With the various government assistance available, your company should continue to pay your employees baseline salaries during this period.
If you need to implement cost-saving measures, you should engage and mutually agree with unions and your employees on the appropriate salary and leave arrangement. Read the updated advisory for salary and leave arrangements for more info.
The Government has provided various assistance to support businesses during this period. This includes substantial wage support through the Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) to help employers retain and pay employees.
If you can’t resume operations, you should still continue to pay baseline salaries to your employees.
The baseline salary may vary across employers due to different financial position and business prospects.
You should discuss with unions and your employees and come to an agreement on the salary and work arrangements, with special consideration for lower wage employees.
If the terms and conditions of an employment contract need to be changed, both you and your employees should negotiate and try to reach an acceptable agreement, taking into consideration business needs and your employee’s concerns.
If you can’t reach an agreement with your employees:
- The initial contractual terms and conditions must remain unchanged.
- You or your employees can serve notice and end the employment relationship.
You are not allowed to change the employment terms and conditions without your employee’s consent.
To prevent misunderstandings or disputes, a written agreement with the new terms and conditions clearly stated, whether temporary or permanent, should be signed, where possible (e.g. electronic signature).
No. Employees can’t apply for paid sick leave if they fall sick during no-pay leave or any other non-working day, e.g. public holiday or annual leave.
Company implements 1 day no-pay leave per week.
Employee agree to take no-pay leave on all Mondays.
If employee take 2 days sick leave on Monday and Tuesday, it is counted as only 1 day of paid sick leave for Tuesday.
As your employee agreed to cost-saving measures to support your company, as an employer, you are encouraged to exercise compassion and reimburse any medical consultation fees.
You should only ask your employees to clear their annual leave if your employees’ salary is below the prevailing salary after you have considered the JSS payout.
If your employees don’t have enough annual leave, you should be flexible and compassionate in granting time-off or other leave arrangements, e.g. childcare leave, sick leave, etc.
If they’ve fully used their annual leave, you can ask your employees to take annual leave in advance, capped at 1 year’s worth of leave entitlements.
To prevent misunderstandings or disputes, you should discuss and mutually agree with your employees on the possible situations. For example:
- Whether your employees will be given additional leave if the business recover in the following year.
- Whether your employees can choose not to take annual leave in advance, e.g. take no-pay leave instead.
- How their advance leave will be treated if they resign or are dismissed.
As an employer, you should act responsibly and fairly, especially for lower wage employees, such as those who qualify for Workfare Income Supplement (earning $2,300 or less).
You may ask your employees to work from home during the period of workplace closure.
If working from home is not possible, employers are encouraged to provide additional paid leave to cover the period of absence.
You may also mutually agree with your employees on other salary and leave arrangements, taking reference from the Advisory for salary and leave arrangements.