HR TOP HITS RE-EMPLOYMENT FOREIGN WORKERS MOBILE WORKERS
Asia – With 90% of older Singaporeans working beyond the age of 62, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is proposing stiffer penalties for employers who hire more foreigners than allowed under the law.
In a written reply to Parliament, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, deputy Prime Minister and Manpower Minister, said there were 11,500 older workers in Singapore in the year ending June 2011. Of these, about two-thirds were carrying on in their existing jobs, and 95% were earning at least the same pay. The remaining 30% were re-employed under a new contract and almost all had no change in their job scope.
Since January this year, employers have been legally obliged to offer re-employment to all local employees who have satisfactory performance and are medically fit, according to the revised Retirement and Re-employment Act.
Currently, the MOM is proposing tougher laws to be set in place for employers who flout the foreign employment law. It is concerned employers might be tempted to get around the rules and potentially hire more foreign workers than allowed as the country’s, foreign labour policy tightens.
The ministry said it wants to raise penalties and introduce minimum fines for some offences, including the illegal employment of foreign workers. It also plans to reclassify some less-serious offences as regulatory breaches, and make some general-type offences stand-alone infringements. Similarly, foreign workers, who make up 36% of Singapore’s labour force, will also face heavier penalties if they break the law.
In Malaysia, a guide has been released to help HR practitioners prepare for changes following the country’s new minimum wage set, which will be implemented six months after the policy is passed. SMEs will be given one year to adjust.
In the guide, www.iWoWsoft.com recommended HR practitioners should break down how the new policy will directly affect them, taking into consideration non-financial costs, such as the time it will take for staff to pick up new skills or find replacements. At the same time, HR also needs to calculate how much their organisation’s labour cost will increase as different levels will require different management strategies, it said.
HR also needs to review the company’s current wage structure, to determine if it is more tax-efficient to pay workers in wages or allowances, it said. It also advised HR to determine how low-value unskilled jobs can be replaced by technology, and how the workforce can be reallocated to increase productivity and boost efficiency.
Finally, HR needs to prepare for the future. “Work closely with other department to understand how the new rule will affect them. This is not limited to those impacted by the minimum wages directly, but it could be those at the middle management as well especially when the production activity or procedure will be changed with the new rule,” it said.
With the rise of technology, the International Data Corporation (IDC) estimated there will be approximately 840 million mobile employees in the Asia Pacific region by the year 2015. A majority these workers will be office-based, the Worldwide Mobile Worker Population Forecast 2011-2015 report, which excluded Japan, stated.
“Mobility is at its most exciting point since Martin Cooper of Motorola made the first cellular call,” Tim Dillon, IDC's associate vice-president for Asia/Pacific end-user and mobility research, said. “The convergence of devices, networks and applications has changed the expectation of 'any time, any device, anywhere’.”
In our bizarre story this week, Rob Nuckols, a New Jersey roofer, made the news after he jumped into a vat of nitric acid to save a colleague, who had fallen 40 feet through a rotting roof and into the tank.
Officials said Nuckols was working on a roofing project when his colleague, Martin Davis, plunged into the vat containing a 40% to 70% nitric acid solution used for cleaning metal tubing.
Davis is currently in critical condition with a broken rib, punctured lung, and burns on his legs and side, while Nuckols was treated for burns on his legs and abdomen.
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