EMPLOYMENT LAW GOVERNMENT TRENDS
Singapore – Professionals, managers and executives (PMEs) can look forward to greater protection and better working conditions, as the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) undertakes a review of the Employment Act this year.
The upcoming review is likely to update labour laws and expand the scope of the Act to cover more PMEs, The Business Times
reported. Changes include improving wage conditions for low wage workers.
“The character of our labour force is changing. Singaporeans are becoming more educated. We are seeing an increasing proportion of PMEs in our workforce,” Tan Chuan-Jin, minister of state for manpower, said at an MOM seminar yesterday.
The Act is also likely to beef up protection of low wage and other “vulnerable” workers, and some labour experts say this could spell higher costs and rigid employment practices for employers.
“There’s a need to look at the scope of the Employment Act, the type and nature of employment and relationships, as well as the various areas of the Act which may require more clarifications or updating, and the greater protection for the vulnerable group of workers,” Patrick Tay, director of legal Services department and PME at NTUC, said.
“From the employer’s standpoint, we look for a balance between the wish to protect standards and workers’ rights against labour-market flexibility and competitiveness,” Stephen Lee, president of the Singapore National Employers Federation, added.
Meanwhile, MOM has stepped up efforts to ensure that employment laws, including the CPF and the Employment Act, are obeyed. “Going forward, MOM and CPFB intend to do more,” Tan said.
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