SINGAPORE- Professionals, managers and executives (PMEs) in junior positions will soon get more protection with changes to the Employment Act, Acting Minister for Manpower Tan Chuan- Jin said yesterday.
"In view of the rising number of PME jobs in our economy, our laws should provide junior PMEs with employment protection beyond just basic salary claims," said Mr Tan.
Currently, junior PMEs earning up to $4,500 receive only salary-related protection under the Act, Singapore's main labour law. With the changes, about 300,000 such PMEs will be entitled to more general provisions.
This includes protection against unfair dismissal and guaranteed sick-leave benefits.
The changes, which will likely be tabled in Parliament later this year and implemented next year, are the outcome of the first phase of a review of the Act.
In his speech, Mr Tan assured employers that they would be given "some flexibility to implement these changes and stay competitive".
For instance, a one-year qualifying service period will be set before employees are eligible to seek redress for unfair dismissal.
This is to give employers a reasonable time to assess the suitability of their employees.
More non-workmen, such as retail assistants and clerks, will also qualify for overtime pay and other working hours-related provisions under the changes.
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will embark on the second phase of the Act's review later this year, which will cover employees in non-traditional work arrangements, such as contract workers and self-employed persons, among others, Mr Tan said.