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1,270 workers laid off in S'pore tech sector since July, most were aged 35 and under: MOM

SINGAPORE — A total of 1,270 retrenchment notices involving workers in Singapore were sent by tech companies to the Government from July to mid-November 2022, Minister for Manpower Tan See Leng said in Parliament on Monday (Nov 28). 

 

A file photo of Manpower Minister Tan See Leng speaking in Parliament.
A file photo of Manpower Minister Tan See Leng speaking in Parliament.
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SINGAPORE — A total of 1,270 retrenchment notices involving workers in Singapore were sent by tech companies to the Government from July to mid-November 2022, Minister for Manpower Tan See Leng said in Parliament on Monday (Nov 28). 

Seven in 10 of the affected workers were aged 35 and below, and around eight in 10 were in non-tech roles such as sales, marketing, and corporate functions, he added.

His comments follow a spate of layoffs involving multinational tech giants with offices in Singapore in recent months, with companies such as Shopee, Meta and Twitter announcing retrenchment exercises.

Dr Tan was responding to several parliamentary questions filed by five Members of Parliament (MPs) for Monday's sitting about the extent of the global tech layoffs impacting Singapore.

Several MPs, including Mr Saktiandi Supaat, MP for Bishan-Toa Payoh Group Representative Constituency (GRC), had also asked about measures to support this group of affected workers.

Dr Tan said that most tech and non-tech workers from the information and communications (I&C) sector have been able to secure a job soon after retrenchment, with a higher rate of re-entry into employment within six months after retrenchment than the rest of the economy based on statistics from the second quarter this year.

Job vacancies in the I&C sector have continued to rise in the first half of this year, from 11,100 in December 2021 to 12,100 in June 2022, he added.

"Other sectors like financial services, including local banks, are also hiring for tech roles. Taken together, this reflects that there is strong supportive capacity across the larger economy and opportunities for affected workers to fill in-demand roles," said the minister.

SUBMISSION OF RETRENCHMENT NOTICES

Ms Joan Pereira, a Tanjong Pagar GRC MP, also asked whether employers had been prompt in submitting notices of retrenchment to the ministry.

In response, Dr Tan said that the majority of retrenchment notifications from the I&C sector since July 2022 were submitted on time.

Employers who do not submit on time are issued caution letters, Dr Tan said.

He was then asked a supplementary question by Sembawang GRC MP Mariam Jaafar on providing a further breakdown of the number of Singaporeans and foreigners who were retrenched from the tech companies.

Dr Tan replied that the Government does not disclose the numbers of the retrenchments based on affected employees’ nationality, following the practice on official statistics set out by the International Labour Organisation.

"However, if I may provide an indication, citizens make up a large majority of our resident labour force which is about 85 per cent. The permanent resident population has also remained stable over time, so this means that the resident data mirrors citizen data,” said Dr Tan. 

Related topics

MOM information technology layoff

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