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Singaporean NSman sacked by company 1 day before reservist training

Posted by temasektimes on July 12, 2012

A Singaporean NSman was sacked by his company one day before he went for his reservist training. He was given a one month notice (letter of termination of contract) on June 2012, which meant that he would lose his job one day before he went for his reservist.

In a posting on a government-owned citizen ‘journalism’ portal, Edwin wrote:

“I was excited to serve my first ICT (one month), but I received a letter of termination from my company (one month notice) in June, which ended one day before my ICT. I went for job interviews but they did not get back to me, maybe due to the fact they have to wait two months, which is after my one month ICT, to hire me.”

Edwin lodged a complaint to the Manpower Ministry which replied that it cannot do anything legally as the company has already given him a one month notice.

“I used to love my country but now it makes me feel really demoralized to be a Singaporean,” he added.

It is a common knowledge that Singaporean males are disadvantaged in the labor market because of their National Service obligations.

Foreigners who do not have NS liabilities and cost much less are preferred by employers and there are no measures put in place to ensure Singaporeans get priority in jobs.


51 Responses to “Singaporean NSman sacked by company 1 day before reservist training”

  1. He is not alone. Many suffer in silence.

  2. sgge2016 said

    excuses excuses excuses. cud be the company sacked you for being incompetent. stop whining!

  3. kbkb said

    Shit! Like that means go reservist without makeup pay? Wah lau, worst than NS still got salary from govt.

    • Free Trolley said

      There is service pay, but finished when you take take cab to and from camp.
      The company also stupid, the makeup pay not the company pay what. Just fire him on the last day of ICT.

    • Neo said

      Got lah still got very basic pay at least.
      but a bit cheap lo.

  4. Singapore Talent said

    He has 30 day notice so it does not impact makeup pay. May be reflect on the true reason for the termination?

  5. Question said

    What do Koreans do? Do their NS men face same problems?

  6. John said

    How about the person conduct & performance in the firm?

  7. lowy said

    How about RT?

  8. Neo said

    Poor thing. must Tax the company heavily. They are not keen in nation building. If more serviceman got sack for serving nation. its damaging to the moral of the good people out there.

  9. spotlessleopard said

    “So what do you think”?

  10. ziquan90 said

    That’s it. No live round for him in this ICT

  11. Singapuraboi said

    Edwin, name the company and shame them for being unpatriotic, mean and uncompassionate. Since our incompetent MOM won’t do anything to look into the matter, let’s she these companies do that people know what kind of employers they are. The company just did not want to pay the NSman’s one month salary and not have him doing the work. Locals r being screwed by well intending govt policies and benefits such as NS and CPF which makes us expensive and unattractive employees. The guvt has to look into leveling the playing field.

    • mel said


    • Seraphim said

      Which company is ‘patriotic’? To a company, the bottom line is more important in modern society. Mean and uncompassionate, welcome to the ‘dog eat dog’ world….

      • What Do You Think? said

        Very true. Many Singapore firms are unscrupulously hiring foreigners. Just look at Jollibean, Mr. Bean, Hans, BreadTalk, etc. Some of these shameful local companies even hire close to 100% pinoys! Go visit your nearest polyclinic and see for yourself.

  12. constance said

    Wads d point of having “Manpower Ministry” , yet nothing can be done!!!! Young man r force to serve NS, they should be support if such things happens.

  13. mel said

    I have completed my reservist long time ago but it was very hard then because I worked for a foreign local based company and was in-charge of shipbuild projects. Not too many employers are happy when they have to look for temporary replacement if you to have to report for 2 -3 weeks in-camp. It was still quite ok then but nowadays, I think they would prefer to employ foreigners with no NS commitments.

  14. Tan Big Tan said

    NS is bullcrap if Singaporeans are forced to do reservist duty while the companies hires foreigners to do our jobs. The only people who don’t understand or don’t give a crap are the Gahmun officers safe in their jobs earning millions of dollars.

  15. tm said

    Need to see the big picture. If they stand up for the poor gentlemen and fight for the gentlemen to keep his job, they only earn a certain amount from the guy’s tax. If they appease to the company and let the company do whatever they want, they earn more money from the company’s tax.

    Bottom line is, Singapore loves money. Even after 2yrs of NSF and 10yrs of ICT cycles, they’ll still feed you to the corporate lions in exchange for money.

