M1 lays off 50 staff due to digital transformation, 1.6% to be impacted in total

Telecommunications company M1 has laid off 50 staff as part of its digital transformation plan. According to the telco, it is streamlining processes, implementing new ways of working and building new digital capabilities to further improve its productivity and efficiency. 

In a statement to Marketing, a M1 spokesperson said the 50 employees have been informed ahead in February 2020. In addition, the telco will also be letting go about 1.6% of its total headcount over the next few months. M1 said that it has been working with Singapore Industrial and Services Employees' Union to ensure fair treatment and compensation package for all affected employees.

"Both the union and the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) have been duly consulted, and all the departures have been carried out in accordance with Tripartite Advisory on Managing Excess Manpower and Retrenchment," the telco said. M1 has declined to comment further on Marketing's queries on the departments impacted. 

This comes as M1 reorganised its structure and ways of working. As such, some new roles have been created, some existing roles outsourced or redesigned, and some positions have been made redundant. The telco added that the digital transformation will allow the company to be more agile to respond to customers’ rapidly-changing requirements, as well as capture new opportunities for growth in the digital marketplace.

Previously, StarHub too made workforce reductions in October 2018, and confirmed to Marketing then that approximately 300 full time employees will be impacted. Primarily affecting non-customer facing functions, the restructuring came as part of an overall strategic transformation programme aimed to improve operational efficiencies and productivity. 

It had then told Marketing that the telco will be focusing and investing in new businesses, in digitalisation initiatives to transform customer experience and in wireless and fibre services to deliver content and applications on any device to all consumers.

Nonetheless, 2020 hasn't been easy on businesses across Singapore. Singtel recently said it will be reportedly freezing wages of all staff this year due to "weak business sentiment". According to The Straits Times, this comes as part of the telco’s cost-cutting move, but the move will not impact operational and support staff. The article said staff were informed through a note by group chief executive Chua Sock Koong, who said the telco faces “weak business sentiment” and has to “brace itself for uncertainty” given the COVID-19 outbreak situation. 

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