Surbana Jurong – Termination, Dismissal or Retrenchment?

The terminating of 54 staff, I presume are Singaporeans, just one week before the Chinese New Year is very badly executed. Some are calling this act as callous, lack of compassion, inconsiderate, heartless and right down insensitive. The 54 staff, assuming many will be celebrating Chinese New Year, will not be celebrating and their families as well. What a cruel timing!

The social media is angry. Many are questioning if this is actually a retrenchment in disguise to avoid paying retrenchment benefits. The case is now being handled by the MOM.

From a HR perspective, the first question arising is the termination, a management right to terminate employees without reason, just like an employee’s right to resign without the need for any reason, or is this something else? The media reported that Surbana Jurong said the employees were terminated for poor performance. This immediately raises a red flag in HR practices.

Before an employee is terminated for bad performance, it is only fair that the employee would be put on notice that his performance is unsatisfactory. The management is duty bound to inform an employee that his performance is not acceptable and given a chance to explain and to improve. This is not only proper but also ethically and morally a right thing to do. Employers cannot sack an employee overnight, like springing a surprise, without letting the employee know that his performance is a problem and a sacking is on the card if he does not improve.

Has Surbana Jurong management done the due diligence and process to talk to the employees, counsel the employees, telling them of their shortfalls, how to improve to meet management’s expectation and to buck up? In all good HR practices, the employees must be given a chance to know what is coming, to know that they must improve and sacking is ultimately done if the employees still did not improve after counseling and warnings by the management.

Another point to clarify, what were the performance records of the sacked employees? Were they good, satisfactory or consistently bad? If the sacked employees had been consistently bad, then management would have a better case of sacking them, but still must go through the due process of trying to get the employees to improve prior to their sacking. Were the employees given any warning letters earlier?

I did not have full details of the employees’ performance and unable to comment on whether the sacking is properly conducted. One thing for sure, once the management confirmed that the employees were terminated due to performance, it is dismissal or termination due to bad performance. There is thus a requirement to go through the whole process of counseling and warning letters etc before the firing. This is not only good HR practice, it is also a requirement by MOM and ethical and humanly to do so.

As a govt linked company, Surbana Jurong and all GLCs have a responsibility to set a good example, to follow good HR practices for others to follow.


Anonymous said...

As a govt linked company, Surbana Jurong and all GLCs have a responsibility to set a good example, to follow good HR practices for others to follow.

But then why are they not doing that? Is it because they thought they can get away with it?

Actually hor, if I were the CEO, I would have done that too, if I think I can get away with it. It's only human nature.

Anonymous said...

Surbana don't set good example so what?

You can afford to sue for your retrenchment benefits meh?
You can afford to sue for unfair dismissal meh?

You can ask NTUC for help meh?
You can ask a PAP MP for help meh?

Anonymous said...

Most people hear only one sided story of the bad HR practices in SJ. We didn't hear what the 'sacked' superiors said & what thier ex-collegues said about these 54 ' sacked ' staffs. Perhaps probably this SJ found some 'cheaper,better & faster' FTs to replace these 54 staffs ( mainly locals & long service some more), by Sacking them will help the company to save monies ( who knows). On the other hand, the 54 'sack' staffs could have been 'warned' before about their poor performances but dunno how to improve & plp the superiors that's why Kenna sack, or these 54 r really bad luck & the CEO could have engage a 'Fortune Teller' or Geomancer advice to sack these 54 staffs due to bad omen so that Rooster year will bring good luck mah..

Anonymous said...

"Surbana don't set good example"

Do you think Surbana has shown Singapore employers the fastest and cheapest way to cut costs?
So who says Surbana did not set a good example?

Too bad what is good for your employer is not good for you, the employee.
Who ask you to join NTUC?
Who ask you to vote PAP?

Anonymous said...

Overseas investors will see how easy it is to cut manpower costs in Singapore through the Surbana example.

- For sure there will be many new investors who will be incentivized to set up operations in Singapore in the future
- too bad if they employ foreigners and not Singaporeans

virgo49 said...

Bro Anon 12.36

This is already the Norm since I retired fifteen years ago. Previously, you have what collective agreement between employers and unionised employees.

Though not perfect, at least they covered the interest of the employees. They have what retrenchment benefits of what one month or even half month for smaller firms per year of service to pay retrenched workers.

After which, as workers stayed with the companies for as long as five to six decades they find that the benefits could be a substantial amount.

