Temasek freeze salaries and promotion hikes for one year starting April for fund-raising

Temasek, the national investment firm, plans to freeze promotion and salaries increments of its workers starting from April for one year in order to help with raising funds for people impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak.

Aside from these freezes in salaries and promotion increments, voluntary base salary cut of up to five per cent can also be taken by the senior management such as managing directors and higher level officials, for up to one year.

On Monday (24 Feb), Temasek stated that donations to will be given to the company’s staff-volunteer initiative, T-Touch, with funds from the budget initially set aside for workers’ salary increases. This will enable support for communities, both abroad and locally that is required right now.

Donation funds will also come from the voluntary base salary reductions of senior management, which will be matched dollar-for-dollar by Temasek.

In addition to the voluntary base salary reductions, senior management will also take a partial cut in their annual bonuses for 2020. Funds from this partial salary cut will be held by the company as a contingent expense and not be funnelled directly to T-Touch. Instead, it will be used for community-related efforts in the future to support people impacted by the virus.

Temasek’s continuous initiatives will utilise the funds from these different sources. The initiatives have included repackaging and preparing hand sanitisers for use by front-line workers in sectors such as education, healthcare, security and transport.

The salary reduction measure is a move to stand in support of the community and its companies at this time and not a result of any subpar performance of Temasek’s investments, the Straits Times notes.

Also, the company is able to exercise prudence and restraint through this initiative in light of the Covid-19 situation.

During the global financial crisis and Sars viral outbreak, similar salary reductions measure was implemented by Temasek before.

Some of Temasek’s portfolio companies have implemented similar restraint measures although it is believed that those companies have not been mandated to follow the footsteps of Temasek.

In 2018, the management and administrative expense of Temasek was reported to be S$8 billion in 2017.

Voices have also been rasied with regards to the lack of transparency in disclosing remunerations and expenses. In 2019, netizens were riled up about the reserves, salaries of Temasek heads and high ministerial pay.

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