SJM Holdings had a difficult 2020 because of COVID-19, but it isn’t going to let a little thing like money trouble get in the way of the casino operator continuing its plan to offer annual “living subsidies” to its Macau employees. It, like other casino operators in the city, has given annual bonuses to its workers over the years and has confirmed that it is ready to start distributing checks once again. The pay will be split into two parts, with the first payment expected to be made this week.
SJM announced the payment scheme today, explaining that it will distribute the first half of the subsidy this Wednesday and the second half in July. Daisy Ho Chiu Fung, the company’s chairperson, added in the announcement, “We would like to thank our staff members for their diligent work and dedicated support amidst the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Those company employees who earn $2,505 or less will be given a bonus of two months’ salary, according to GGRAsia. Those who earn above that mark will pick up a bonus of one-and-a-half times their monthly salary or $5,000, whichever is higher. The bonus is valid for all eligible employees, even those who have worked for the company for less than a year; however, those who fall in the latter category will find their bonuses prorated based on the amount of time they have been with SJM. The living subsidy scheme has been in place for six years and SJM confirmed in 2019 that it doesn’t anticipate making any changes for at least another year. That, of course, was pre-COVID-19, but the global pandemic hasn’t forced it to alter its course too drastically.
SJM just picked up a new chief financial officer, who will help ensure the company can continue to make good on its promises and bounce back from the coronavirus issues. Toh Hup Hock is taking over for Robert Earle McBain, who decided it was time to retire. Toh officially started last Friday, having most recently served as the Chief Operating Officer (Finance and Development) for SJM’s Macau operations. Prior to that, he spent almost six years with Sands China, from 2010-2016, and about three years with Shangri-La Asia Limited, from April 2016 to March 2019.
Toh is taking over right when SJM expects to, finally, open its Grand Lisboa Palace in Macau. The resort has been delayed for a number of reasons over the past couple of years, and the launch should help the company in its COVID-19 recovery efforts. A recent financial update from SJM showed that it had a loss attributable to owners of $132.9 million for the third quarter of 2020 and, as Macau starts to emerge from the pandemic, the new venue should help put breathe new life into the company. The property is expected to draw a lot of attention and at least one industry analyst believes it will help SJM emerge the strongest in Macau after the pandemic.