Definition of collective dismissal (number of employees concerned):
No statutory definition.
Prior consultations with trade unions (workers' representatives):
Notification to the public administration:
Notification to workers' representatives:
Approval by public administration or judicial bodies:
Approval by workers' representatives:
Priority rules for collective dismissals (social considerations, age, job tenure):
Employer's obligation to consider alternatives to dismissal (transfers, retraining...):
Priority rules for re-employment:
Notes / Remarks
There is no statutory procedure for collective and individual dismissals on economic grounds.
However the tripartite partners – the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) - have jointly issued a Tripartite Guidelines on Managing Excess Manpower in 2008. It was revised in 2017 as "Tripartite Advisory on Managing Excess Manpower and Responsible Retrenchment" (Available at: https://www.mom.gov.sg/~/media/mom/documents/employment-practices/guidelines/tripartite-advisory-on-managing-excess-manpower-and-responsible-retrenchment.pdf?la=en) and reads as follows:
- Para. 3: Employers facing structural changes "should consider alternative ways of managing their local manpower where possible. These could include upskilling employees and redesigning jobs" and employers are "encouraged to consult the unions, business associations and employees about these changes";
- Para. 7: If the company is unionised, the relevant union(s) should be consulted as early as possible. Where it is provided in the collective agreement, the norm is one month before notifying the employee;
- Para 5.: When carrying out a retrenchment exercise, the selection of employees for retrenchment should be conducted fairly, based on objective criteria such as the ability of the employee to contribute to the company’s future business needs. Employers should not discriminate against any particular group on grounds of age, race, gender, religion, marital status and family responsibility, or disability. For instance, older, re-employed as well as pregnant employees should not be unfairly targeted;
- Para. 15: Responsible employers are encouraged to adopt a longer retrenchment notice period when compared to the normal termination of employment contract, or to pay in lieu of such notice;
- Para. 17. Employees with 2 years’ service or more are eligible for retrenchment benefits. Those with less than 2 years’ service could be granted an ex-gratia payment.