In a bid to increase the adoption of fair and progressive workplaces in Singapore, the Tripartite Standard on Employment of Term Contract Employees was launched by Second Minister for Manpower Josephine Teo at the Devan Nair Institute for Employment and Employability.
Jointly developed by the Ministry of Manpower, National Trades Union Congress, and Singapore National Employers Federation, this the first in a series of Tripartite Standards that will be rolled out successively in the months ahead.
At the launch, Minister Teo said: “Companies that meet the Tripartite Standards stand out from the rest in a positive way, and we want to help them draw the attention of more jobseekers so they can impact more lives positively. You can say this is the tripartite way for ‘positive discrimination’.”
Progressive employers who publicly adopt this Tripartite Standard will provide term contract employees with leave benefits and termination notice periods that are commensurate with their length of continuous service. They will also provide training to these employees to ensure that they are able to perform their roles effectively.
Under the Tripartite Standard, all term contracts of service of 14 days or more, which are renewed within 1 month from the end of the previous contract, are treated as continuous service.
To date, 296 employers have signed on as early adopters including Coca-Cola Singapore Beverages, DBS Bank, Kentucky Fried Chicken Management, Philips Electronics Singapore, Rajah & Tann Singapore, Sakae Holdings, and Volkswagen Group Singapore.
Together with the tripartite partners, the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP) is working with employers to help them adopt this Tripartite Standard. Those who have adopted the Standard will be listed on TAFEP’s website and can use a logomark for their recruitment and marketing efforts.
Highlighting the reasons behind the focus on term contract employees, Minister Teo said: “Term contract employees are already a regular part of our workforce. Today, they constitute about 10% of our resident workforce (about 170,000 workers).”
The second reason Minister Teo pointed to was the expected increase in the use of term contract employees moving forward; in line with many organisations expecting to use more of the ‘augmented workforce’ in future.
“Third, and perhaps most significant of all, while the term contract arrangement serves the employers well, they don’t always serve the employees well,” she said.
Here’s an example of how the Tripartite Standard works:
Photo / TAFEP
In photo: Minister Josephine Teo; NTUC President Mary Liew; and SNEF President Dr Robert Yap are joined by representatives from the first batch of employers that have successfully adopted the Tripartite Standard on the Employment of Term Contract Employees.