Singapore Businesses Avoid Massive Layoffs, Move Toward Cautious Hiring: Aon Pulse Survey

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  • 18% of businesses report a hiring freeze compared to
    30% in April
  • Three fourths of Singapore companies have refrained
    from layoffs

SINGAPORE
– Media OutReach – 21 July
2020 – Aon plc (NYSE: AON), a leading
global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement
and health solutions, has released the results of a new pulse survey that
explores how companies in Singapore are planning for changes in the rewards and
talent landscape in a COVID-19 world.

 

Aon
conducted the survey, “Setting
the Stage for the Future of Rewards and Work,
” from June 9 to June 15,
2020. This follows a previous study that was conducted from April
28 to May 1, 2020.

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“Our latest survey results
show a stabilization in businesses in Singapore. While layoffs are slightly on
the rise, more businesses are moving to cautious hiring practices while
adjustments to rewards have averted widespread downsizing efforts,” says Alexander
Krasavin, partner, Radford, and regional commercial head, APAC & MEA at Aon.
“We hear from clients that they are looking beyond the immediate economic
impact of COVID-19 and planning for longer-term structural changes to
operations and workforce strategies. They are seeing opportunity within a very
difficult situation.”

Employees
in high-risk environments may lose their “hazard pay”

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As businesses in
Singapore deal with the economic impact of the pandemic, many are changing
their rewards programmes, most often by postponing salary increases. Between
Aon’s May and June pulse surveys, businesses delaying salary increases for all employees
grew from 24% to 29%.

As more businesses
reopen, they are also pulling back on special “hazard pay.” Survey participants
that reported paying hazard pay to employees in a higher risk environment in
May was 12%. By the June pulse survey, only 9% of participants said they have stopped
providing this allowance.

 

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Most companies report “zero downsizing efforts”

As companies take
steps to contain costs through modifications to rewards, most participants
continue to report “zero downsizing efforts.” Approximately three-fourths of
Singapore businesses surveyed said they have refrained from layoffs for now. However,
the percentage of participants that confirmed layoffs rose slightly to 15% in
the June survey from 13% in May and only 4% in April.  

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In addition, more
Singapore businesses are moving toward cautious hiring from a complete hiring
freeze. The percentage of surveyed businesses that reported a hiring freeze
fell almost by half, from 30% in April to 18% in June. Those in a cautious
hiring state rose from 46% to 60% during the same period.

Singapore companies view current situation as
opportunity, not obstacle

When asked how the
experience of responding to COVID-19 might change future workforce strategies,
56% of companies in Singapore expect their digital transformation agendas to
accelerate and 89% are planning for different working models, such as an increase
in permanently remote employees and more flexible working hours. In fact, 75%
of participants said that they are offering flexible working hours to employees
with young children − an increase from 67% in April and May.

About the Survey

This is the fourth edition of Aon’s COVID-19 pulse
surveys.
A total of 1,940 companies around the world
responded, with 417 respondents from Singapore. Survey results are available
here and are complimentary for all participants.


About Aon

Aon plc (NYSE: AON) is a leading global
professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and
health solutions. Our 50,000 colleagues in 120 countries empower results
for clients by using proprietary data and analytics to deliver insights that
reduce volatility and improve performance.


Follow
Aon on 
Twitter and LinkedIn.  

Stay up to date by visiting the Aon Newsroom and hear from Aon’s expert advisors
in 
The One Brief. Sign up for News Alerts here.


Singapore Businesses Avoid Massive Layoffs, Move Toward Cautious Hiring: Aon Pulse Survey

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