Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Singapore firms brace for staff shortage as Malaysians vote

\Some businesses in Singapore are preparing for a manpower shortage when their Malaysian staff go on leave to vote in the upcoming election.

The firms told Channel NewsAsia that they are changing work schedules and hiring temporary staff to tide them through this period.

About 400,000 Malaysians are in Singapore, according to the World Bank.

One fishball factory says it will stop production of frozen fishballs from May 1.

Instead, it is diverting its available staff to the fresh fishball production line.

The factory's cost of production has also been affected, as it will require its non-Malaysian staff to work over the weekend and will have to pay them double.

As for spa giant CitiSpa, it is anticipating between 10 and 15 per cent shortage of staff during the election period. 

CitiSpa says about half of its staff are Malaysians. 

CitiSpa CEO, Gerald Teo, said: "We have made arrangements for other workers to cover their duties. These are the locals and workers from other nationalities. In addition, we will have to do some internal transfer among the workers, to ensure there are enough workers at the various branches."

Mr Teo said CitiSpa is also rescheduling the appointments of some of its customers.

But one restaurant, Dragon Phoenix in Clarke Quay, says it is well prepared to cope with the staff shortage, by hiring part-timers.-Channel News Asia (April 23, 2013)

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