The Coronavirus Pandemic and Employees in Singapore

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COVID-19 has slowed down Singapore’s economy. Companies have been delaying their operations, and this has directly affected workers.

In some cases, businesses have been losing so many funds that they need to let some of their workforces go. Wage cuts and job losses are inevitable during this time.

Well, compared to the world, the situation is not very bad in Singapore. The government has brought various schemes, and rules have been put in place to help individual workers in the city-state.

The Jobs Support Scheme

The Singapore budget 2020 summary consists of a program called the Jobs Support Scheme which will be beneficial to both companies and their workers.

To help businesses meet the wages requirement, the government has decided to co-fund between 25% to 75% of the first gross $4600 monthly salary for each employee during a ten-month period. This will help offices pay and retain their staff.

The payouts will be distributed in April, May, July and October and the amount of funds will depend on the field of the business. Furthermore, the support during April and May will be 75% regardless of the sector.

Employee Retrenchment Bonus and Training

The Singapore government has asked companies to see retrenchment as a last resort. Things such as temporary layoffs, temporary salary cuts, training for new skills, availing of the above Jobs Support Scheme, etc. are to be considered first.

Companies in a good financial position should continue paying retrenchment benefits as per contract. If not, they need to negotiate a new retrenchment contract or seek help from unions to fill in the funds.

Furthermore, low-income workers are to be paid extra attention during retrenchment and this can include more retrenchment benefit, Employment and Employability Institute (E2i) or Workforce Singapore (WSG) refers, and joining the NTUC’s Job Security Council (JSC).

Employee Safety

Even after the circuit breaker is over, employees need to be extra careful with the well being of their employees. They will need to hire a Safe Management Officer (SMO) and install a SafeManagement Entry System.

Singapore Work From Home and virtual meetings are must continue where possible. This is to ensure that employees well-being are taken care of as they minimize their exposure to the public as they need not travel to work.

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