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Helping PMETs and other workers as we move into the Future Economy

Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say outlines four core employment outcomes and how his Ministry plans to achieve them.

06 Mar 2017

With the slight rise in retrenchment and unemployment, the Ministry of Manpower announced several measures to alleviate workers’ concerns during the Committee of Supply debates on Monday, 6th March.

Speaking in Parliament, Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say said that the tripartite leaders will work together to achieve four core employment outcomes:

1. Creating good quality jobs for everyone

2. Helping workers to adapt to take on better jobs

3. Strengthening inclusiveness of the local workforce and the complementarity of the local and foreign workforces

4. To protect and spread fair and progressive treatment of the workforce

MATCHING JOBSEEKERS WITH JOBS

In order to help jobseekers find jobs, the Manpower Ministry will partner two leading private sector employment agencies who have been working with government agencies in the United Kingdom and Australia. The agencies will help place PMETs who have been made redundant or are unemployed for three months or more. This partnership will be launched in the 2nd quarter of 2017.

ENHANCEMENTS TO PROFESSIONAL CONVERSION PROGRAMME

To encourage employers to offer more mid-level jobs, the salary support caps will be raised from S$2,000 to S$4,000. This will allow the programme to support the wages of mid-level jobs of up to S$5,700.

Mature PMETS (40 years old and above) and the long-term unemployed (six months or more) will receive more support, from S$4,000 currently to S$6,000. This will allow the Government to support mid-level jobs of up to S$6,700 of salary.

MORE DETAILS ON THE “ATTACH AND TRAIN” PROGRAMME

More details on the Attach and Train programme, which aims to attach jobseekers to companies as the jobseekers undergo skills conversion, were announced. The Government will provide a training allowance of 50% to 70% of prevailing salaries for the job that they are being trained for, with a cap of S$4,000 per month in lieu of the salary grant to employers.

To minimise potential abuse by employers, the Government will select a few sectors to start with and manage the programme closely with industry partners. Some of the sectors being considered include logistics, healthcare, and biologics.

MORE WAGE SUPPORT FOR PMETS AFFECTED BY REDUNDANCY

Mature PMETs who are unemployed and have been actively looking for jobs for 1 year or more: Through the Career Support Programme (CSP), employers will receive higher wage support and for a longer duration – up from 12 months to 18 months. Wage support will stand at 50% for the first six months, 30% for the second six months, and 20% for the final six months. In total, wage support of S$42,000 over 18 months will be provided to employers.

PMETs aged 40-49 made redundant or unemployed for 6 months: Wage support via the CSP for this group will double to 40% for the first six months and 20% for the next six months. In total, up to S$25,200 of wage support will be provided over one year for employers.

CSP extended to all PMETs: PMETs below 40 can now receive wage support of 20% for the first six months and 10% for the next six months. This means wage support of up to S$12,600 for employers.

Enhancing CSP to help SMEs: The salary threshold for SMEs will be lowered to S$3,600.

ENHANCING SUPPORT FOR RANK AND FILE WORKERS

Changes to Work Trial: The Work Trial period of 80 hours (or two weeks) will be extended to as long as three months, with allowances of up to S$1,200 per month. If employers offer employment to those unemployed for more than a year, the Government will provide wage support of 30%, capped at S$600 for the first six months of employment. Workers will get an additional incentive payment of S$1,000 for staying in the job for at least six months. Work Trial will also support persons-with-disabilities.

Fair Consideration Framework Watchlist: For the about 50 companies on the watchlist which have not been receptive or cooperative when it came to adopting fair and progressive employment practices, the Government will continue to curtail their workpass privileges.

FAIR AND PROGRESSIVE TREATMENT TO ALL WORKERS

Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management (TADM) and Employment Claims Tribunal (ECT): The TADM and ECT, which will help resolve salary-related disputes, will start operations as scheduled on 1st April. TADM will also work with the Law Society of Singapore, WSG, and e2i among other agencies and groups to help workers. A short term relief fund for local low wage workers will also be available.

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