From 1 November 2021, businesses in Singapore that employ 10 or more people will be required to notify the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) of all retrenchments irrespective of the number of employees affected.

Previously, employers were only required to notify the MOM if they retrenched five or more employees within a six-month period. A mandatory retrenchment notification must be filed by the employer within five working days of giving notice of retrenchment to the affected employee(s) and this should be filed with the MOM.

The MOM gave the following explanation for the new measure: “Notifying MOM of retrenchment exercises will enable Workforce Singapore (WSG), the tripartite partners – the Ministry of Manpower, the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) – and other relevant agencies to help affected employees find alternative employment and/or identify relevant training to enhance employability.”

If an employer wilfully does not comply with the new requirements, they may be guilty of an offence and penalties will be imposed.

If you are interested in doing business in Singapore, find out everything you need to know about payroll, tax, social security, employee benefits, work permits, employment law and more in activpayroll’s Guide to Doing Business in Singapore. This is available as a free PDF to download.

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