Bad Retrenchment Practices for Companies to Avoid

In recent months, many employees have been on edge because of the sudden mass retrenchments ordered by some of the country’s top companies. Experts say that these retrenchments will continue as the world tries to recover from the pandemic. Employers even say that given the uncertainty of the market in the post-pandemic world, retrenchments should not surprise employees if they are included in the list.

But, studies and testimonials have shown that those who were retrenched were notified in a bad manner that made the entire experience a violation of their employee rights.

Here are some of the most notable retrenchment practices that you should take note of when looking for a company or business to work for and avoid as much as possible:

Using Zoom Or Email To Announce Retrenchment

Under the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP), employers must announce the retrenchments to the affected employees in person. Both the HR personnel and the manager should be present during the announcement. While the guidelines said that it should not be done during a mass meeting, telephone call or through email, companies are allowed to use one-on-one video calls to announce as part of their safety practices while the pandemic is still present.

But, some companies ignore these guidelines and have used indirect methods to announce their retrenchment. The most notable example is Uber’s Zoom call announcement in May, in which the company announced to 3,000 workers that they were being retrenched. In a recent retrenchment, Grab announced to 360 employees that they were being laid off through an email.

Quiet Firing

Some companies do a quiet firing strategy to retrench their employees and not have to pay out high retrenchment benefits. In quiet firing, they would create a toxic and intolerable work environment that would force employees to resign on their own.

Mischaracterisation of Retrenchment

There are also those who mischaracterise the retrenchment as something completely different. Some would say they are sacking the employee because they are guilty of misconduct or were performing poorly, even though there were no concerns about that prior to the announcement.

Others may say that the retrenchment is a contractual termination by providing a simple notice and the final salary of the affected employee without explaining why they are being retrenched or what benefits they can receive.


If you find yourself looking for a job, it is important that you know how retrenchment is done in the company or business you plan to join. Bad retrenchment practices show that companies and businesses do not care about your feelings so long as they can protect their assets and continue their operations. If you find yourself being hired by companies with these bad retrenchment cases and getting retrenched, make sure you report your situation to the Ministry of Manpower immediately.

If you are retrenched, it is not end of the world. Here are some help to get you back on your feet:
How to Emphasise Your Personal Strengths During an Interview
8 Types of Interview You Will Come Across In Your Lifetime
Answer That Interview Question: Why Should I Hire You

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Gregoryno6 says:

    There’s also the Christmas Party retrenchment. No kidding, this is real. People I know have been given the heave-ho during the work Christmas party.


  2. Thanks for sharing. This is valuable information. Have a great weekend. Stay safe.


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