More than 200 workers face retrenchment in 2012

Office workers seen at the financial district in Singapore

SINGAPORE: At least 22 employers are planning to retrench workers this year and some 230 workers of which 60 per cent are residents, are expected to be affected.

This was revealed by Minister of State for Manpower, Tan Chuan—Jin, in Parliament on Friday.

He was answering MP for Sembawang GRC, Ellen Lee’s question on retrenchment figures in view of the expected slower economic growth this year.

He said the numbers are based on employers who notified the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) about prospective retrenchments as of January, and added that the actual numbers could be higher as employers provide such notifications on a voluntary basis.

But Mr Tan said there is no indication that the number of workers facing retrenchment has gone up sharply.

He added that the proportion of workers retrenched, based on the notifications, is also comparable to the proportion of residents employed in the workforce.

He also said the proportion of professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) retrenched tally with the proportion of PMETs in the workforce.

Mr Tan said the government is watching the situation closely and urged companies to carry out retrenchment exercises responsibly.

Mr Tan said: "This includes providing affected workers retrenchment benefits where possible to help them tide them over when they’re searching for employment. Companies are strongly encouraged to notify MOM of any impending retrenchments early, so that we can work closely with WDA (Workforce Development Agency) and e2i (Employment and Employability Institute) to provide employment assistance or retraining to the workers affected as well as to help facilitate the transition to new employment."

— CNA/fa