Should retrenchment benefits be mandatory?

With the Ministry of Manpower making retrenchment notifications mandatory, should the same be imposed on retrenchment benefits?

Should retrenchment benefits be mandatory?

A new rule set forth by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) stipulates that come 1 January, any firm looking to lay off workers is required to report retrenchment exercises to the government. Failure to do so will result to the company being fined.

Should the same rule now be applied when it comes to retrenchment benefits?

The Straits Times'  long-standing manpower correspondent, Toh Yong Chuan, said that MOM will not impose this rule “because the practice is already widespread”.

“According to its own surveys, as many as nine in 10 companies with retrenched workers paid such benefits,” he said. 

“It would rather give companies and unions the flexibility to negotiate such payments, rather than prescribing them under the law, because the circumstances of companies that retrenched workers are different and there cannot be a one-size-fits-all approach.”

MOM believes that imposing rigid labour laws regarding retrenchment benefits will discourage firms from hiring workers from the outset and this in turn will hurt the labour force, he added.

However, Toh admitted that the pressure on the government to make this mandatory will keep on increasing as workers become more educated about their rights.

“The government will have to balance the desire for more protection by workers against the flexibility that it gives companies in hiring and firing,” he said.


Recent articles & video

Government 'working on aligning' skills mismatch in Malaysia

Heat of the moment: Worker quits after being threatened by employer's colleague

Is telling worker 'The sooner you go, the better' dismissal?

Citigroup to employees: Speak up on cases of 'unacceptable behaviour'

Most Read Articles

Southeast Asia expecting salary increases in 2024

Employers requiring in-office attendance to enforce hybrid work

Middle managers unrecognised in addressing talent challenges: report