New guidelines regarding retrenchment have been framed for companies with a workforce of 10 or more than 10. According to the latest regulations, employers are bound to notify the Ministry of Manpower if they retrench any worker. The notification has to be furnished mandatorily to the MOM within five days of serving the notice of retrenchment to the worker. If employers fail to comply with the guidelines, they will have to endure a penalty of up to $2000. The said regulations will be effective from November 1, 2021. According to the existing guidelines, employers have a six months time period to notify MOM about retrenchment, which will be reduced to five days on the commencement of the latest regulations. Presently, the companies are required to inform MOM only on the retrenchment of five or more employees, which has been further reduced to one employee.
The companies and employers can use MOM’s portal to notify them about any retrenchment along with relevant details of the worker and the company as well. The newly formulated regulations will allow MOM, Tripartite partners, Workforce Singapore, the Employment and Employability Institute, and other agencies to help the retrenched employees find another job, provide training and coaching for upskilling, and lessen their mental stress as well as a financial burden. Retrenched workers will retain support through job fairs, referrals, job matching, workshops, career coaching, etc.
Talking about the new policies, Dr. Koh Poh Koon, Senior Minister of State for Manpower said, “Part of the way to help them better, is not just to get better data, but to go upstream to be notified earlier of when they may be at risk of retrenchment, so that we can execute the measures that can help them to either look for a new job, to provide career guidance and coaching as well”. In the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic and due to consequent regulations, Singapore’s second-quarter labor market faced the brunt in terms of employability and retrenchments. The number of retrenchments rose from 2270 in the earlier quarter to 2500 in June. The majority of the retrenchments were observed in the manufacturing and construction industry.