Singapore employers urged to give “sustainable and fair” bonuses

With civil servants getting the lowest year-end bonus in a decade, employers are urged to give bonuses based on their companies' performances.
By: | December 31, 2019

The Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) has urged companies to be “sustainable and fair” when deciding how much year-end bonuses to give their employees instead of what is given in the civil service.

In what is the civil service’s lowest year-end bonus in 10 years, civil servants will receive 0.1 month with a lump sum payment of $250 to $1,500, although they also received a mid-year Annual Variable Component (AVC) of 0.45 month plus lump sum payment of $200 to $300, in addition to one month’s salary as their 13th month bonus.

This works out to be a total of 1.55 months plus lump sum payments, compared with 2.5 months plus lump sum payments in the last two years.

With the private sector watching the bonus in the civil service closely, the SNEF advised employers to take their cue from the National Wages Council’s (NWC) guidelines that wage increases be sustainable and fair.

“SNEF believes employers will be responsible and urges them to be guided by the NWC recommendations, and in particular, to take into account their company performance when they decide on their company bonus,” they said.

According to a survey by recruitment firm Randstad in April, the majority of employers in Singapore, or 66%, plan to give bonuses of one month to two months. It remains to be seen if that will materialize as only 52% of employees who were surveyed received a bonus last year.