In early October this year, local telco StarHub announced that it is laying off 300 out of its 2,500 full-time employees as part of the company’s $25 million restructuring initiative.
According to StarHub, this retrenchment exercise will mainly affect “non-customer facing positions throughout the company”.
“On-going natural attrition and tighter management of contractor roles will result in additional roles being made redundant,” it added.
StarHub’s CEO Mr Peter Kaliaropoulos clarified that these “redundancies are not an individual performance issue, but one of strategic realignment of StarHub. … Some positions are not sustainable given the current industry pressures.”
Affected employees were notified in end-October, and the retrenchment exercise begun in full swing on Monday (Oct 29) and will continue till Friday (Nov 2).
Majority Of Long-Serving Senior Managers Were Sacked
According to TODAY, some StarHub staff said that full-time and contract workers who received the pink slip were from the information systems, engineering, marketing and commercial, and consumer departments.
The majority of those affected were senior managers who had worked in the company for more than 15 years.
TODAY also reported that retrenched staff will receive a month’s pay for each year of service on top of a ’13th month bonus’.
They will also receive a variable bonus based on the company’s financial performance, which will be paid out in March next year.
Besides these financial compensation, retrenched employees will also receive 6 months of medical and insurance benefits from the termination of their employment contract.
One particular StarHub staff told TODAY that there were very mixed emotions amongst affected staff — some shed tears, while some remained optimistic and happy with their retrenchment packages.
Another StarHub employee said that those who were made redundant were immediately put on one- or two-month gardening leave.
Gardening leave is an employee’s suspension from work on full pay for the duration of a notice period, typically to prevent them from having any further influence on the organisation or from accessing confidential information.
StarHub did not confirm details of their retrenchment package, but said that its “overall package is more generous versus market practice”.
According to the Manpower Ministry guidelines, companies are encouraged to pay retrenchment benefits of between two weeks and a month’s salary per year of service, depending on the company’s financial position and the industry.
Moving forward, StarHub said that it is working closely with affiliated companies, such as the Singapore Industrial and Services Employees’ Union (SISEU), NTUC’s e2i (Employment and Employability Institute) and government agencies like Workforce Singapore, to “identify suitable roles for impacted employees”.
Beyond that, it is also helping to support affected employees in retraining and finding new employment.
Featured Image Credit: Singapore Business Review