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New tripartite standards to help employers handle workplace disputes

A new standard has been launched by Singapore's Ministry of Manpower to help firms manage workplace disputes and grievances.

According to a press release, Minister of Manpower Lim Swee Say, announced the standard at an event for fair and responsive management of workplace disputes on Friday. The standard lists a set of veritable and actionable practices that will aid more effective management of workplace grievances.

Over 220 employers have pledged to manage workplace grievances according to the new Tripartite Standard on Grievance Handling.

To help employers with grievance handling procedures, the tripartite partners outlined four specifications in the standard:

  • Employers that adopt this Tripartite Standard commit to providing a channel for employees to raise grievances, and to conduct proper investigations and respond to the affected employees.
  • Employers commit to clearly communicating and documenting the grievance handling procedure through collective agreement, company circular or memo.
  • Employers state the appropriate authority to hear the appeal and a reasonable time frame for action to be taken. Employees are given the right to bring any unresolved grievance to the next level, such as requesting the assistance of the union if the employee is a union member in a unionised company.
  • Employers commit to training supervisors and relevant employees to manage feedback and grievances, and work with the union if the company is unionised.
“What the tripartite partners strive to do, is to keep strengthening our dispute management mechanisms so that more of such disputes can be resolved in a cheaper, better and faster manner for both employers and employees,” said the minister on Friday.

He also added that the list of tripartite standards will continue to be expanded, and that the tripartite partners will continue to review and strengthen employment laws and step up education and enforcement.

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