Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Retrenchment benefit for Singaporeans giving up their citizenships?

Contributed by DareToAct

When a company restructures, often times it hires new employees from other companies and retrenches some existing employees. When it does so, it pays these employees retrenchment benefits. Some unscrupulous companies try to move their employees around to "uninspiring" jobs and hope that the employees will just quit the company and find jobs elsewhere.

Most people will agree that Singapore is run like a company. Our cabinet ministers and senior civil servants are paid like corporate executives. When Singapore Inc was having growth problem after the Asian financial crisis, our government stepped up their foreign talent strategy and "recruited" many to join Singapore Inc. Those Singaporeans who lost their jobs due to the restructuring were urged to upgrade, retrain, redesign. From what I can gather reading newspapers and other media, it seems like many "employees" of Singapore Inc are not finding it easy to cope.

Maybe the government can consider this: pay retrenchment benefits to Singaporean who wants to "resign" from Singapore Inc. It allows those who think they can have a better life elsewhere to leave with a small sum of money (they deserved it as they have contributed to Singapore Inc's growth from 3rd world to 1st) so that they can settle better into their new "job". It is also good for Singapore Inc as the CEO can now spend time doing "unproductive" work like explaining policies to those who do not have the capacity to understand or worry about being fired at AGM.

It's a win-win, no?



Spur said...

Unfortunately, in Singapore there is no legally mandated retrenchment benefit. It is entirely up to the company, whatever the job contract says when you signed it. If the company doesn't pay you anything or pays you only peanuts, you need to take it up with MOM yourself, and is handled on individual case-by-case basis. Or else you need to employ lawyer and fight in court, as what a ex-banker of Std Chartered did.

The often quoted retrenchment benefits of 1 month's pay for every year of service, capped at 25 yrs, and subject to minimum 3 yrs in service, is merely a holdover from British days. And is based on "goodwill" of the company. It is not mandated in any Singapore law or legislation. In 2004, the guideline for civil servants and stat boards was reduced to 2 weeks pay for each year of service.

With the attitude of govt and businesses in Singapore as above, it's difficult for any such "retrenchment" benefit for quitting Singapore. Anyway, the govt will tell you that you can withdraw your CPF if you swear to leave Singapore and West M'sia forever. This will probably be the maximum retrenchment benefit you'll be getting. Plus if you're still doing reservist, then the other "benefit" is no need to put on uniform for 2-3 weeks every year. LOL.

yujuan said...

Pardon me for pouring cold water on this writer.
If he suggests to reward Ministers, MPs and top civil servants for their extraordinary efforts to jack up the GDP growth,
he would be congratulated, but to suggest rewarding citizens giving up their red passports to live in another country, he would be ridiculed, as the Govt considers these people as quitting traitors.

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