Singapore to Legalize Guidelines for Fair Treatment of Workers
(Bloomberg) -- Singapore plans to pass into law current guidelines on fair employment practices to make them more effective as well as expand the range of actions the city-state can take against errant companies, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said.
Lee, who addressed a range of topics from improving the welfare of lower-wage workers to maintaining racial harmony, said in a speech on Sunday that a law will protect employees against discrimination based on factors like nationality, age, gender and race.
Here are other comments Lee made in relation to hiring of local and foreign workers:
- Singapore will continue to tighten the criteria for foreign professionals to enter the country over time. It will do so “not suddenly or sharply, which would hurt businesses, but gradually and progressively”
- As a business hub, it’s important for the country to open up soon, and allow more people to travel in and out of Singapore in a safe way
- Even as he sought to allay local concerns about competition from foreigners for jobs, Lee stressed Singapore is determined to remain open and strives to maintain its reputation as a hub
- For lower-wage workers, the government plans to get companies hiring foreign workers to pay all local employees at least a local qualifying salary of S$1,400 ($1,040), which will also be adjusted over time
- The government is also studying job protection for delivery workers, other lower-wage workers who have an “employee-like relationship” with online platforms; Lee cited online platforms Foodpanda, Grab Holdings Inc. and Deliveroo Plc
- Related Story: Singapore Tightens Restrictions for Foreign-Worker Passes
Separately, Lee said it’s no longer possible to reduce Covid-19 cases to zero, even if the country locks down for a long time. He said Singapore will reopen “cautiously and progressively.”
- “We may have to tap on the brakes from time to time, but we want to avoid having to slam on the brakes.”
- He said it’s important that the number of seriously ill people remains stable so that Singapore can continue to ease up, especially to reconnect the city-state with the rest of the world
- Related Story: Singapore Hits 80% Vaccine Threshold Seen as Key to Easing
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