A bonus is really a bonus.


If you don’t get the same bonus as you did in previous years, you’re not alone.

According to the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), bonuses from unionised firms in the privatised sector will be a tad lower as compared to those paid out last year.

Variable bonuses paid by unionised firms will be about 2.98 months, which will include the 13th-month bonus. This is lesser than an average of three months in 2014.

Cham Hui Fong


The slowing growth in the labour market is a major concern, according to NTUC Assistant Secretary General Cham Hui Fong.  This is especially given the continual contraction of the manufacturing sector.

Actually, a bonus is really a bonus. It all depends on various conditions and factors – company performance, economic outlook and personal performance at work.

What’s more important is that workers should be concerned about doing their best in the organisation.

One way to do this is to improve their own productivity so as to contribute to their employer’s productivity.

But how should this be done? Remaining relevant and adaptable, as suggested by Cham.


“It is important that our workers are given fair opportunities to be trained and re-trained to remain relevant and adaptable, and to ensure that there is no mismatch of jobs and skills,” Cham added.


Just yesterday, another news report on Channel News Asia showed increasing cases of under-employment where a person who is in full time employment but over-qualified for jobs they undertake.


Of course, this is a result of having more degree holders in the market.

Again, workers should be equipped with the relevant skills to take on jobs of quality.

This is where the SkillsFuture initiative which the Government introduced earlier this year (2015) comes into play.

Indeed, employees, you and I, should take our own learning and upgrading into our hands.

The $500 credit is given to everyone above the age of 25 to take up a new skill or deepen one’s skills.

This should not go to waste, but in fact, harnessed to help improve individual skills so that the worker can contribute more back to the company and improve the economy. At least, this gives a better chance of getting a better bonus.


Image Credits: Straits Times, Singapore Workforce Development Agency, Asiaone.com, Today.

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Arthur Lee

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