Amid softer economic conditions and ongoing business restructuring, 15,580 workers were laid off in 2015 in Singapore compared to 12,930 in 2014. Accordingly, the eligibility service period for retrenchment benefits was shortened from three years to two years, effective 1 April 2015.
These are the key findings from the Retrenchment Benefits 2015 report released by the Manpower Research and Statistics Department, Ministry of Manpower (MOM).
In 2015, nine in 10 organisations (91%) paid retrenchment benefits to eligible employees, down slightly from 94% in 2012. Among these, large establishments with at least 200 employees (97%) and unionised establishments (100%) were more likely to pay retrenchment benefits.
For employees who served less than two years and hence not eligible for retrenchment benefits, two in three establishments (67%) still paid retrenchment benefits to them.
A majority of establishments (83%) paid retrenchment benefits by years of service in 2015, with more than half paying one month of salary per year of service.
However, the proportion of establishments paying retrenchment benefits in lump sum increased in 2015 (17%, up from 7% in 2012), with the quantum typically one to two months of salary.
From 1 January 2017, it will be mandatory for employers with at least 10 employees to notify MOM if five or more employees are retrenched within any six-month period beginning 1 January 2017.