New centre and hotline to provide support for low-wage workers

New centre and hotline to provide support for low-wage workers

SINGAPORE - NTUC's first U Care Centre, located at the Devan Nair Institute for Employment and Employability in Jurong East, will host job fairs and social events, and inform workers about their employment rights and statutory benefits.


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Here is the full statement from NTUC:

The Labour Movement (LM) has set up its first U Care Centre (UCC) and dedicated hotline to step-up its support efforts to help low-wage workers. The UCC was officially launched by Mr Zainal Sapari, Director of NTUC's Unit for Contract and Casual Workers (UCCW), at the Devan Nair Institute for Employment and Employability today.

More Targeted Help for Low-Wage Workers

Housed within NTUC's e2i (Employment and Employability Institute) Career Services Centre, the UCC is a one-stop centre dedicated to promoting the welfare of low-wage workers in Singapore. The idea for such a one-stop centre was mooted during a series of focus group discussions held in August this year involving workers, service buyers, service providers, grassroots and union leaders. They raised several salient issues, including a lack of targeted assistance for low-wage workers and uncertainty among these workers as to where they could go or whom they could approach to seek help on workplace issues.

Thus, the UCC serves to address these concerns by providing assistance for low-wage workers who are Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents earning an average gross monthly income of $1,900 and below. Those who meet these criteria will be enrolled as U Care Members when they walk in to UCC for guidance and advice on work-related issues like employment rights, fair contract terms and statutory benefits. Furthermore, UCC's location within e2i means that UCC can better help these workers gain access to job placements and skills upgrading programmes.

Additionally, low-wage workers who visit UCC may also opt to sign up as U Care Value Members for additional benefits. At a fee of $12 a year, U Care Value Members will be covered under basic Group Term Life Insurance, which covers them for total permanent disability and death. They will also have access to special discounts at selected NTUC Social Enterprises and priority invitations to social events organised for them and their families.

The launch of the U Care Centre marks a transition from the previous Centre for Contract and Casual Workers (C3W), which was set up in 2010 at e2i's Redhill campus to help only contract and casual workers. The UCC will open its doors to a broader group, targeting all low-wage workers who fulfil the criteria mentioned above.

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