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Friday beers: Weekly news roundup

Major developments in Asia this week as China approved a controversial national security law for Hong Kong. Time will tell what this means for the SAR. For now it gives extra ammunition in the ongoing trade war and the USA have threatened to remove Hong Kong’s special status which would be a serious escalation.

Despite effective handling of the COVID-19 health emergency based on infections and deaths, this has come at an economic cost to Hong Kong and twice as many Hong Kong employers have made layoffs so far compared to Singapore. Still as Peter de Krassell makes the case in the SCMP Hong Kong has a superior financial centre and greater political freedoms than the lion city. No doubt this friendly regional rivalry has many years left to run.

More news of job cuts globally as HSBC and BP are among those announcing downsizing plans this week. Further from laying off 16,000 employees in March, Herz filed for bankruptcy becoming the latest notable company to be crushed by corona.

Job cuts have been limited in Singapore so far, and where they have happened this has impacted foreigners more than locals as the government focuses (not unreasonably) on protecting local jobs via the Jobs Support Scheme. DPM Heng reassured those from overseas concerned about their future that Singapore will still welcome some foreign workers for the foreseeable future. We hope that the economy continues to support good jobs and a diverse talented workforce after the JSS expires.

News from the great WFH experiment: Facebook announced that long term remote working would come with a pay cut if people choose to base in lower cost areas; and reports that micromanaging bosses are still able to effectively micromanage remotely.

If you are job seeking it is a challenging time but do keep going – even with fewer vacancies in most markets talent management teams are still working hard on talent pipelines and your good actions now will pay dividends in the coming weeks

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