NTUC to help leaders address employees' 'retrenchment anxiety'

The initiative aims to help transitioning workers

NTUC to help leaders address employees' 'retrenchment anxiety'

NTUC proposed setting up a taskforce to tackle challenges and offer solutions to better ‘protect’ employees in Singapore experiencing retrenchment.

The solutions should help ‘reduce the window’ between retrenchment and job placement, said NTUC Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng.

Ng explained doing so will help workers reduce anxiety, ensure better job placements, and help companies looking to reduce hiring and retrenchment costs, according to an NTUC release.

Speaking at the labour movement’s recent two-day conference, he raised how the ”emerging problem” particularly affects older professionals, managers and executives (PMEs).

“Are the [retrenchment] numbers large? No. But are the anxieties high? Yes,” Ng said.

“Can we rethink our protection model to go upstream – partner our employers and see how we can go into the pre-retrenchment phase to help our workers? I think we can.”

Just last year, manpower minister Josephine Teo urged companies to prioritise retraining and redeploying staff instead of simply retrenching them.

Focusing on redeployment will help companies save time and effort on hiring new people, thereby combating the ongoing war for talent in the Asia Pacific region.

READ MORE: MOM warns employers against retrenchments

Teo added that retraining existing staff to switch roles may also help firms close any skills gaps within its workforce. This could help circumvent any jobs and skills mismatches as they become more common in transformative times.

Currently, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) offers HR leaders the following guidelines to ensure a fair retrenchment exercise:

  • Take a long-term view of your manpower needs
  • Inform MOM before carrying out any retrenchment exercise
  • Consult with the union if company is unionised
  • Not discriminate against employees and select individuals based on factors such as the ability to contribute to future business needs
  • Treat affected employees with dignity and respect
  • Consider having a longer retrenchment notice period

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