No mid-year bonus for civil servants this year

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Officers in superscale grades will also take a one-time pay cut

None of Singapore's 85,000 civil servants will receive any mid-year bonus this year, amid the economic gloom caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The last time this took place was in 2009 during the global financial crisis.

Public officers in superscale grades will also take a one-time 0.5-month or one-month pay cut in accordance with their seniority, the Public Service Division (PSD) announced yesterday.

This comes on top of the earlier 0.5-month pay cut taken by senior public service officers in key leadership positions - these included permanent secretaries, deputy secretaries, and chief executive officers of statutory boards - which was announced in February.

The PSD said the decision was taken by the Government in close consultation with the public sector unions, and the public service stands in solidarity with the rest of the nation during this difficult period.

"The Government appreciates the hard work and sacrifices of public officers in the fight against Covid-19, including those working on the front line and behind the scenes," it said, adding that efforts would be made to recognise the good work of officers.

Last year's mid-year annual variable component (AVC), which was paid in July, was 0.45 month plus a one-off lump sum of $200, with lower-grade workers getting $300.

Civil servants also got a 0.1 month year-end bonus that was the lowest in 10 years, plus an additional one-off lump-sum payment of between $250 and $1,500.

PSD said that in deciding on the year-end AVC payments later this year, the Government will take into consideration the National Wages Council's recommendations to give special consideration to lower wage workers.

As the civil service is Singapore's biggest employer, its bonus is closely watched by the private sector, while statutory boards and other government agencies take their cue from it.

Mr Chan Chun Sing, the Minister-in-charge of the Public Service, thanked civil servants for their hard work.

In an internal memo to them, he said many Singaporeans have lost their jobs and many more have seen falling incomes in this downturn.

"To face the tough times together, the public service will stand in solidarity with the rest of the nation," he added.

But if the economic situation is better at the end of the year, he indicated the Government would consider if a year-end annual variable payment could be given, especially to lower-wage workers.

"We will also recognise your significant contributions through performance bonus," said Mr Chan, who is also Trade and Industry Minister.

"Let us focus on the important task of restoring our economy... I am confident that we will emerge stronger if we overcome this crisis together, and continue to thrive for many generations to come."