The headline shocked you? It did, for me.
Only 150,000 workers affected?
I’m pretty sure there are more, and as a matter of fact…there are.
At Least 150,000 Workers in S’pore Have Pay Cut of More Than 25%
When COVID-19 hit us fast and furious, bosses immediately cut employees’ salaries fast and furious, too.
However, companies cannot anyhowly just cut employees’ salaries; they have to notify MOM about the pay cut within a week if the pay cut is more than 25% of the employee’s gross monthly salary, and indicate that they’ve done so fairly.
After all, cutting Sheng Siong’s employees’ pay would be obvious that it’s an abuse of the crisis.
(P.S. Sheng Siong, of course, didn’t do that: they gave more money to their staff instead)
Since the Circuit Breaker kicked in, MOM has made the process easier: they can do so online by filling up a form here. You know shit has hit the fan when the process to cut pay has become simpler.
However, this compulsory notification will only apply to companies with at least 10 employees.
And now, we know how many people have been affected.
Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said that more than 4,000 companies have alerted the ministry about the pay cut since mid-March, and it involves 150,000 employees.
That’s about 4% of the workforce.
Now, why have I said that there should be more employees affected?
Three reasons: firstly, there would be companies that did a pay cut of 24%, which doesn’t require a required declaration to the ministry. If I were the staff I’d request for a 30% pay cut instead, which you’d understand later.
Secondly, there might be companies that didn’t declare.
And thirdly, there would be many companies with less than 10 employees—they’re not required to notify the ministry at all.
Also, more than 8,500 companies have folded last month—employees in these companies suffered a “100% pay cut” instead and needless to say, they’re not in the 150k figure.
So yes: the situation is bad.
And it’s even worse when it comes to seeking for new jobs.
For Every 71 Jobs, There Were 100 Job Seekers
Many employers have frozen hiring during this trying period, and that led to a rather grim jobs-to-job-seekers ratio.
In March, there were 71 jobs for every 100 available jobs.
I can’t even imagine what the figures are like for April and May, since that was before Circuit Breaker.
You can watch the interview with Manpower Minister Josephine Teo here:
What to Do if You’ve a Pay Cut or Lost Your Job
If you’ve suffered a pay cut of more than 30%, you can apply for the COVID-19 Support Grant.
This is why I’ve mentioned earlier that a pay cut of 30% is better than a pay cut of 24%.
However, you need to have a monthly household income of less than $10,000 or monthly per capita income of less than $3,100 prior to the pay cut, and your pay cut must be for at least three consecutive months.
If you fulfil the criteria, you’d get up to $500 a month for three months—the amount would be decided based on how much pay cut you’ve taken.
And if you lose your job altogether, you’d get up to $800 a month for three months, too.
You can get more details here.
But if you’ve lost your job altogether, you might want to apply for temporary jobs such as safe-distancing ambassadors or the new digital ambassadors instead, which pays at least $1,600 a month.
Unless your goal is not to work for money and just want help from the authorities lah. Like that no assistance can help you liao.
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