This follows the start of Mandatory Retrenchment Notification rules, which took effect on 1 January. The guidelines require employers to notify the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) of retrenchments within five working days after they notify affected employees, if 5 or more employees are retrenched within a 6-month period.
These notifications provide more complete and timely retrenchment information to better enable Workforce Singapore
(WSG) and the taskforce to assist retrenched local employees find alternative employment and relevant training to enhance their employability, according to MOM.
“In our experience, if we are able to reach out to workers earlier, our success rates improves,” said the taskforce’s chairman Tan Choon Shian, as quoted by Channel News Asia
. He is also the CEO of Workforce Singapore. “So we are particularly happy that the mandatory notification is now in place, so we can reach out to the larger group of workers as soon as possible.”
The taskforce began in March last year, and is composed of members from MOM, WSG, National Trade Union Congress, and the Employment and Employability Institute
“With the company’s permission, and if the affected number of employees is large, we will try to organise an onsite event within the company – to explain (what's happening) to the affected staff. And for many of the staff, I think it’s possibly the first time they are looking for a job after many years,” said Tan as quoted by Channel News Asia.
According to MOM figures, there were 19,170 redundancies in 2016, continuing an upward trend. The ministry said this was mainly due to “business restructuring and reorganisation.” The figure is still lower than the recessionary high (23,430) in 2009. “Residents were proportionally less affected, with their share of redundancies (58%) remaining lower than their share of employment (66%).”
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Some 230 retrenched workers were able to find jobs since the start of the year, through the help of the Taskforce for Responsible Retrenchment and Employment Facilitation.