Saving Jobs, Sustaining Business

An Align Group Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Initiative

Frequently Asked Questions


An employer has both legal and non-legal obligations towards his employees. In the area of legal obligations, the terms and conditions of employment of an employee are legally regulated by the following:

If a company’s business is adversely hit, it should immediately take cost cutting measures, including the following:

  • Cut non-essential spending
  • Cut entertainments
  • Defer projects that are not critical or time-sensitive
  • Freeze all hiring
  • Release fixed-term employees when their contracts expire (do not renew)
  • Cancel or scale down staff events
  • Use the slack period to improve internal processes, do housekeeping or train employees

Reducing Working Hours

If manpower take up a significant portion of costs, consider the following methods to reduce wage costs by reducing the working hours of your employees:

  • Get employees to consume Annual Leave
  • Arrange for short work weeks
  • Implement temporary layoffs
  • Get employees to take No-Pay Leave
  • Retrenchment

Reducing Working Hours - Consuming Annual Leave

The truth is getting employees to consume their Annual Leave does not direct reduce wage costs. The effect is to help the company conserve man-days for the future when the company reverts to normal operations. 

It’s like letting employees take a break during the lull period, and have them back in full force when business activities pick back up again.

An employer can request an employee to consume up to 50% of the earned annual leave, according the Tripartite Advisory.

If there is little work to be done, employees may be persuaded to take more annual leave, including advanced annual leave (on the understanding that the employer will grant No-Pay Leave later in the year if the employee requires to take leave).

If an employee has brought forward leave balance from the preceding year, the company should get the employee consume these leave days that have been brought forward first, before exhausting earned Annual Leave.