Browsing Golf Industry NewsVIEW ALL

ASIA: Staff Welfare Paramount, Says Singapore Island Country Club General Manager

POSTED ON May 10, 2020 @ 11:18 am

Singapore: World-renowned Singapore Island Country Club (SICC) is going to exceptional lengths to ensure its staff are well taking care of during the Covid-19 pandemic.

With no fewer than 81 holes of golf, 13 food and beverage outlets and five clubhouses to maintain, SICC employs more than 500 staff to serve the total membership of 18,000 at one of Asia’s best-known and most prestigious private clubs.

However, since the introduction of the Singapore Government’s ‘circuit breaker’, barely 10 per cent of the staff are permitted to operate at the club at any given time.

“It’s a challenging situation for everyone,” said Desmond Tay, General Manager at SICC, a Golf Course Facility Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation (AGIF). “Many businesses have had to close down, and that has included country clubs and all the facilities and recreation we have. Recreation services are not considered essential.

“In order to restrict movement and allow good social distancing between civilians, only essential services like food supply, medical and financial businesses have remained open in Singapore. So, we’re all restricted. Most people have to carry out their business and function from home. Others have had to take leave and stay at home to prevent direct interaction with other people. There’s very minimum movement.

“Like at all other clubs, we’re trying to hold onto our staff. No-one is being laid off at this moment. At SICC, the staff have contributed a lot during the good times and helped make the club successful and put it where it is today. So, I don’t think during these few months we can say we can’t withstand this crisis.

“With the approval of the club chairman and the committee we continue to support all the staff and will pay them in full during this period. At this time, we’re not going to reduce the number of staff or deduct any pay roll and we don’t require any staff to go on unpaid leave.

“There are some staff who have a lot of balance leave that they’ve been unable to clear. This is the best chance for them to start clearing some of their long outstanding leave. It also means we can prepare for the pent-up demand of the members because when we re-open, I want all our staff to be healthy and at full strength and able to cater to our business needs.”

In keeping with Government guidelines, SICC has been operating with a skeleton staff.

Speaking in the latest in a series of AGIF podcasts with leading lights from the industry that are being broadcast at www.agif.asia, Tay said: “The Government allows very minimum staff and we have to go through a very stringent application process in order to determine how many staff are required for the day-to-day operation at the club. If this number is to be proven to be an essential service then we can get an exemption. Currently, we have about 10% of our total workforce, about 50 staff.

“We have staff authorised to work in golf course maintenance and bare minimum housekeeping and security personnel to make sure the club is protected. Most of the 10% are in food and beverage. We provide food for members and they’re able to order for takeaway or drive-through.”

Although 90% of the staff are currently unable to visit the club premises, SICC remains in constant contact.

Tay said: “For those who are at home, we have organised a number of things. Our Human Resources department is engaging with the staff and working on some training programmes and wellness programmes or refreshing them with some of the club’s standard operating procedures.

“The bottom line for us is to make sure that staff are healthy – not only physically healthy but also to make sure they are not suffering from financial issues.

“I hold a weekly e-meeting – a Zoom session with staff to learn their status and how they are. Last week we had 87 staff logging in from Singapore and Malaysia, people from all departments, seniors and juniors. Every day we are keeping track of our staff: who is working, who is at home, whether they’re in Malaysia or Singapore, and how they are. We have a hotline and they can call us at any time and let us know if anything has happened to them.”

Even before the latest circuit breaker came into force on April 7, the club was making sure staff were well catered to. “We put together 500 ration packs, consisting of essential items such as rice and noodles. We gave these out to all members of staff to bring home before the circuit breaker started,” said Tay.

SOURCE: AGIF

Comments are closed.


CLICK HERE TO Sign Up for the GIC Newsletter for all the latest Industry News.

Golf Recruitment Central Golf Marketing Central Live 4 Golf

Nudgee Golf Club is Queensland PGA’s new home

The recently re-designed Nudgee Golf Club will appear...

Troon Management

TROON Agronomy: Offering More, For Less

  Interview with David Lunardelli Director of Agronomy...

shanx minigolf

MINI GOLF : Does it actually change your facility?

These words are always in there. FAMILY FRIENDLY,...

Australian Golf Foundation launches junior girls scholarships

The Australian Golf Foundation, in association with Golf Australia, is delighted to present the Australian Golf Foundation (AGF) Junior Girls Scholarship program...

JOB: Head Greenkeeper – Golf Central BNE

Golf Central BNE

About Golf Central 17ha golf entertainment facility located at the entry to Brisbane Airport. A key attribute of Golf Central is the...

Cemetery for Wallacia Golf Course gets green light

Wallencia golf course

An independent planning panel has followed in the footsteps of the Land & Environment Court (Court), approving a contentious cemetery for Wallacia...

'Significant' Indigenous sites where Greg Norman-designed shark-shaped golf course is planned

A golf course in the shape of a great white shark, to be designed by champion golfer Greg Norman, is planned on...

TROON appoints Aussie Clinton Southorn as Director of Construction & Agronomy

troon appointment

Troon’s latest appointment emphasises the wonderful growth opportunities that are available to golf  industry professionals worldwide, with many recent...

PGA TOUR eyes global growth in 2022 and beyond

The PGA TOUR’s 2020-21 season will go down as one of its most memorable yet. But if Commissioner Jay...

Early insights highlight changing Asian playing habits

Innovative research on Asian golf Early insights from a pioneering study on Asian golf depict an industry and a...

Hanse’s Lido Homage Grand Opening Set for Early 2022

Members of the new Ban Rakat Club, home to the Gil Hanse-designed Ballyshear Links, endured an exquisite form of...

epar: New Sex Discrimination and Fair Work Laws

The Sex Discrimination and Fair Work (Respect at Work) Amendment Act 2021 (Act) received Royal Assent on 10 September...

PGA and adidas launch apparel recycling initiative

In partnership with adidas’ sustainability mission, the current apparel worn by the PGA of Australia staff will be recycled...