisory allowed employers leeway with payouts, such as giving lump sums to workers that they let go.

This softened the financial strain on employers over norms laid out by the tripartite alliance, such as pro-rated payouts for retrenched workers' each year of service.

From 198 at its highest in August 2020, the number of employers turning to this relief measure has fallen to a monthly average of eight in the first three months of this year, MOM said.

Employers carrying out layoffs must still notify MOM within five days after informing affected staff, if the firm hires at least 10 workers.

They can refer to the tripartite advisory on managing excess manpower and responsible retrenchment, the ministry added.

In response to the report, labour MP Patrick Tay reminded employers that they should inform unions and MOM early so that retrenched workers can get help.
 

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