Singapore

Civil servants to receive one month year-end bonus

Those in junior grades will also get one-time payment of $500, says PSD

All civil servants will receive a year-end bonus of one month's salary, the Public Service Division (PSD) in the Prime Minister's Office said yesterday.

Civil servants in junior grades - equivalent to MX15 and MX16, as well as those in OSS (Operations Support Scheme) Grades III to V - will get an additional one-time payment of $500.

The bonus, or annual variable component (AVC), recognises the sustained hard work and diverse contributions of officers in the fight against Covid-19, said the PSD.

There was no mid-year or year-end bonus for civil servants last year amid the pandemic.

"Over the past year, public officers have continued to dedicate themselves to the national fight against Covid-19 and have worked tirelessly to keep Singapore and Singaporeans safe," said the PSD.

All civil servants continue to get the one month non-pensionable annual allowance, commonly known as the 13th-month bonus.

This year's year-end bonus also saw a significant rise from the AVC of 0.1 month given in 2019.

The PSD noted that the Ministry of Trade and Industry has updated its gross domestic product forecast to around 7 per cent for this year.

It also cited the economy's expansion by 7.1 per cent year on year in the third quarter of this year, a rise from the 1.3 per cent expansion in the first quarter.

Resident employment grew more quickly in the third quarter, particularly in outward-oriented industries such as wholesale trade and manufacturing, added PSD.

Taken together with the mid-year AVC, civil servants this year received a full-year AVC of 1.3 months, compared with 1.5 months in 2019.

The AVC, which reflects economic conditions, is typically set based on a multiple of a civil servant's monthly salary.

As the civil service is Singapore's biggest employer, its bonus is closely watched by the private sector.

National Trades Union Congress deputy secretary-general Cham Hui Fong said the labour movement "is appreciative of our public officers who have been at the front of Singapore's fight against Covid-19, putting in hard work and contributing in their respective roles".

General secretary Sanjeev Kumar Tiwari of the Amalgamated Union of Public Employees said the union is appreciative that the Government took into consideration the National Wages Council's guidelines to do more for lower-wage workers.

"This gesture is a much-needed encouragement for our civil servants as Singapore's economy is still in recovery," he said.

The year-end bonus for civil servants is fair and warranted given the effective and consistent recovery of Singapore's economy, said Mr Derrick Teo, chief executive of human resource company Elitez Group.

But this may not be the case across the private sector, he noted.

"Sectors that benefited well in the last two financial years are likely paying well above the usual bonus rates, while sectors negatively affected by the pandemic, such as aviation and hospitality, are unable to present bonuses," he said.

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