  16. SG Skeptic said

    Temasek Times’ extreme anti-government stance is seriously damaging its objectivity and credibility. haiz… shamelessly asserting all sorts of things without proper evidence and not even bothering to consider the fact that Edwin could have been sacked for totally unrelated reasons, eg incompetence. I used to love reading TT for the fresh perspectives it provided, but feel that it has gone downhill in recent times – deleting critical comments left, right and centre, as well as all that nonsense with EDP. In some ways, TT’s become even worse than the state media.

    In Nietzsche’s words, “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster himself”. #my2cworth

  17. Ben said

    They sack u must have a very good reason , I don’t think the company will take the risk to do that on your before ICT . Because even as a company also have a company Act .

  18. Ron said

    Not sure what was the reason behind his termination. Since Spore does not have an Ombudsman, there is no avenue to seek redress. MOM is really not that effective in such cases.

    Sad. Does Spore stand by their sons who may be called to give up their lives in the defence of the nation? There be ways to help them in the event if accidents and employment termination.

  19. Bai Hu said

    Not only NS men are at an disadvantage, even women too. I still remembered there are cases where women are being fired or dismissed on ‘understood’ grounds when they got pregnant. Because it will meant 2 to 3 months of paid maternity leave & the company being inconvenienced due to her absence from work.

  20. A G Young said

    MOM or MIDEF should take up the matter with the Company! Why was he sacked? Was he INCOMPETENCE? (a lame excuse by most EMPLOYER! .

  21. Blue Nights said

    The timing is too coincidental.

    If you were incompetent, the company should have some documentation to justify the firing. Otherwise you do have a case of workplace gender discrimination and racism, in this case because you are a Singaporean male.

    You should also check the employment contract to see under what circumstances they have the legal right to terminate your service and you can decide if the rules were egregious to begin with and whether it is aligned with fair labor practice. Then you might want to talk to legal aid (since you are now jobless), I don’t know, just a suggestion.

    Ordinarily, the local labor union should help. But in our case, the labor union does not work for labor!

    You could alternatively look for a gungho MP who is willing to look into your case since this has to do with the sacrifices that you give to protect our country.

    Or else, keep publicizing this everywhere you can. Write to any news media that wants to sell something and see where this leads you. Exposure of the company’s tactics is your best offense.

    Good luck! It is terrible what has happened to you.

  22. Tanwan said

    I went thru the same thing man. Was working under a science and technology research institute. 1 day before my ICT, was told my contract ended. So basically no job after coming back from reservist. I requested to differ and inform them I wanted to look for job. Luckily they allowed.

  23. Nate said

    MOM states National Service/Reservist cannot be used to serve notice period

  24. Yehta said

    can tell u that MOM is utterly useless in upholding any of the employee’s right in such matters. Why do I say this? It’s because of the Employment Act which basically states that “either party can terminate the contract by giving the required notice as indicated contractually”. This basically means the labour laws in Singapore affords no protection whatsover to the employee in such cases i.e the employer can at any point in time just give notice or pay in-lieu of notice in accordance to the contractual agreement.
    What will MOM do in such cases???? Hold someting called a “conciliation meeting’ and try their darnest to convince the employee that the employer is within his right to terminate his service by just providing the required notice.
    This is how useless our illustrous MOM is and they will essentially tell the aggrieved party that such incidents is within the employer’s right to hire or fire.
    Unlike other countries, even Malaysia, where the Labour Ministry will actually take action and bring the employer to task, do note that this is not the case in Singapore. Essentially, all the labour laws in Singapore is “pro-employer”. Worse still if u are in an executive, managerial or confidential post,u not even covered by the Employment Act. If u go MOM to ask for help, they will merely brush you off and tell you to seek your own legal advice by engaging a solicitor. At most, they will arrange for another “conciliation meeting” which is a mere formality.
    I noticed some ppl in TR Emeritius forum saying that this constitutes “wrongful dismissal” by employer! Well, I can tell u that in the MOM eyes, so long as the notice is given or paid in-lieu of notice, they will disregard any claims by the employee. It is not a “dismissal” unless the employee is sacked without any notice given.
    Note that the provision in the useless and outdated Employed Act states that “Either party” can serve notice i.e the employee can resign and leave service at any time also, so no reasons need to be given and no “protection” is given to employees who fall victim to the whim and fancy of the employer. MOM will certainly highlight this to the aggrieved employee if this case goes to them.
    I have seen cases where employees who work over 20 yrs being terminated without anything more than the required one month’s notice. The conniving employer can even tell the MOM officer that this is within his right in the Employment Act and that basically, there is nothing that can be done against the employer.
    Singapore’s labour laws are toothless??? You are damn right. Don’t believe me, go ask the PAP and the MOM officers. This the the “hard truth” about our employment laws and our govt regulators in charge of an extremely outdated labour legislation that is hell-bent on protecting the investment climate, the employers, MNCs and those that flourish here under the PAP rule.
    Dont believe me? Go call the MOM and find out from their officers there. See how fast they will provide you with another “concilaition meeting” and see whether the employer can be taken to task for such frivolous termination.

