Singapore: Severance Benefits for Laid-Off Employees Expanded

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By Michael Mackey

April 14—Singapore changed its rules on employee retrenchment (layoff) benefits effective April 1, the Ministry of Manpower announced.

“From 1 April 2015, an employee who has been employed in a company for at least two years can request retrenchment benefits if he or she is retrenched,” the MOM statement said.

Previously, benefits were available only for those employed at least three years.

Benefits Negotiable

Singapore's employment law does not stipulate the amount to be paid in retrenchment benefits, leaving determination of the sum to negotiation between the employee and the employer.

The Ministry of Manpower advises employers to carry out any retrenchment exercise responsibly, in consultation with the union (if any) representing the employees. The company should pay all salary due (including unconsumed annual leave, notice pay and similar benefits) on the employee's last day of work.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael Mackey in Bangkok at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rick Vollmar at

The April 1 MOM statement is available at

For more information on Singaporean HR law and regulation, see the Singapore primer.