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MOM: More than 9,000 Singaporeans were retrenched in 2017

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The Taskforce for Responsible Retrenchment and Employment Facilitation (the Taskforce) yesterday released its first report card which found that a total of 9,120 locals were retrenched from 1,247 companies in 2017.

According to the media statement issued by the Ministry of Manpower, the Taskforce reached out to all retrenched locals, whose contact details were available, to provide information on employment facilitation. Of those, a quarter took up the Taskforce’s offer of employment assistance, which includes job matching. Those who did not, cited reasons such as choosing to find employment on their own or taking a break from work.

Among those assisted, 70% found jobs within six months.

The report card also revealed that similar to previous years, 90% of retrenching companies paid retrenchment benefits to eligible Singaporean staff in 2017. At the same time, the proportion of establishments that paid retrenchment benefits by years of service has risen, with better economic conditions.

As for the 10% of companies which did not pay retrenchment benefits, the key reason cited was financial constraints.

On the topic of retrenchment-related disputes, the Taskforce reported that all 74 cases were resolved through mediation, adjudication or engagements with employers. It noted that most of the cases involved appeals over the quantum of retrenchment benefits while some involved alleged discriminatory retrenchment practices.

Commenting on the Taskforce’s work in 2017, Tan Choon Shian, Taskforce chairman and chief executive of Workforce Singapore (WSG), noted that the mandatory retrenchment notifications have given the Taskforce timelier and more complete information on retrenchments to help affected locals find new jobs.

He added: “Many of the jobseekers that were placed, as well as their hiring companies, made use of WSG’s Adapt and Grow programmes and services to facilitate the matches. It was important that such individuals and employers kept open mindsets and were prepared to accept potential recruits or hiring opportunities that may not have seemed like obvious fits in the first instance.”

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