Employers to notify MOM of retrenchments starting from 1 January 2017

Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has announced a new requirement on mandatory retrenchment notifications which will take effect from 1 January 2017.

The tripartite partners have issued an advisory to guide employers on complying with this requirement

MOM stated that employers will need to notify the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) of retrenchments within 5 working days after they provide notice of retrenchment to affected employees, if 5 or more employees are retrenched within a 6-month period beginning 1 January 2017 under the Workforce Singapore Agency Act.

It noted that failure to notify within the required timeline is an offence and may be liable on conviction to penalties, including a fine not exceeding $5,000.

Notifying MOM of retrenchment exercises will enable Workforce Singapore (WSG), the tripartite partners – the Ministry of Manpower, the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) – and other relevant agencies to help affected employees find alternative employment and/or identify relevant training to enhance employability.

MOM said that briefings are available for employers to familiarise themselves with the new requirement. Employers can indicate their interest with the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP) at query-prog@tafep.

Employers may visit http://www.mom.gov.sg/notify-retrenchment for further information.

There is no law mandating that employers have to notify the authorities of retrenchments at this moment. MOM only encourages employers to notify MOM if they are planning to retrench or have retrenched their employees under the Tripartite Guidelines on Managing Excess Manpower and Responsible Retrenchment.

From the beginning of this year, there are a total about 200 companies that have reported retrenchments to MOM. WSG chief executive Tan Choon Shian said that this move allowed the taskforce to offer assistance to 3,000 people. Of these, about 2,000 requested career support and about 60 per cent of them were placed in jobs.

MOM has also announced the tripartite advisory on mandatory retrenchment notifications which can be seen here.

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