Duty-free operator DFS bows to pressure

Hong Kong-based duty-free operator DFS Group has backed down and agreed to pay higher severance pay to laid-off workers in Singapore.
By: | October 7, 2019

DFS, part of luxury goods conglomerate LVMH, has axed hundreds of workers as part of a major restructuring. It will be closing its alcohol and tobacco stores at airports by June next year.

About 100 workers in Singapore will lose their jobs as a result. The severance packages offered by DFS were met with anger, prompting the duty-free operator to come back with an improved offer.

DFS has been affected by Hong Kong’s political unrest and the ongoing trade war between China and the US. But Singapore workers fought back to gain better severance packages.

The retrenched workers will receive two weeks’ salary for each year of service, capped at 13 years or the equivalent of 26 weeks’ pay. They can either serve out their notice period or be paid in lieu of notice.

The improved offers comes after comments by Manpower Minister Josephine Teo who said that DFS “could have better handled” the retrenchment exercise in the way it was communicated to employees and how the severance packages were offered.