The prompt response by MOM is likely a welcome sign for the Taskforce.

After Singapore's PME Taskforce (PME TF) proposed nine recommendations to help PMEs in Singapore with employment and employability, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), has responded: "The recommendations will be taken into consideration in the ongoing review of manpower policies, the workplace fairness framework, and employment support initiatives".

In its response, the Ministry commented on three specific areas, listed and detailed below:

  1. Strengthen framework for workplace fairness;
  2. Support local workers with jobs and skills opportunities, and
  3. Review foreign manpower policies to strengthen Singaporean core.

On strengthening framework for workplace fairness

MOM said: "Fairness at work sets a strong foundation for an open economy and inclusive society. This was why in July 2021, the tripartite partners formed the Tripartite Committee on Workplace Fairness (TCWF) to review the framework for workplace fairness in Singapore."

As such, the next step would be legislation, "to build on the gains made thus far".

MOM has said it will study the recommendations put forth by the PME Taskforce, as it designs a legal framework that is balanced, and in the best interests of Singapore and Singaporeans.

On supporting local workers with jobs and skills opportunities 

"Helping locals access opportunities has been the government’s priority, especially given the impact of COVID-19 on the economy and labour market," MOM said, while citing the work done by the National Jobs Council in bringing together jobs and skills opportunities under the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package.

The government also recently extended the Jobs Growth Incentive, which supports firms to expand hiring of local jobseekers.

As such, MOM has said it will take into consideration the Taskforce’s recommendations in its review of support measures for local workers.

On reviewing foreign manpower policies to strengthen Singaporean core

MOM affirmed: "We regularly review our foreign work pass policies to ensure that foreign professionals complement our local PME workforce, and help our businesses create good jobs for Singaporeans.

"We have been exploring further refinements to the Employment Pass framework to achieve our objectives of a strong Singaporean core, complemented by a diverse foreign workforce."

Thus, the Ministry said the Taskforce’s suggestions will be taken into consideration, and more details will be announced in due course.

The prompt response by MOM is likely a welcome sign for the Taskforce, as at the event attended by HRO, NTUC Secretary-General, Ng Chee Meng, expressed hopes to have "some clarity" on these recommendations from the Government by 2022.

In addition, NTUC Assistant Secretary-General, Patrick Tay, explained the recommendations would require "more research and investigation" before execution, especially where they require monetary support in terms of the unemployment benefits, thus the time taken for consideration is factored in.

Image / MOM's Facebook

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