Almost half of Asian companies plan to reduce staff within the next six
months, but large-scale retrenchments are no longer on the agenda.
According to a recent Mercer study, 44 per cent of Singapore respon
dents said they plan to reduce staff, a figure that is on par with the rest of
Asia. It also revealed that 63 per cent of Singapore respondents have al
ready reduced their staff headcount in the last six months, compared with
59 per cent of Asia and 66 per cent of global respondents.
However companies plan to cut staff only by less than 5 per cent.
The majority of companies say they will be more likely to freeze pay
levels or defer pay increases rather than make pay cuts. But in Singapore,
only 38 per cent of companies said they froze salaries across the board in
the last six months, while 36 per cent said they intend to do so within the
next six months. Furthermore, 17 per cent of respondents increased
salaries as planned, which is less than the Asia average of 25 per cent and
the global average of 28 per cent.