Before this update, employers were only required to notify the MOM when they retrench five or more employees within a six-month period. 

Effective 1 November 2021, employers in Singapore with at least 10 employees will be required to notify the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) of all retrenchments regardless of the number of employees affected. Dubbed as the mandatory retrenchment notification, this exercise has to be filed by employers within five working days after they provide notice of retrenchment to the affected employee(s).

Before this update, employers were only required to notify the MOM when they retrench five or more employees within a six-month period.

Information required to submit to the Ministry remains as the following:

  • Company name and UEN
  • Company contact person details
  • Name of union (if company is unionised), and whether union was consulted
  • Number of employees on the date of submission of the retrenchment notification to MOM. This includes all employees, i.e. Singaporeans, Permanent Residents and foreigners.
  • Details of employees to be retrenched (i.e. name, NRIC or FIN, residential status, job title, date of effective retrenchment, date of notification of retrenchment to employees)
  • Payment of retrenchment benefits and quantum
  • Provision of employment facilitation assistance

The Ministry said failure to comply with the requirement on mandatory retrenchment notifications under the Employment Act is a civil contravention, which can garner administrative penalties. "Employers who wilfully do not comply with the requirement may be guilty of an offence, for which strong enforcement action may be taken," MOM added.

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MOM also shared that the reason for this revised notification enables the tripartite partners, Workforce Singapore, NTUC’s e2i as well as other agencies to better reach out to affected local employees to provide timely employment and job search support and assistance.

The updated requirements on mandatory retrenchment notification will be reflected in the Employment (Retrenchment Reporting) (Amendment) Notification 2021. "Employers should also ensure that they manage any retrenchment exercises responsibly and fairly, in line with the Tripartite Advisory on Managing Excess Manpower and Responsible Retrenchment," the Ministry reminded.

Employers can update MOM about their retrenchment exercise here.

Patrick Tay, NTUC's Assistant Secretary-General, noted that this update will allow NTUC to extend prompt support and assistance to affected workers, no matter the size of the retrenchment.

He added: "Within the unionised companies, while it is common practice for these companies to inform the unions of any retrenchment exercise at least one month before the affected workers are notified, more can still be done to better assist those who are affected and minimise the duration of unemployment."

Further, he urged companies to save jobs, protect the Singaporean core especially, and only retrench as a last resort.

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