Singapore

Bigger bonus for civil servants as economy rebounds

Singapore's biggest employer - the civil service - will give its employees their biggest bonus in four years, reflecting the brightening economy.

All 84,000 employees in government ministries will receive an annual variable component (AVC) of one month's pay. This is on top of a half-month AVC they received in July and a 13th month bonus, adding to a total of 2½ months in bonus this year.

The Public Service Division (PSD) said this was a result of both an improving economy and discussions with unions.

Other public-sector employees - numbering 61,000 - are set to receive the same AVC payment as statutory boards and other government agencies typically take their cue from the civil service.

Its payout is also used as a guideline by the private sector.

Singapore's economic growth had declined since 2013, from 4.1 per cent that year to 2 per cent last year. Correspondingly, the full-year AVC slid from 1.5 to 0.95 over the same period.

This year, the GDP is forecast to reach 3 per cent to 3.5 per cent. The economy grew by 5.2 per cent year on year in the third quarter of this year, compared to 2.9 per cent in the previous quarter.

"We are heartened to see that working people will be able to reap the benefits of this positive outlook." National Trades Union Congress assistant secretary general Cham Hui Fong

National Trades Union Congress assistant secretary-general Cham Hui Fong welcomed the payout, saying: "We are heartened to see that working people will be able to reap the benefits of this positive outlook."

The PSD also announced that lower-wage workers making less than $1,800 will get a minimum AVC payment of $1,800. Its move means an officer who earns a monthly salary of $1,500 will get $300 more than he would otherwise.

Unionists welcomed this.

Said Mr G Muthukumarasamy, the general secretary of the Amalgamated Union of Public Daily Rated Workers: "This is a particularly rewarding sum that will definitely ease their year-end expenses on necessities such as back-to-school spending, plus a little bit more for the coming festivities."

The general secretary of the Amalgamated Union of Public Employees, Mr Yeo Chun Fing, said: "AUPE is appreciative of the Government's efforts to reward our civil servants, especially as they have always put in their utmost efforts behind government programmes and initiatives to serve the people in Singapore."

Employment