No mid-year payment for civil servants,
Public officers in superscale grades to take salary cut.
In view of the unprecedented economic crisis brought about by COVID-19, the Public Service Division, in consultation with the public sector unions, has decided that all civil servants will not receive any mid-year AVC. Public officers in superscale grades will take one-time salary cuts of either 0.5 or 1 month, with those in higher grades taking a bigger cut.
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken an unprecedented toll on the economic situation both externally and domestically. Based on latest estimates, the Ministry of Trade and Industry has downgraded the 2020 GDP growth forecast to “-7.0% to -4.0%”, from the earlier forecast of “-4.0% to -1.0%”. The labour market is also weakening. Total employment (excluding foreign domestic workers) for 1Q 2020 has contracted sharply. Resident and citizen unemployment rates continued to rise in March 2020, while retrenchments rose over the quarter.
The Public Service stands in solidarity with the rest of the nation during this difficult period. Against the backdrop of a worsening economic outlook, and in close consultation with the public sector unions, the Government has decided that there will not be any mid-year Annual Variable Component (AVC) payment to civil servants this year.
In addition, public officers in superscale grades will take either a one-time 0.5-month or 1-month pay cut, in accordance with their seniority. This comes on top of the earlier 0.5-month pay cut taken by senior public service officers in key leadership positions, which was announced in February 2020.
These measures take into consideration the recommendations of the National Wages Council (NWC) release in March this year, which called on employers and employees to do their part, with management taking the lead, in helping to reduce costs and save jobs.
The Government appreciates the hard work and sacrifices of public officers in the fight against COVID-19, including those working on the frontline and behind the scenes. Many have gone beyond their call of duty to take on additional or expanded roles to support our workers, businesses, and fellow Singaporeans in weathering the economic uncertainties and adjusting to the new normal. Government agencies will make different efforts to appreciate and recognise the good work of officers.
The Government will continue to monitor the economic situation closely. In deciding on the year-end AVC payments later this year, the Government will take into consideration the NWC's recommendations to give special consideration for lower-wage workers.
We thank all our public officers for their contributions. The Public Service will continue to work in unity with all Singaporeans to ride out the COVID-19 pandemic and emerge stronger from the crisis.