Are employers neglecting vulnerable workers?

As MOM reviews the Employment Act, Singapore’s labour MPs call for more support for older and low-wage employees

Are employers neglecting vulnerable workers?

Family care leave, a standardised rate of employer CPF contributions, and the 13th-month bonus should be made mandatory, said members of parliament (MP) during the recent Budget debate.

During the first day of the Budget parliamentary debate on Tuesday, labour MPs urged the government to review sections of the Employment Act affecting vulnerable workers – older workers and low-wage workers.

Union leaders “feel strongly that it is about time” to set up a committee to review employers’ contributions for older workers, said labour MP Zainal Sapari.

Zainal proposed having a universal rate for employer CPF contribution until workers reach the retirement age of 65.

Currently, the amount decreases with age – from a 17% contribution for employees aged 55 and below, to 7.5% for those above 65.

For low-wage workers, Zainal suggested making the 13th month bonus mandatory as he noted that “the very group that needs it most is not receiving it”.

The Employment Act’s limited laws on medical benefits is also hurting low-wage workers, he said.

Employers should be required to pay the full cost of non-chronic outpatient treatment – including both consultation and medication fees, reported The Business Times.

Additionally, MPs suggested making eldercare or family-care leave mandatory as the country faces an ageing population.



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