About 250,000 workers have had their pay cut between March and September this year, according to the Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM) report which was released on Thursday (19 Nov).
Earlier in March, MOM had requested employers with 10 or more employees to provide information in the event the employers decided to implement wage cut measures.
As a result, the Ministry said that it has received close to 7,300 notifications on wage cut measures from about 5,000 employers as of September.
It stated that the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP) has engaged 900 employers, who had implemented such measures and affected about 52,000 workers, to review their wage cuts measures as they appeared to be excessive.
MOM noted that close to 330 of these employers have agreed to review their measures, while the remainders were able to justify the need for their measures.
The Ministry added that about 580 complaints relating to cost-saving measures were filed against 470 employers between May and August, but the majority of complaints were resolved amicably.
Additionally, it also received 80 complaints relating to retrenchment benefits. MOM noted that over 60 per cent of employers had provided fair and reasonable retrenchment benefits, while others were assessed to have genuine financial difficulties.
The Ministry also reported a “significant increase” in dismissal complaints in the second quarter of this year, which it said was mainly due to the decrease in resident employment during the circuit breaker period.
Despite the increase, MOM said that it found no evidence of employers terminating their workers unfairly to deny them retrenchment benefits, adding that most of the complaints were filed by workers who were dissatisfied with the abrupt termination.