Survey Reveals Singapore Enforces Fair Workers’ Rights: SingaporeCompanyIncorporation.sg
June 3, 2014 - Singapore
The ITUC Global Rights Index covers workers’ rights violations in 139 countries surveyed over a period of one year (April 2013 – March 2014). The index measured standards of fundamental rights at work, in particular the right to freedom of association, the right to collective bargaining and the right to strike. Countries were rated from 1 – 5 depending on their compliance with collective labor rights. A high rating (5) meant that workers in the country had no rights to voice their concerns due to government’s failure to guarantee rights.
Singapore Employment Act promotes fair treatment
The Singapore Employment Act lays down principles and guidelines that stipulate an organization to adhere to fair treatment of employees. The legislation is based on development of a harmonious labor, industrial and government relationship being the top priority. The new changes to that act, which took effect last month, indicate a more robust enforcement of workers’ rights.
According to the amendments to the Act, managers and executives who earn a basic monthly salary of up to S$4,500 are entitled for a legislative protection against unfair dismissals and sick leave benefits. The overtime salary cap for non-workmen was raised from a basic monthly salary of S$2,000 to S$2,500 as well.
The Fair Consideration Framework
Singapore encourages compliance with strong HR policies to protect workers’ rights and ensure equal employment opportunities to local as well as foreign workers. The Fair Consideration Framework (FCF) which will come into effect this year, gives clear guidelines on fair hiring practices for corporations in Singapore. Companies are required to play a role in levelling the playing field for local jobseekers.
For example, before submitting Singapore Employment Pass (EP) applications, companies will be required to advertise job vacancies on the Jobs Bank website managed by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA). The advertisement must be open to the citizens of Singapore, should comply with Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices and should last for a minimum of 14 calendar days.
Manpower Minister Tan Chuan Jin had noted during the launch of the FCF last year that Singapore has and will remain open to skilled workers from overseas. However, this must not come at the expense of fair HR practices.
In line with the enforcement under the framework, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and other government agencies will identify firms that have discriminatory HR practices. Such firms will be asked to provide additional information pertaining to recruitment processes, staff grievance handling procedures and staff progression strategy or risk hefty charges.
“Singapore has been extremely successful in attracting organizations from across the globe due to its numerous advantages, one of which is a skilled and educated workforce. Such a workforce requires fair treatment and a reasonable career progression in line with global trends. The Singapore government along with Tripartite partners the National Trades Union Congress and Singapore National Employers Federation, have left no stone unturned to ensure fair employment practices apply to citizens as well. The ‘Fair Consideration Framework’ and recent changes in the Employment Act are steps closer to this ideology. The rating of ‘3’ in the ITUC Global Rights Index is a testimony to the enforcement of fair workers’ rights,” commented Ms. Cheryl Lee, Operations Manager at SingaporeCompanyIncorporation.sg.
“In turn, Singapore’s fair employment laws could attract the best talent to companies in the city-state. Companies in search of top talent will be prompted to incorporate themselves within the island nation,” affirmed Ms Lee.
SingaporeCompanyIncorporation.sg is a portal for entrepreneurs and professionals who want to do business and work in Singapore. It is also a provider of company incorporation as well as the related taxation and Singapore employment pass application services.
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Source: Business Wire India