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Tripartite Committee on CPF and Work Related Benefits for Low-Wage Workers

The Ministry of Manpower has formed a "Tripartite Committee on CPF and Work Related Benefits for Low-wage Workers" (TriCom). Chaired by Mr Gan Kim Yong, Minister of State for Education and Manpower, the TriCom comprises employer and union representatives led respectively by Mr Stephen Lee, Chairman, Singapore Business Federation (SBF) and President, Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF); and Mr John De Payva, President, National Trades Union Congress (NTUC). The full composition of the TriCom is in Annex A.

2. The Government has institutionalised Workfare through the Workfare Income Supplement (WIS) scheme to help low-wage workers find work, boost their income and build up their retirement savings. Low-wage informal workers and self-employed persons need to contribute CPF to receive WIS. It is therefore important to address the non-payment of CPF so that those who qualify for WIS will not be denied the benefits. Low-wage workers are also more likely to experience other employment-related problems, such as deprivation of paid annual leave and sick leave.

3. As underlined in the National Wages Council's guidelines for 2007/2008, it is necessary to galvanise the efforts of the tripartite partners to reach out to low-wage workers, their employers, and low-wage self-employed persons, to raise awareness about the benefits of CPF and WIS; as well as their employment rights and obligations.

4. With this in mind, the TriCom has adopted the following Terms of Reference:

  1. Identify the key sectors with higher incidence of informal workers or self-employed persons not making CPF contributions;
  2. Identify the impediments to regular CPF contributions and other employment problems faced by low-wage workers;
  3. Initiate and drive promotional programmes to educate workers about the benefits of CPF and other employment rights, details of WIS, as well as encourage employers, informal workers and self-employed persons to start contributing to CPF and Medisave;
  4. Recommend and implement measures to incentivise contributions to CPF and Medisave by employers and workers, as well as strengthen the protection of employment benefits for low-wage workers; and
  5. Develop outreach efforts to informal and self-employed low-wage workers by coordinating multi-agency initiatives and leveraging on existing networks, such as those of NTUC, SNEF, the People's Association, and trade and industry associations, to encourage and help low-wage workers sign up and make regular CPF contributions, and/or seek redress and assistance on deprivation of other work-related benefits.

5. The TriCom will convene for a term of one year in the first instance.