There is a wide range of support measures provided by the Government, including training grants and financial support, to help employers manage their manpower cost. The Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) provides wage support to employers, helping them retain local employees during this period of economic uncertainty.
As such, even employers in severe financial difficulties would have some funds to provide retrenchment benefit to the affected employees, though the quantum may vary from employer to employer depending on their financial position.
In the event of a dispute, retrenched employees may write in to MOM at firstname.lastname@example.org to have their case assessed.
MOM and the tripartite partners expect employers to follow the Advisory when conducting retrenchments. Employers who do not follow the Advisory may be denied future Government support or have their work pass privileges suspended.
The Advisory provides guidance on when retrenchment benefit is payable during the COVID-19 situation.
If an employer terminates an employment contract with no plan to fill the vacancy soon, the employee is considered retrenched, and the Advisory will apply.
However, if your employer is undergoing a cost cutting exercise and the majority of the employees have agreed to fair wage reductions to preserve their jobs, but you disagree, then your employer can terminate your employment contract. This is not considered retrenchment. In this case, your employer must give due notice or pay in lieu of notice, and fulfil all other contractual obligations, before ending the employment relationship.