News: Employers with at least 10 staff must inform MOM of any retrenchment from 1 Nov

From 1 November, employers with at least 10 employees must inform the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) of all retrenchments regardless of the number of employees affected.

Employers have to file the mandatory retrenchment notification within five working days after they give notice of retrenchment to the affected employee(s).

“This will allow the tripartite partners and relevant agencies to provide timely support and assistance to workers who are retrenched,” MOM said.

Source: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/tan-see-leng-105047216_measures-to-facilitate-retention-hiring-activity-6832160040007344128-onDm

By: Mr. Tan See Leng, Minister for Manpower and Second Minister for Trade and Industry

The Construction, Marine Shipyard and Process (CMP) sectors are key drivers of Singapore’s economy. Over the years, Government agencies have been working closely with these sectors to transform business, reduce manpower reliance and build up resilience. However, these efforts take time.

In the immediate term, our CMP sectors continue to face significant manpower shortages as a result of tighter border restrictions due to COVID-19. To help these sectors preserve their core capabilities and emerge stronger from COVID-19, the Government has introduced a package of measures to help them retain and hire their Work Permit Holders. More information about the package can be found here: go.gov.sg/cmpmeasures

To prevent future disruptions to business operations in the longer term, I strongly urge all CMP firms to start on their transformation journeys today. Companies can also tap on technology to reduce manpower reliance, and redesign jobs to attract more locals. The Government will continue to support firms’ transformation efforts through programmes such as the Job Redesign initiative under the Productivity Solutions Grant, and the Job Redesign Reskilling Programme.

Yesterday, Mr Ng Yek Meng, President of The Singapore Contractors Association Ltd (SCAL), and I visited Straits Construction Singapore Pte Ltd to learn how the company has successfully tapped on technology to transform their business and improve processes. I met with Anton, their Project Director, who shared with me how adopting technology such as virtual reality and Building Information Modelling (BIM) has allowed the company to avoid costly abortive work and increased strain to their manpower resources. I am encouraged by Straits Construction’s efforts to embark on business transformation despite the challenging times we are in, and hope more will follow in their footsteps. Let us continue work together to ensure our CMP sectors remain competitive in future.

Employers affected by Singapore’s Phase Two (HA) to get fresh support package, including JSS, 22 July onwards: MOF

For employers, they will receive either 60% or 40% JSS support, depending on the extent to which they were affected, rental relief, and more. For workers, they are entitled to COVID-19 Recovery Grant-Temporary (CRG-T). To help workers and businesses cope with the latest restrictions from Phase Two (HA), Singapore’s Ministry of Finance (MOF) is providing a fresh S$1.1bn support package that will last until 31 August 2021.

This package mainly includes the following:
• Enhanced Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) for affected sectors;
• Rental relief for commercial properties;
• COVID-19 Recovery Grant-Temporary (CRG-T), and
• Market and hawker centre relief fund
“In putting together this support package, the government has taken into account the feedback from workers and businesses, and engaged business and trade association leaders to understand their concerns,” shared the Ministry. Scroll below to find the specific details about each initiative.

#1 Enhanced Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) for affected sectors.
Sectors affected by Phase Two (HA) will receive two more rounds of JSS pay-outs. From 22 July to 18 August 2021, the following sectors (which MOF labelled as closed sectors or sectors with tightened safe management measures) will receive 60% of JSS support:
• Food and beverage (F&B);
• Gyms and fitness studios; and
• Performing arts and arts education

Within the same period, another group of sectors (which MOF labelled as significantly affected sectors) will receive 40%. They are:
• Retail;
• Cinemas;
• Museums (such as art galleries and historical sites);
• Family entertainment;
• Personal care services; and
• Tourism

From 19 August to 31 August 2021, all aforementioned sectors will receive 10%.
#2 Additional rental relief for commercial properties
Next, with regard to rental relief, MOF said, the government will provide:
• An additional four-week rental waiver for qualifying tenants on government-owned commercial properties.
• An additional two-week rental relief cash payout for qualifying tenant-occupiers and owner-occupiers of privately-owned commercial properties under the Rental Support Scheme (RSS).

