Oral Answer by Mr Hawazi Daipi, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Manpower and Education, to Parliamentary Question on TriCom's Plans to help Low-Wage Workers
Notice Paper No. 65 of 2013 For The Sitting on 25 February 2013 Question No.1033 For Oral Answer
MP: Mr Gan Thiam Poh
To ask the Acting Minister for Manpower what plans does the Tripartite Committee for Low-Wage Workers and Inclusive Growth have to help low-wage workers.
- The Tripartite Committee for Low-wage Workers and Inclusive Growth, or TriCom in short, was set up to help low-wage workers benefit from inclusive growth.
- Given its tripartite membership, the TriCom provides not only useful industry insights and ground feedback to facilitate the implementation of initiatives, but also acts as a platform to co-ordinate tripartite efforts. [As the Tricom Chairman,] let me share with you three key areas in which the Tricom plays an important role.
- The first area of work relates to Workfare. Already, the TriCom has provided its inputs to the Government’s review of the Workfare Income Supplement (WIS) and Workfare Training Support (WTS) schemes. Following the review, the focus of the Tricom will turn to promotion and raising awareness of WTS, so that more low-wage workers train and have the opportunity to earn more.
- Second, the TriCom supports the WorkRight campaign launched by MOM and CPF Board to raise awareness of employment rights and improve compliance with the CPF Act and the Employment Act. With its understanding of ground issues, the TriCom can shape and coordinate tripartite efforts to reach out to workers and employers, in order to more effectively raise compliance levels.
- Third, the TriCom will continue to promote best sourcing as a means to improve employment standards and working conditions in outsourced sectors such as cleaning and security. Following the release of the revised Tripartite Advisory on Best Sourcing Practices and the accompanying best sourcing guidebook last year, the TriCom will be rolling out a training module under the Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications system to support companies in implementing best sourcing.
- The Tricom’s efforts are part of MOM’s overall approach to uplifting low-wage workers, which includes raising wages through productivity via the Inclusive Growth Programme, helping displaced workers find work quickly, calibrating our foreign worker policies, taking sector-specific initiatives where tailored interventions are required, and so on. Helping low-wage workers is a priority for the Government, and we are pleased that the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) have been strong partners in this mission. We will continue to seek out ways to improve how we support our low-wage workers.