There are proper procedures to follow if a company decides to retrench its workers.
The Manpower Ministry lists a few considerations and procedures for companies to follow should it need to retrench workers. This includes:
Informing MOM and TAFEP (Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices)
Treat your affected employees with dignity and respect.
Consider having a longer retrenchment notice period for all your affected employees.
4. Check if the union has been engaged
If your company is unionised, you could check if the union has been informed of the retrenchment.
The union will step in to help its members during this period, so it pays to be a union member.
According to a former Industrial Relations Officer, unions typically step in early to help union members find jobs in the same industry where possible, and negotiate for better retrenchment benefits to help affected members tide through the difficult period.
Affected members will also be sent for employability camps to brush up on their job interview skills.
5. Upgrade yourself
There’s no better way to “sell” yourself than by promoting the skills you possess!
That’s why, its best to undergo training and skills upgrading. This way, you help yourself become more resilient in the company because employers would look to keeping those with the relevant skills should they need to retrench workers.
Even if you have been retrenched, its not too late. Upgrade yourself anyway! This way you help yourself be more employable to prospective employers.
There are many assistance programmes and financial help to tap on for training and skills upgrading. UTAP (Union Training Assistance Programme) is one for union members to fund 50% of course fees up to a cap of $250 a year.
If you’re a PME, the NTUC and NTU announced on this year’s May Day Rally, a collaboration to help PMEs be more future-ready by taking short Technology-Enabled Learning courses to upgrade themselves.
So if you’re facing an impending retrenchment. Don’t wait, start looking for opportunities to upgrade to be more employable.