Updated: 11/20/2012 02:50

Manpower Ministry invites public feedback on Employment Act review



Manpower Ministry invites public feedback on Employment Act review

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is inviting the public to give feedback on areas being considered in the review of the Employment Act (EA). 

MOM says it welcomes all feedback to help ensure that the EA remains relevant and continues to harmonise the interests of both employers and workers. 

Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin said, 
"The character of our labour force is changing, with more Professional, Managers and Executives (PMEs) in our workforce.Today, PMEs form about 32% of our resident workforce, up from 27% in 2001. This will only grow. Thus, while the EA has been effective in safeguarding the rights and interests of workers, there is a need to ensure the EA remains relevant and responsive to the needs of the changing workforce". 

The EA is Singapore's main labour law that sets out the basic employment terms and shapes the responsibilities and relationships between employers and employees. 

The EA has been in place since 1968, and the last major review was conducted in 2008, with the changes implemented from 2009. 

Since the EA review was announced in April this year, MOM says it has received numerous suggestions, including proposals to expand the scope and coverage of the Act, to improve employment terms and benefits of workers as well as to enhance operational flexibility for employers. 

And this latest public consultation exercise follows discussions and consultations with relevant industry stakeholders, including employer and employee representatives (after the EA review was announced). 

MOM says the feedback received from the public so far has been useful in helping to scope and prioritise the issues for review. 

Given the complexity of some of the issues, the review will be conducted in two phases: 

Phase 1 of the review (2Q 2012 - 1Q 2013) will look at extending coverage of the EA; 

improving employment standards and benefits for employees; 

and reducing rigidity and augmenting flexibility for employers. 

Phase 2 of the review will commmence in the 4th quarter of next year (from 4Q 2013). 

MOM says it will examine 'more complicated issues that require further study' including, but not limited to enhancing protection for employees in non-traditional work arrangements, such as contract work, selfemployment and outsourcing; and better mechanisms to facilitate employment dispute resolution between employers and employees. 

MOM is now seeking feedback on the areas being considered under Phase 1 of the EA review. 

Over the next eight weeks (19 Nov 2012 to 11 Jan 2013), the public are invited to write in and give their feedback atMOM_EA_Feedback@mom.gov.sg

Details of the areas and specific proposed changes can be found in the public consultation document on the REACHwebsite

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