HRSINGAPORE Community Discussions
Dear HR Professionals,
My company would like to do a mass change of notice period. Increase of notice period by 1 or 2 months depending on the position. Has any company done so before? What is the outcome or how do you go about?
Lengthening notice period by 1 to 2 months is quite intimidating to employees, and generally, this is usually extended to new hires that come on board upon policy change. For existing employees, their notice period is aligned when they are promoted or given relatively generous salary adjustments to facilitate acceptance of a longer notice period. The employees should not be forced to accept it -as it would impact on employees' morale and retention
We recently did one exercise. I do not think we can force the current employees to conform but we do it for new employees as well as current employees who change roles. At least, when they take up the role, they are fully aware of the conditions, including the change in the notice period. Depending on your context, I would suggest company-wide, possible by levels (e.g. Manager vs non-managers) rather than 1-2 months depending on roles, because if you need them to switch roles in the future, you need more sweeteners. Generally, you might face issues whereby a new recruit reject you because your notice is longer than another company offering another role.
You have to send an addendum to all staff to sign. Before that, you have to communicate clearly to your staff about the changes.
We increased the notice period from 1 month to 2 months for all new hires. For existing employees, they are allowed to choose to stay with 1 month or “upsize” to 2 months.
Just inform them for the change. Of course, there are always 2 sides of coins, some like and others will make noise. However, the company must also be aware that in the event of a longer period, should the employee tenders resignation or underperformance and yet the notice period is 2, 3 months, the co needs to 'endure' else pay in lieu of notice which this equals to $.
Notice Period is a condition of employment. Therefore you need acceptance from the employee on the change. This change can also be done together with a promotion.
We did an exercise once to increase the notice period for a certain level of employees. However, it was done in tandem with a slew of changes/enhancements that serve as sweeteners. So, we did not face any issue of staff morale.
Most management wants the good ones to have the longest notice period and the “bad” ones to leave immediately dilemma. Good or bad, we got to follow the rules we set and mutually agreed with the candidates before we sign the contract, and practice professionally. Changing for existing staffs’ terms is like forcing them down the throat. Those who can swallow and like the food will stay.
Recommend to this in line with the changes in the Employment Act from April 1, 2019.
Prior to the change of the new notice period talk to the target group and explain the business case. The outcome is not predictable and depends on the industry.