Statement by taskforce for responsible retrenchment and employment facilitation

The Taskforce for Responsible Retrenchment and Employment Facilitation, was set up in March 2016 to provide timely and effective assistance to retrenched individuals and ensure that employers treat their workers fairly if retrenchment is inevitable. Led by Workforce Singapore (WSG) and comprising representatives from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and NTUC’s e2i (Employment and Employability Institute), the Taskforce will also enhance the awareness among companies and individuals of Government’s support for retrenched workers.

For the first three quarters of 2016, WSG and NTUC have reached out to more than 3,000 retrenched workers. These efforts have seen progress, but more can be done. The new requirement on mandatory retrenchment notifications, which will come into effect from 1 January 2017, will provide the Taskforce with more complete and timely information, and enable it to better assist retrenched individuals. Individuals affected by, or who think they may be at risk of, retrenchment can also proactively approach WSG or e2i for assistance. More information can be found at

Mr Tan Choon Shian, Taskforce Chairman and Chief Executive of WSG, said “WSG will continue to strengthen our employment facilitation support for retrenched individuals and job seekers to meet the needs of hiring employers and facilitate job matching. We will also ramp up our outreach initiatives to ensure that retrenching companies and individuals are offered timely support and assistance. We strongly encourage individuals affected from the ongoing economic restructuring to approach WSG or e2i to guide them on their journey back into employment.”

Mr Patrick Tay, Taskforce Member and Assistant Secretary General of National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), said “NTUC urges employers who are affected by the ongoing labour market conditions to consult their unions as early as possible, so that we can first work with employers to manage the excess manpower before employers resort to retrenchment. We will also boost our engagement efforts to reach out to more employers to offer targeted assistance for their manpower needs. If workers have to be retrenched, employers should reference the updated guidelines for responsible retrenchment and employment facilitation. This way, we hope that retrenched individuals can receive the best support to help ease them back to employment in the shortest time possible.”