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SG50 bonus of S$500 for all civil servants in July

The one-off payment comes on top of their mid-year bonus of half their monthly salary

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Civil servants dining at the Civil Service College's (CSC) atrium.

Singapore

ALL 82,000 civil servants in Singapore will receive a S$500 bonus in July in conjunction with the country's golden jubilee celebrations.

This is a special one-off payment on top of their usual mid-year bonus this year, which works out to half of their monthly salary, said the Public Service Division (PSD), one of Singapore's largest employers, on Wednesday.

This 0.5-month annual variable component is the same as last year, and higher than the 0.4 month paid out in 2013 and the 0.3 month in 2012.

In addition, the PSD said that around 2,500 lower-wage Division 4 civil servants will get an extra built-in monthly wage increase of S$30 over and above their annual increment in 2015. A typical officer in this category earns between S$1,416 and S$1,813 a month.

The mid-year payouts were a result of several rounds of consultations and negotiations between PSD and representatives from the public-sector unions, taking into account Singapore's economic performance and the National Wages Guidelines for 2015/16.

PSD noted that the mid-year payout quantum was decided after taking into account global economic conditions and the labour situation in Singapore, among other factors.

Singapore's economy grew by 2.6 per cent on a year-on-year basis in the first quarter of 2015, faster than the 2.1 per cent growth in the previous three months.

Global economic growth is likely to be "marginally better" this year than in 2014, with externally oriented sectors expected to see improved growth prospects, PSD added.

The Singapore economy is projected to grow by between 2 and 4 per cent in 2015.

The regular mid-year bonus aside, it was the so-called SG50 bonus of S$500 that many were talking about after PSD made the announcement at about 5pm on Wednesday.

In a statement, PSD said that the government was giving this payment to all civil servants "in recognition of their contribution towards nation-building".

The labour movement said that it welcomed the news of the mid-year payout and was "heartened" that the government had accepted its earlier call for an SG50 bonus for workers in Singapore.

It was three weeks ago when the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and the Singapore National Employers Federation urged companies to give a special recognition to their staff in celebration of the Republic's 50 years of independence.

NTUC president Diana Chia had said then: "There is a tripartite consensus that we should try to support an SG50 bonus for companies that can afford it."

SNEF president Robert Yap had also said that his organisation would encourage firms that were doing well to recognise the contributions of their employees in their own ways.

Among the major employers in Singapore that have announced an SG50-related incentive so far include DBS Bank, which is giving 18,000 of its staff a S$1,000 bonus.

Transport operator SMRT gave each of its workers S$500 in shopping vouchers last month, while each of NTUC FairPrice's 10,000 staff will receive vouchers of S$100 and S$200 in August. NTUC's social enterprises will also give its employees an SG50 gift in cash or kind.

Meanwhile, PSD said that the government will decide on the year-end bonus payment for civil servants after taking into consideration Singapore's economic performance in the second half of the year.

NTUC assistant secretary-general Cham Hui Fong said that the labour movement and its affiliated unions would continue to "work closely with (the) tripartite partners to ensure that workers are recognised for their dedication and hard work".

She added: "The focus placed on the Division 4 employees, with an additional built-in wage increase, also shows an alignment in commitment to help our lower-wage officers."