OCBC gives employees $1,000 to help cope with rising costs, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

OCBC gives employees $1,000 to help cope with rising costs

A total of 4,600 junior OCBC Group employees in Singapore are getting a $1,000 payout each aimed at cushioning the rise in living costs.

These employees, comprising about 40 per cent of the group’s workforce in Singapore, will receive the one-off payout in either February or March.

The move is part of a wider $9 million plan to provide one-off support payments to almost 14,000 junior employees globally, including those working in subsidiaries like Bank of Singapore, OCBC Securities and Great Eastern Holdings, the bank said in a statement on Feb 20.

The 14,000 employees account for more than 40 per cent of OCBC Group’s overall headcount in its 19 markets.

Those benefiting in Singapore include new entrants to the workforce and unionised employees, OCBC said.

OCBC’s announcement comes after DBS Bank announced on Feb 7 it has set aside $15 million to pay a one-time bonus to junior staff. They make up half of its total headcount of about 40,000 employees.

Junior DBS staff in Singapore will also get $1,000 each.

OCBC noted that its move is in line with recommendations by Singapore’s National Wages Council in October 2023 for companies to help employees cope with the country’s rising cost of living, beyond support from the Government.

Providing a one-off assistance payment, with heavier weightage for lower- to middle-income employees, was one of the recommendations accepted by the Government.

“For employees outside Singapore, the one-off support takes into consideration the respective local market conditions,” OCBC said.

Similarly, DBS’ one-time bonus will be indexed to the local market’s purchasing power parity for employees outside Singapore.

OCBC added that it regularly reviews its employees’ built-in wage increases and variable payments to ensure that they are commensurate with the bank’s performance and employees’ contribution.

OCBC also offers a range of resources such as articles, tools, virtual talks and regular workshops conducted by the bank’s in-house wealth adviser to assist employees in navigating their finances, it said.

Ms Lee Hwee Boon, head of group human resources at OCBC, said the amount may not be large, but expressed hope it would nonetheless help relieve colleagues’ concerns about the rising cost of living.

“Beyond this, we recognise the long-term solution is to empower colleagues to take charge of their own financial well-being – good financial planning can make a big difference amid inflationary pressures.”