Towards a progressive and inclusive workplace for all
Older workers, low wage workers, and workers with caregiving responsibilities to receive more help from the Government.
06 Mar 2017
During the Committee of Supply debates on Monday, 6th March, the Ministry of Manpower shared its plans on how it will drive inclusive growth and foster progressive workplaces.
Speaking in Parliament, Minister of State for Manpower Sam Tan shared that the Government will do more for older workers, low wage workers, and workers with caregiving responsibilities.
The Additional Special Employment Credit, which provides wage offsets to employers hiring older Singaporean workers, will be extended to 31 December 2019.
LOW WAGE WORKERS
The Government will adopt a three-pronged strategy as part of efforts to uplift low wage workers. They three thrusts are sustainable wage increases, stepping best sourcing efforts, and supplementing incomes and retirement savings through the Workfare Income Supplement (WIS) scheme.
Changes to dependency ratio ceiling: MOM will raise the salary threshold for a local worker to be considered as a full-time equivalent – from S$1,000 currently to S$1,200. The threshold will be done progressively, first to S$1,100 from 1 July 2017 and to S$1,200 from 1 July 2018.
Best sourcing: The ministry released an updated Tripartite Advisory on Best Sourcing Practices. The advisory will provide new guidance on progressive remuneration and benefits for outsources workers, and fair contracting practices.
Workers’ rights: MOM is working with MOF, SPF, NEA, and NParks to review further measures against contractors that fail to protect the basic rights of outsources workers working under Government contracts.
WORKERS WITH CARE-GIVING RESPONSIBILITIES
Companies are encouraged to improve the employment of female residents, especially in part-time employment, through flexi-load options such as “Job Sharing”.
RAISING WORKPLACE SAFETY AND HEALTH (WSH) STANDARDS
The WSH Construction Regulations will be enhanced to tackle three areas of concern – vehicle-related accidents within worksites, accidents involving formwork, and lack of proper supervision, communication and coordination of work activities. The ministry will also consider laying out in the WSH Act clear roles of corporate officers in maintaining an efficient WSH system.
For injured workers, the ministry will work with tripartite partners to review usage of the SLF Special Relief Fund to benefit more low wage workers who are victims of industrial accidents. A Return to Work programme will be introduced to provide early intervention to help injured workers and their companies. MOM aims to implement the programme later this year.
WORKERS ON THE “GIG ECONOMY”
Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say said that the ministry will form a tripartite workgroup study the issue of freelancers in the economy and address the concerns of freelancers. The ministry will also work with NTUC and the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) in reaching out to more freelancers.