Date for airing of Employment Act suggestions

Date for airing of Employment Act suggestions

SINGAPORE - The government is likely to unveil the recommendations made under Phase 1 of the review of the Employment Act at the next Committee of Supply (COS) debate in Parliament, Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin said last Wednesday.

The two-week COS debate on the budgets of individual ministries usually takes place in March, following the annual Budget statement delivered in February.

The review of Singapore's main labour law, announced in April this year, is being conducted in two phases.

The first will cover, among other things, whether the salary threshold of the Employment Act needs to be raised in order to cover more workers under the law, and how to offer better protection to professionals, managers and executives here.

The second phase, to start at the end of next year, will cover more complex issues such as contract work and outsourcing.

The 44-year-old Employment Act, which sets out the basic employment terms and shapes the responsibilities and relationships between employers and their workers, was last reviewed four years ago.

Earlier this week, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) launched an eight-week public consultation exercise to gather suggestions and views on the areas proposed for Phase 1 of the review.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a townhall event on the Employment Act review last Wednesday, Mr Tan said it was important for the various stakeholders to listen to different points of view and understand why people feel the way they do about certain issues.

The townhall was a closed-door dialogue which he and senior MOM officials had with a group of about 70 people, comprising representatives from the unions, companies, workers and members of the public.

Mr Tan said: "I hope they will understand that we are all in the same boat, and that we are all after the same things - how to make things better for our people and for our society."

Since MOM announced the review in April, it has received nearly 80 submissions from the public on possible areas to consider.

The consultation exercise launched this week gives members of the public until Jan 11 to offer their feedback on the proposed changes.

They may do so at www.reach.gov.sg or by sending an email to MOM_EA_Feedback@mom.gov.sg

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