Written Answer by Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Acting Minister for Manpower & Senior Minister of State, National Development, to Parliamentary Question on Part-Time Workers Seeking Flexible Work
Ms Mary Liew: To ask the Acting Minister for Manpower whether the Ministry will consider assisting SMEs in specific sectors to develop a shared floating pool of part-time workers seeking flexible work.
Mr Tan Chuan-Jin:
- The Government already has schemes in place to help SMEs tap on part-time workers today. For example, SPRING has implemented a part-time pool programme for the Retail and Food Services sectors, which encourages SMEs to adopt flexible staffing models and integrate part-timers into their workforce. Under the programme, appointed service providers recruit and deploy a pool of trained part-timers for companies to tap on. This pool includes students and previously economically inactive matured workers. The industry associations, namely the Singapore Retailers Association (SRA) and the Restaurant Association of Singapore (RAS), train the part-timers with WSQ accredited training. To date, more than 120 companies and more than 3,000 part-timers have joined the programme. The Hotels sector has a similar part-time pool programme, driven by the Singapore Hotels Association (SHA). We would encourage industry associations to play an active role in developing such part-time pool initiatives if their sectors have similar needs for part-time workers.
- Besides part-time work, companies can also offer many other forms of flexible work arrangements to tap on those who seek more flexibility. We are aware that some employers, especially SMEs, face challenges in implementing flexible work arrangements. Hence, we launched WorkPro this year to help employers put in place flexible work arrangements, and tap on local mature workers and those who wish to return to the workforce. The Work-Life Grant under WorkPro provides funding support of up to $160,000 per company for the implementation of work-life strategies, particularly flexible work arrangements, to help employers attract and retain employees. SMEs are expected to form 70% of the companies that will benefit from WorkPro.