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Stephen Lee will step down at the end of August as the president of the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) after 26 years at the helm.
He will be succeeded by Dr Robert Yap, who is currently one of the four SNEF vice presidents.
Lee has supported local businesses through four economic downturns, and is credited for strengthening employers’ relationships with the government and labour movement over the years. As the longest servicing member of the National Wages Council, he has also led employers through wage reforms in 1986 and wage restructuring in 2004.
“It has been a very rewarding and rich experience for me. I have been through 40 NWC sittings and many more tripartite committee meetings covering nearly every workplace challenge that employers have faced over the last 37 years,” Lee said in a press statement.
“I am indeed thankful for the support of the council and members as well as the trust of the government and the labour movement.”
Under his leadership, SNEF grew from 900 employees in 1988 to 3,000 this year, with the federation expanding its service offering to offer assistance to employers with training, workplace flexibility, inclusion, safety and health.
Over the years, Lee has also served as an advisor to the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices, a nominated Member of Parliament, chairman of International Enterprise Singapore and PSA Corporation, and was also the chairman of the Singapore Business Federation from 2002 to 2008. He is currently the chairman of Singapore Airlines.
Lee will continue to support SNEF after stepping down, and will “continue to lead SNEF in discussions on re-employment and be involved in the deliberations of NWC 2015”, Dr Yap said.