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HCM535: Employment Law, Policy, and Ethics Assignment, SUSS, Singapore Compare and contrast the laws and practices on retrenchment in Singapore, Japan, and Malaysia in a precise manner
University Singapore University of Social Science (SUSS)
Subject HCM535:Employment Law Policy and Ethics
Posted on: 30th May 2023

HCM535: Employment Law, Policy, and Ethics Assignment, SUSS, Singapore Compare and contrast the laws and practices on retrenchment in Singapore, Japan, and Malaysia in a precise manner

Question 1

  • Compare and contrast the laws and practices on retrenchment in Singapore, Japan, and Malaysia in a precise manner.
  • Assess and explain the key factors that have influenced and shaped the laws and practices on retrenchment in Singapore, Japan, and Malaysia respectively. You may want to consider the political, economic, societal, and other unique factors in making your assessment.
  • Appraise whether Singapore should make changes to its existing laws and
    practices on retrenchment. Justify if you are of the view that there should not be any changes OR recommend the changes and justify them if you think there should be changes.
    Repeat the exercise for Japan and Malaysia and your stance may be different for different countries. You may want to consider the political, economic, societal, and other relevant dimensions in making your stance and recommendations, and substantiation.

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Question 2

In Singapore, it is quite common for companies to have attendance incentive schemes to encourage their employees to have perfect or near-perfect attendance. Employees who have taken sick leave and/or emergency no-pay leave or exceeded a certain number of days in a month or quarter will not be given the incentive.

On 18 January 2022, The Straits Times reported that a pest control technician who had a cough for around three weeks was suspected to have Covid-19 and was told to take a swab test and remain at home.
He continued to work, as he did not want to take sick leave and have his $100 monthly work incentive forfeited. The Court sentenced him to five-week jail for flouting the Covid-19 rules.

The case caught the media and public attention and caused some concerns. The issue of the implications of attendance, and incentives were also raised in the Parliament and the Minister for Manpower commented on that and mentioned that the tripartite guideline of fair employment should be reviewed to better address this practice.
Meanwhile, the President of Singapore commented on her Facebook page that the root cause of the problem could be the low salary of these workers.

  • Discuss the common attendance incentive practices (typically who are covered, which sectors, criteria, incentive amount, is it legal, etc) in Singapore. You may want to cite some specific examples.
  • Assess whether it is ethical to have attendance incentive schemes that
    discourage employees from taking sick leave.
  • Evaluate whether it is ethical and reasonable to consider frequent sick leave and late coming of employees in annual performance appraisal, consideration for promotion, and determination of performance bonus. Justify and explain.

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