13th month payment: Killing the beast.

Killing the beast.

I wrote about this before when I received my first 13th month payment and I was confused about what it entailed exactly.

It’s time to kill this beast, as with other beasts that have stalked and skulked around our society menacingly and unnecessarily.

To help us in doing so, please read this post which clarifies the idea of the payment of salaries i.e. one is paid consistently for all days of work, so the 13th month payment is an entitlement and not a privilege.

For comparison, this is what the Ministry of Manpower has to say about it:

The Annual Wage Supplement (AWS) is commonly known as the 13th month payment. It is a single annual payment to employees that supplements the total amount of annual wage earned by them.

Payment of AWS depends on the contractual agreement between the employer and the employee i.e. whether it is provided for in the employment contract or collective agreement.

If it is not stipulated in the employment contract, AWS payment is subject to negotiation and mutual agreement between the employer and employee, or the trade union representing the employee.

That’s why some people have been short-changed by their employers or have been unfairly conditioned into believing the ’13th month payment’ is a bonus.

13th month payment: It’s not a ‘bonus’?

I was quite curious about how and why there was a need for a 13th month payment after reading this article. So I Googled for some answers, and found a few posts on this topic.

Read them first, bad English and all, before coming back here:

Actually, they all say the same thing (with some variations) so the summary here:

  • We are paid according to the British system of accounting i.e. based on 28 days of work (one week has seven days; therefore four weeks has 28 days).
  • Since our salary comes in monthly, we have 12 payments in one year.
  • But one year has 52 weeks. 52 divided by four is 13.
  • So the 13th month is something that is entitled to us. However, we have been conditioned into believing that it’s a ‘bonus’.

Hmmm. Any thoughts on this from anyone?