SINGAPORE, June 20 — All civil servants will receive a 0.35-month mid-year bonus while junior officers will get an additional one-time payment of S$200 (RM634) or S$400, depending on their grade. “This mid-year payment takes into consideration that Singapore’s GDP (gross domestic product) growth in 2022 is likely to come in at the lower half of the forecast range of 3 per cent to 5 per cent,” the Public Service Division (PSD) said in a statement today.

“The Government deeply appreciates the hard work and contribution of all public officers.” PSD said that it is taking a “progressive approach” to the mid-year payment, and that civil servants in grades equivalent to MX13(I) and MX14 will receive an additional one-time payment of S$200.

Those in junior grades — equivalent to MX15 and MX16, as well as those in OSS Grades III to V — will receive a higher one-time payment of S$400. PSD said that the Government had been in close consultation with the public sector unions in making this decision.

Civil servants received a mid-year bonus of 0.3 month last year. They did not receive any bonus in 2020.

PSD noted that Singapore’s economy expanded 3.7 per cent on a year-on-year basis in the first quarter of 2022, while unemployment rates had also declined to pre-pandemic levels in February.

“Domestically, the Covid-19 situation has stabilised and border restrictions have lifted since end-March,” PSD said. At the same time, there are also downside risks that remain ahead, with the external demand outlook this year having deteriorated, due in part to the Russia-Ukraine conflict. “Therefore, the Ministry of Trade and Industry has maintained a GDP growth forecast of 3 per cent to 5 per cent, but stated that growth is likely to come in at the lower half of the forecast range due to the economic uncertainties,” PSD noted.

Last November, PSD announced that all civil servants in Singapore will receive a one-month year-end bonus for their “hard work” during the Covid-19 crisis. PSD then announced this month that 23,000 civil servants will get a 5 to 14 per cent pay raise from Aug 1, as part of its review to “keep pace with market”.

“The pandemic has underscored the importance of a strong Public Service and the Government deeply appreciates the hard work and perseverance of all public officers who have contributed to the Covid-19 fight and Singapore’s economic recovery,” said PSD today.

“In deciding the year-end (bonus) payments, the Government will continue to monitor the economic situation closely, and take into consideration the National Wages Council’s guidelines, which will be released later in the year,” it added.

Cham Hui Fong, deputy secretary-general of National Trades Union Congress, said the payout “is a timely recognition of our civil servants’ dedication in serving the people during the pandemic period”.

“NTUC also urges employers and employees, from both the public and private sectors, to constantly transform themselves so that they remain competitive and seize opportunities. This should lead to better business and work prospects so that in the longer term, it leads to higher productivity and better wages.”

Sanjeev Kumar Tiwari, general secretary of the Amalgamated Union of Public Employees, said that it appreciates the moderate increase in mid-year bonus compared to 2021 given the current economic uncertainties, geopolitical tensions and inflationary pressures. “We hope that things will turn around so that there will be better outcomes at the end of the year.” — TODAY