Singapore civil servants to get 0.35-month mid-year bonus

The Public Service Division said the bonus amount was decided in close consultation with public sector unions. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - All civil servants will receive a 0.35-month mid-year bonus, with junior staff getting another $200 to $400 on top of the bonus.

In a statement on Monday (June 20), the Public Service Division (PSD) said the bonus takes into consideration that Singapore's gross domestic product growth in 2022 is likely to come in at the lower half of the forecast range of 3 per cent to 5 per cent.

Nonetheless, it will be higher than the 0.3-month bonus given to civil servants last year.

The one-time payment for junior staff, however, is lower than the $350 to $700 given in 2021.

The PSD said the bonus amount was decided in close consultation with public sector unions.

"The Government deeply appreciates the hard work and contribution of all public officers."

Civil servants in grades equivalent to MX13(I) and MX14 will receive an additional one-time payment of $200. Those in grades equivalent to MX15 and MX16, and those in the Operations Support Scheme Grades III to V, will get a higher one-time payment of $400.

The PSD noted that despite the economic recovery and declining unemployment off the back of a stabilising Covid-19 situation, "significant downside risks remain ahead for Singapore".

"The external demand outlook in 2022 has deteriorated, due in part to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, which has exacerbated global supply disruptions and adversely affected the growth of many economies."

It added: "In deciding the year-end AVC (annual variable component) payments, the Government will continue to monitor the economic situation closely, and take into consideration the National Wages Council's guidelines, which will be released later in the year."

Expressing the labour movement’s support for the bonus, Ms Cham Hui Fong, deputy secretary-general of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), said the payout was "a timely recognition of our civil servants’ dedication in serving the people during the pandemic period".

She added: “NTUC also urges employers and employees, from both the public and private sectors, to constantly transform themselves so that they remain competitive and seize opportunities.

“This should lead to better business and work prospects so that in the longer term, it leads to higher productivity and better wages.”

Mr Sanjeev Kumar Tiwari, general secretary of the Amalgamated Union of Public Employees, said: “Given the current economic uncertainties, geopolitical tensions and inflationary pressures, we appreciate the moderate increase in the mid-year AVC compared with last year’s mid-year AVC, with more for the junior and lower-income officers.

“We hope that things will turn around so that there will be better outcomes at the end of the year.”

Ms Jaya Dass, managing director of Singapore and Malaysia at recruitment firm Randstad, said that while it is highly unlikely private firms will follow suit and issue a mid-year bonus if they have not planned to already, the increase would prompt some companies to make a more robust adjustment for their year-end bonus payouts and salary revisions.

“It also comes at a good time as people are managing the increasing cost of living in recent months.”

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