  25. GaanMaro said

    Employers shouldn’t have an upper hand in this case. Our young servicemen deserve more. The authorities should protect our national servicemen, not employers who blantantly ignore the law and terminate them.

  26. bb said

    Name the company and other severe pressures from Netcitizens, the company may reinstates you.

  27. If the above post is true that NSmen are disadvantaged in the labour market, it wld behove MOM and, indeed, PM LHL no less, to look indepth into it for our young ppl not just to be on level ground with FTs but fully compensated – if this is possible – for their service to the nation.
    It wld be wrong for govt to simply assign this matter to employers as a private one when it is more corrctly a national issue touching our national security and wellbeing. Needless to say, employers wld simply look at their bottomlines which wld undoubtedly tilt the scales in favour of FTs against our NSmen despite their sacrifices for the nation.
    PM LHL and his team owe an inalienable and sacrosanct duty to the nation to ensure that our NSmen are not shortchanged by employers due to existing governmental policies.

  28. Daft Peasants said

    my job is commission based……so whenever i go back reservist,which is once a year for a total of 10 years, i always jiak kar kee……..

    As for Edwin’s case…….its just plain suay…..and we can do nothing but to accept…..

    my 2 cents

  29. ugly policy in Singapore said

    this is ugly policy in Singapore

  30. pegonmynose said

    NS is killing Sg. SAF is killing Sg.

    No 2 ways about it.

    NS and SAF must be abolish at once.

  31. pingpolice said

    This NAman did not tell us what is the reason that he is been sacked, but use reservist training as a reason to get your support here !

  32. singaporean said

    Most companies don’t sack people just because the staff needs to go for ICT. The need don’t arise suddenly and the employing manager knows what it means when he employs a Singaporean male in his twenties. Same goes when a company employs a Singaporean lady in her twenties – high chances that the person will go for a few rounds of maternity. Employers employ with their eyes opened.

    So, do some soul searching on why you got fired. Timing may be bad, but the real issue is why the termination.

    They could have waited for you to come back from reservist (gov pay you for your time in ICT) but 1 month’s not going make a big difference.

    Good luck in finding a job.

    • uselessGOV said

      yea right.. could have waited… u kidding? wait 1 month for the guy to come back from ict and they pay him 1 month for nothing before he come back just for you to fire him? thats stupid…

      its not employers knows what to expect from sg male in 20s.. if all employers choose to not take sg males in their 20s.. where else would they find labour.. majority of sg males in their 20s r nsmen… how many foreigners r there in ratio to sg.. they would never have enough foreigners to cover all the jobs if every employers choose not to employ ns males… seems like they only employ sg males and then sack them when they need to pay them for doing nothing..

      best thing… a useless MOM… why bother having it when it cant help you with things like this..

      makes me wonder why the f should i protect this country..

      • singaporean said

        It’s the gov that pays for the ICT, not the company. Thus it makes no difference to the company.

        Re-reading the original post in the original website, the poster did not complain that he was sacked for going for ICT, but merely complaining of the timing.

        I’m not for the FT policy at all, but this has nothing to do with the FT policy.

  33. Sinking Sinkies said

    High time to scrap National Service and implement a lean professional armed force with strong air force, navy and commando or SWAT team.

    There is no more necessity for infantry brigades except for civil defence purposes.

  34. good said

    Isn’t that good? So now his ICT will not interfere with his work. He can be totally focused and completely dedicated to both his work and his ICT.

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