All employees of AIA Singapore will receive S$1,000, as well as an additional day-off, as part of the company's efforts to support employees during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as well as ensure that they can get the equipment they need to enhance their home office setup while working from home.

The lump sum is available to all permanent and contract staff, and more than 1,000 employees are expected to benefit from it.

Additionally, AIA Singapore is embracing new norms, by working to extend flexible work-from-home arrangements for all staff as part of a permanent arrangement even after COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. Employees will be able to choose which days of the week that they would like to work from home, customising their time and working arrangements around their individual needs.

Patrick Teow, Chief Executive Officer of AIA Singapore, noted the company's people-centric approach places a high priority on employees’ wellbeing. He said: "We are in this together and it is even more so during these unprecedented times that we want to assure them of our emphasis to preserve jobs and commitment to invest in their continuous personal and professional development.

"There is currently no plan for any salary cuts. Being a leading life insurer, there is no better time for us to demonstrate leadership by providing peace of mind during times when people need us most."

As part of its upskilling efforts, the insurer has partnered with Hyper Island to co-design a digital mindset cultural programme – Digital Ei8ht – to engage with its employee base to embrace a culture of experimentation. This is in addition to the available learning platform, LinkedIn Learning.

Wong Sze Keed, CEO-Designate and Chief Distribution Officer of AIA Singapore, said: “We have always endeavoured to be more than just an insurer, in good times and bad; we want to be a partner through life’s journey. That promise starts with our employees. They make AIA Singapore, they define our culture and are the driving force of our organisation, now more than ever."

Going forward, AIA Singapore will be offering over 200 job opportunities for jobseekers keen to embark in wealth management and insurance associate roles. To support fresh and recent graduates, AIA Singapore is also joining the SGUnited Traineeships Programme to offer traineeship positions for digital roles such as Data Analytics, UX Design, and more.

In other news, AntWorks, a Singapore-based provider of AI solutions, has declared Juneteenth (19 June) as a holiday across its global offices. Juneteenth is an unofficial American holiday celebrated annually to commemorate the end of slavery and stresses on the importance of human equality and freedom.


News from the upskilling front - IBM and NTUC LearningHub (NTUC LHUB) have partnered on curating free courses to close technology skills gaps in Singapore, in areas such as AI (including IBM Watson), cloud and quantum computing. As such, a suite of curated free IBM courses will be made available through NTUC LHUB, which have been developed in-house by IBM.

“We are excited to partner NTUC LHUB in the nation’s skills building efforts to drive the country’s journey towards innovation. Acquiring and developing these skills will be critical for businesses to change and adapt quickly in a post-COVID era and the timing of this collaboration is perfect,” said Martin Chee, Managing Director, IBM Singapore.

NTUC LHUB CEO Kwek Kok Kwong, added: "Our dream is to team up with great content providers and we will curate and democratise knowledge to our workers in Singapore. IBM has world-class expertise and steep vertical knowledge in areas such as artificial intelligence and cloud computing, and we are very excited to partner with them to build up Singapore’s digital capabilities."