So, they devised an Evil Scheme to con the employees what Tarpatrite Three legged AngMo style of hire and fire.

Just be paying a month's salary or notice they can FARK you off.

Little do they realised that these employees had been earning for them billions.of dollars serving them the last few decades they been with them.

This is the way they hold the employees balls.

As for those Management staff its their fates that they are been fired this way as theirs are usually contracts and appointments between them and employers.

They are the ones farking you with your fates in their hands of what stupid appraisals.

So so not feel sorry for them as they also draws very very much high salaries and other benefits by you.

Even those so called Union Leaders who represented you are also fighting for their self interests and ricebowls.

No way they gonna die for you fighting the Management. So DONT think they will protect you.
In most bonus or benefits, they will be shut tight by the management by having extras and benefits.

So you pay protection fees to feed these useless AOs they called Arbitration Officers.

So employees in Sinkieland are taken for rides not only on this matter.

Cutting of contributions at certain age, No withdrawals of your own monies etc.

Too long to lost out.

I been in the Management, Employer as well as employee so this is what happening.

virgo49 said...

Too long to list out

By the way, Oldies employees, lots of them besides able to draw their CPF's in full also became quarter or even half millionaire by these retrenchment benefits.

Many nearly retirement pleaded with the Indian chiefs, oops Union Chiefs to put their names in the list of early Golden Hand shakes.

After which they can go to Patong to have nice shakes by the Tigers. (Thai girls)

Besides selling their flats with a profit of few hundred Thousands, withdrawal of full CPF savings, Pioneer Status and for some hefty retrenchment benefits they can retired blissfully in Matland and Thailand and feed the Tigers, oops Thai girls like Matilah

Anonymous said...

@ January 25, 2017 2:00 pm

Dear Virgo
Yes your experience and observations are similar with mine.
I laugh at all the people who pay NTUC membership fees ... thinking they have union protection.

Just like I laugh at all the Straits Times subscribers who pay subscription fees thinking they are being "educated" about what is going on in Singapore.

Anonymous said...

Just like I laugh at all the Straits Times subscribers...
3:16 pm

Still got Straits Times subscribers meh? Last time no internet I can understand, but now?

Anonymous said...

Still got Straits Times subscribers meh? Last time no internet I can understand, but now?
January 25, 2017 3:48 pm

Straits Times still got 70% loyal subscribers

Anonymous said...

4.46 pm, 50% of subscriptions are from students made compulsory by schools and businesses at the reception area for Guess mah including all SIA flights giving out thousands of copies each day

Anonymous said...

@ 2.17pm Angkor Oldie Virgo69:
//After which they can go to Patong to have nice shakes by the Tigers. (Thai girls)//


Means "Thai gals" are "Tigers" (on the bed)?

And which part of Patong?

Blanga Rd?

Anonymous said...

// .....and feed the Tigers, oops Thai girls .....//


U forgot can also go frolicking at James Bond Island?

Hire a long-tail speed boat and go island hopping?

Virgo49 said...

Now we have a Mr Toh Yong Guan stating Give Labour court more power to protect workers.

Sinkies been conned last two decades that's it's alright for an employer to fire at will its employee by giving a month's notice or pay in lieu off.

No such retrenchment benefits, only gratuitous token monies.

The worse is that after this, they offered Contract employment even neither benefits whilst in or out of service.

And the daft sinkies swallowed everything just to stay employed.

Now, with these ongoing and future axing of workers, they are afraid of a political downfall in the future if these redundant people will vote against them.

So, they have this turn coat wayang wayang about One Political Party, so as not to jeopardise sinkieland future.

This is no good for Singapore. Previously, we have One Union to represent a Total industry, for example the Airport Employees. Our Great Leader too afraid that it be a force to reckon took out all the teeth and have them into splinter groups.

Divide and Rule. AFRAID THAT ONCE STRIKE, everybody strikes. Passes laws prohibiting strikes and protests. The Airline Pilots Assn is most vocal and can challenge the Management at par.

Then the Engineering.

They devised what Sar Kar Tripartite Scheme to con the workers with what NWC wages increase of miserable 20 to 30 dollars.

Whereas they took home millions by the Management and themselves.

Just because they proclaimed a year of not si much profits as compared to the previous, !they used restructuring to rid the workers as they now no need pay retrenchment benefits.

So poor YOUNG SINKIES are now at the mercy of the Govt and employers.

The older sinkies are equally with blood on their hands are just too Yellow to b protest.

Amen, there goes sinking land.