Photo of Lim Swee Say from gettyimages

In his parliamentary response to MP Lim Biow Chuan on Friday (April 8), Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say rejected unemployment benefits for the retrenched. Minister Lim said that there is no need because companies need the flexibility to negotiate, “rather than prescribing it in the law”.

Minister Lim also added that he does not want unemployment benefits for Singapore because the law will only serve a small minority and that he has full confidence companies will pay retrenchment benefits:

“Low unemployment rates and a widespread practice of companies in the Republic paying retrenchment benefits are reasons why it is not appropriate for the country to put in place unemployment benefits or redundancy insurance.

It was “standard practice” for companies in Singapore to pay retrenchment benefits, with nine in 10 retrenching firms doing so. At the same time, nine in 10 retrenched workers received retrenchment benefits, including from non-unionised companies.

…This is because different retrenching companies are in different circumstances. And therefore there should not be a one-size-fits-all rule”