“Small and medium enterprises and eligible non-profit organisations with an annual revenue not exceeding S$100mn, who are tenant-occupiers or owner-occupiers of qualifying commercial properties, will be eligible for rental relief,” the Ministry shared. MOF said that more details on RSS will be made available on the Inland Revenue Authority Singapore’s (IRAS) website in due course. #3 Extended COVID-19 Recovery Grant-Temporary (CRG-T) for affected workers.

The government has also extended the CRG-T until 31 August 2021, according to MOF. Likewise, the CRG-T will provide a payout:
• Of up to S$700 for those who were placed on involuntary no-pay leave, and
• Of up to S$500 for those who lost at least 50% of their income for at least one month due to tightened safe management measures (since 16 May 2021). “Existing CRG-T recipients who continue to require assistance can apply for a second CRG-T support payout,” the Ministry of Finance shared.

#4 New market and hawker centre relief fund
Additionally, the Ministry shared that the government will support hawkers and market stallholders whose livelihoods have been adversely affected by both Phase Two and Three (HA). To do so, the government will introduce a new Market and Hawker Centre Relief Fund. Through this initiative.
• All individual stallholders of cooked food and market stalls in centres managed by the National Environment Agency (NEA) or NEA-appointed operators will receive a one-off cash assistance of S$500 per stallholder. This is an additional support after the previously announced additional one month of subsidies for fees for table-cleaning and centralised dishwashing services, and one month of rental waivers for stallholders in hawker centres and markets managed by NEA or NEA-appointed operators.

Other initiatives include:
Food delivery booster package. Another initiative announced to support the F&B sector is Enterprise Singapore (ESG)’s food delivery booster package to “defray part of food delivery costs via food delivery platforms and third-party logistics partners for transactions made” Through this package, ESG will:
• Fund five percentage points of the commission cost charged; and
• Fund 20% of the delivery costs for food delivery orders through third-party logistics partners.

This package will last from 22 July to 18 August 2021, according to MOF.

E-commerce booster package
In a similar vein, ESG will also provide grant support for local retailers to have their businesses in local e-commerce platforms (such as Lazada, Mummy’s Market, Qoo10, Shopee, and Zalora) through the E-commerce booster package.

Through this package, retailers will receive:
• A one-time 80% support on qualifying costs for the service fees charged by the platforms, capped at S$8,000.
The E-commerce booster package will last until 16 November 2021. COVID-19 driver relief fund (CDRF) for taxi and private hire car drivers

Further, the government has extended the CDRF from 22 July to end-September 2021. Under this latest enhancement, eligible drivers will receive:
• An additional S$10 per vehicle per day from 22 July to 31 August 2021;
• An additional S$5 per vehicle per day in September 2021.

The MOF noted that the entire support package will be “funded by reallocation arising from one-off underutilisation due to COVID-19, and fiscal resources set aside earlier in the event of extension of support measures.”

Benefits of Job Re-design:
Create an agile workforce, improve productivity and reduce operating cost, reduce manpower requirements, improve employee experience and enhance guest experience
We are a phone call away to cater to your specific needs and challenges. Please reach out to 94362988 (watsapp) or 94359199 (watsapp) or email to enquiry@hccs.sg; hrsupport@hccs.sg

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/jobs/reserving-some-jobs-for-singapore-pmes-among-measures-being-considered-ntucs-ng-chee

https://www.linkedin.com/posts/tafepsg_tafepsg-fairatwork-fairemployment-activity-6780647366589579264-t-T5

Employers should manage retrenchment responsibly and abide by the Tripartite Advisory on Managing Excess Manpower and Responsible Retrenchment.

Fatigue can affect our ability to make good decisions at work. Here are some ideas that employers can adopt to build an environment that encourages rest and recovery for workers.

