The Malaysian Insider, 22 Sep 2009
Maybank Singapore passes on savings to staff
SINGAPORE, Sept 22 — Instead of pocketing everything, Maybank Singapore is passing on part of the savings from the Jobs Credit Scheme to its unionised staff in extra bonuses and training.
Some 400 of its unionised employees — or slightly more than a third of its 1,300 local staff — will get 0.5 to 1.5 months’ more in bonuses, depending on their performance.
This is on top of the 2.5 months bonus payout that banks in Singapore, including Maybank, have agreed with unions in the banking sector.
With the additional payments, the bonuses of unionised staff at Maybank Singapore will match those of the bank’s non-unionised staff and executives.
The latter are getting an average 3.5 months’ bonus, which is “competitive compared to the market”, according to Maybank’s local human resource head Wong Keng Fye.
The extra bonuses to be paid out to the unionised staff add up to half the S$1.3 million (RM3.2 million) Maybank Singapore got from the Jobs Credit Scheme for its unionised staff. The rest of the money will be deployed for staff training.
Maybank Singapore is believed to be the only bank here to use the savings from the Jobs Credit Scheme to dish out higher bonuses to unionised staff in the current economic downturn.
In the manufacturing sector, Murata Electronics reported last month that it shared some of the cash gains from the Jobs Credit Scheme with its workers in Singapore, offering them a one-off bonus payment of S$300.
This came after the Japanese disk-drive maker revised its annual earnings forecast from a loss of 8 billion yen (RM303 million) to a loss of one billion yen.
Murata’s managing director Masatoshi Koike, who indicated orders have risen in recent months after dropping to as low as 15 per cent at one point, said schemes such as Jobs Credit have been timely in helping companies cope with the recession and minimising layoffs.
Introduced by the government in January, the S$4.5 billion Jobs Credit Scheme is intended to help employers in Singapore save costs and jobs in the face of declining business.
Maybank Singapore has continued to post financial growth despite the downturn. Its operating profits here rose 35.6 per cent for the financial year ending June 2009.
But the bank’s Wong said the extra bonus is not just a reward for the workers’ contribution to the good financial results.
“Beyond financials, the management of the bank recognised the efforts of staff in supporting some of the initiatives that the bank had undertaken to excel in the area of service excellence and worklife balance,” he said.
This year, Maybank Singapore became the first in the industry to achieve triple certification for business excellence in quality, service and developing talent.
“Maybank was also the only bank that received accolades for its series of pro-family and work-life initiatives in the workplace by clinching the Work-Life Excellence Award 2008 for the second time,” Wong said.
Staff turnover at Maybank Singapore has also been consistently below the industry average.
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With the Government Linked Companies being the biggest employer in Singapore, did they pocket the monies that was given by the Government ?
Or did the money find its way to Temasek Holdings - to replenish the US$50 Billion that was reported to be lost in early 2009 ?