January 15, 2024

Number and incidence of retrenchments in Singapore increased in 2023

In a media statement, the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) has brought to light that the number and incidence of retrenchments in Singapore had both increased in 2023.

This was in response to the Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM) Labour Market Report for the third quarter of 2023. According to the report, there was an increase of the number of retrenchments, from 3,200 in Q2 to 4,110 in Q3 of 2023. This was primarily due to reorganisation or restructuring (61.9%).

As cited by SNEF, this increase was also attributed to other factors – namely subdued external demand, increased cost pressures, and concerns of a recession.

“To cope with the changes in the operating environment, including the higher costs of doing business, employers need to push for higher productivity and press on with business and workforce transformation,” SNEF affirmed.

SNEF also reminded employers to familiarise themselves with the updated Tripartite Advisory on Managing Excess Manpower & Responsible Retrenchment (TAMEM), a guide issued by the tripartite partners – MOM, National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and SNEF in January 2023, to assist and guide employers to better manage their excess manpower. In addition, the advisory provides a checklist for employers to refer to, enforcing a more responsible and streamlined retrenchment practice.

Apart from the retrenchment statistics shared above, the MOM report also reported several other statistics from the report, such as:

  • Total employment grew at a moderate pace;
  • Unemployment rates remained low;
  • Re-entry rate among retrenched residents improved, and
  • The number of job vacancies continued to decline.

Got any questions? We’re here to help.