Employers helping staff find temporary jobs
Accor staff working at supermarkets, while Hilton employees have found roles with govt agencies
A number of companies are struggling during the economic downturn, with some implementing wage cuts while others have been forced to conduct retrenchment exercises. As the pandemic wreaks havoc on the economy, there are some employers who are exploring alternatives to help their workers.
Ms Linda Teo, country manager of recruitment agency ManpowerGroup Singapore, told The New Paper that most employers understand their employees may struggle with reduced pay, and have allowed them to look for a second job to supplement their income.
Some employers have even reached out to staff placed on no-pay leave and helped them find temporary employment.
Generally, the employers would have an agreement with the employees that the latter would be reinstated when the economic situation improves.
Due to low guest numbers, hotel operator Accor has got some of its staff to work as retail assistants or cashiers in supermarkets such as Cold Storage, NTUC FairPrice and Giant.
Accor's spokesman said many colleagues across the network were redeployed with the aid of the Government's enhanced training support.
He added that the company has also ensured that eligible employees can use the downtime to acquire new skills and knowledge to build up their core capabilities. Accor staff have also become cooks or cashiers in fast food outlets, and safe entry or screening officers.
In most cases, the placement is for around three months, but it can be one to six months, or longer, as the situation unfolds.
Accor's spokesman told TNP: "The hotels continue to pay their salaries with the partner organisation paying a service fee for the colleagues who work in their stores.
"It is a win-win because the partner organisations need manpower and we have surplus manpower at this time."
Hilton has also been finding alternative work for its staff.
Mr Paul Hutton, Hilton's vice-president of South-east Asia operations, said staff across its three hotels in Singapore - Conrad Centennial Singapore, Hilton Singapore and Hilton Garden Inn Singapore Serangoon - were offered alternative positions with local companies and government agencies.
Hilton staff took up positions with the Ministry of Manpower to conduct surveys, and with shopping malls and medical centres to assist with safe entry duties, while some became safe distancing ambassadors.
Mr Hutton said staff who were deployed to other departments within the hotels were taught the skills needed to support daily operations such as housekeeping, engineering and security.