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/better-support-for-gig-workers-to-be-looked-into-says-dpm-heng-0

The pandemic has drawn attention to the substantial number of self-employed people in Singapore, and the authorities will continue to look into how they can be better supported, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said on Tuesday (Feb 23).

This diverse group may include those taking on gig jobs like food delivery temporarily, and those who take on such jobs on a part-time basis, Mr Heng noted.

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/jobs/askst-how-to-avoid-mental-health-discrimination-when-hiring

Mental health issues are rising, not least with the health, financial and psychological stresses brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

In October last year, several mental health clinicians and service providers told The Straits Times that more people in Singapore had been seeking help for mental health issues amid the virus outbreak.

To help those battling this silent disease, there needs to be more support and awareness of it — not just at home but in the workplace too.

https://www.linkedin.com/posts/tafepsg_askst-how-to-avoid-mental-health-discrimination-activity-6770140201101729792-8Knx/?fbclid=IwAR2_2sqcFM0XhuWhkv6nqIn_ydtGYtSMX1UVwFMdM3aDh7nVpm-hD3INOO8

The COVID pandemic has led to a rise in mental health issues. How does this affect hiring, and what do employers and employees need to know? Read this edition of Ask ST to find out more.

https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6769578908099727361/?fbclid=IwAR3u0gzttDlhtY_MBfHQf3nR-Jo3KbGj8Hgs21WRP0IXTUtIQeJjMok01jc

Since the start of February, we have had seven fatal workplace accidents. In contrast, there were 30 fatalities for the whole of 2020. This is extremely alarming, setting a worrying trend for the year ahead.

The accidents took place across various industries, including construction, transportation and storage and marine.

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/jobs/end-of-lifeline-may-spell-the-end-for-some-firms

While companies in sectors badly hit by Covid-19 appreciate the extension of the Jobs Support Scheme (JSS), smaller players are brooding over how to keep their businesses alive as the support gradually tapers off.

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/fb-arts-construction-retail-still-feel-the-pinch

Employers in the food, retail, arts, and construction sectors welcomed the Government’s plans to extend wage support for them until June, but many feel it is not enough. Safe management measures and a labour crunch caused by border restrictions mean they will continue to feel the pinch.

https://www.straitstimes.com/business/companies-markets/staying-afloat-amid-pandemic

Wage subsidies under the Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) will be extended until September for businesses badly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, but other employers in sectors that have recovered will stop receiving these subsidies after March. The Sunday Times speaks to some employers.

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/wage-support-helps-manufacturing-security-biomed-sectors-recover?

SINGAPORE -When Singapore entered the circuit breaker period last April, Mr Toby Koh, group managing director of Ademco Security Group, was concerned that his security firm would suffer financial loss.

But with help from the Jobs Support Scheme (JSS), which helps employers pay a portion of their workers’ monthly salary, he not only managed to retain all 253 existing full-time staff, he even managed to expand his workforce.

https://www.straitstimes.com/business/invest/how-to-build-network-to-boost-your-career

Networking is often touted as key to landing a new job. Most employers will consider internal hiring and employee referrals before advertising the position or going to recruiters and head-hunters.

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/building-firm-exec-dies-in-fall-through-hole-in-floor

On 10 February 2021, a company director was at a private dwelling overseeing construction work when he fell through a floor opening and landed on a staircase about 4.7m below. The injured director was pronounced dead at the scene by attending paramedics.

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/mom-probes-15-for-fake-educational-qualifications

The Ministry of Manpower is investigating 15 work pass holders here who had declared qualifications from Manav Bharti University in their work pass applications.

The Indian university in Himachal Pradesh state had sold 36,000 fake degrees over 11 years, the Times of India (TOI) reported earlier this month.

S Pass tightening: job take-up by locals to differ between industries.

(Click for more information)
Mid-skilled will likely benefit in manufacturing, but bump to their employability and wages may not be similar in other sectors

Straits Times 18 Feb 2021