Beginning from last Monday, October 29, a number of StarHub employees received their pink slips as the retrenchments announced last month began to take effect. The telco said it would let go of around 300 of its 2500 workers on October 3, with most of the retrenchments going to non-customer-facing positions.”
The layoffs are part of StarHub’s restructuring initiative to the tune of S$25 million.
The company started giving out notices of retrenchments on Monday and is expected to continue until the end of the week. The retrenched workers came from the marketing, commercial, information systems, consumer and engineering departments, many of whom are senior managers who have been with StarHub for over 15 years.
The retrenchment package for laid-off workers includes a month’s wages for every year of employment, a pro-rated annual wage supplement (also known as the 13th-month bonus), as well as another bonus based on the company’s financial performance which will be paid out in March 2019. Additionally, retrenched employees also receive half a year of insurance and medical benefits.
This package is reportedly “more generous versus market practice,” according to the Telco.
In a statement, StarHub said “As a responsible employer, we are following the manpower guidelines laid down by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) closely. We intend to treat our employees fairly in recognising their past contributions, with sensitivity and respect.”
Guidelines from MOM encourage business to offer benefits of between 2 weeks to one month’s wages for every year of employment, when it comes to retrenchment, subject to the financial position of the company, as well as the nature of the industry.
In firms that are unionised, giving one month’s salary per year of employment is standard.
Sylvia Choo the executive secretary of Singapore Industrial and Services Employees’ Union (SISEU) has admitted that the telco has had a “positive and constructive approach,” partnering with SISEU “to provide the best possible outcomes and package for the workers”, while simultaneously stating concerns for the wellbeing and livelihood of the retrenched employees.
Ms. Choo says that the SISEU, the Employment and Employability Institute and other concerned parties like as Workforce Singapore are on hand daily to help StarHub’s workers who have been given the pink slip.
“StarHub is also currently working with us to support affected employees in retraining and finding new employment,” she added.
Others, such as Regional Director of CIPD Asia, Karen Blal, agree that StarHub’s retrenchment package is better than that of other companies, proving, in her opinion, that the telco is “trying to do their best to make life a little easier for them as they look for new roles.”
The president of professional body Singapore Human Resources Institute, Erman Tan, also called the telco’s offer a “very fair package.”