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Welcome Remarks by Mr Hawazi Daipi, Chairman, Tripartite Committee on Work-Life Strategy and Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Manpower & Education at the Work-Life Excellence Award 2012 Gala Dinner, 12 October 2012, 6.25pm, Ritz-Carlton Millenia

Ms Mary Liew
Central Committee Member, National Trades Union Congress

Mr Steven Goh,
Deputy Honorary Treasurer, Singapore National Employers Federation

Ms Claire Chiang,
Chairperson, Employer Alliance

Fellow members of the Tripartite Committee on Work-Life Strategy,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,

  1. Good evening and welcome to the Work-Life Excellence Award 2012 gala dinner. This is the 4th time that the Tripartite Committee on Work-Life Strategy is celebrating companies and individuals who have made work-life harmony a reality at their workplaces and around them. I congratulate all the winners for their achievements. Your conviction and commitment in fostering work-life-friendly workplaces have brought about win-win outcomes, for both your employees and your businesses.

    Work-life harmony is for everyone
  2. We have come a long way since the TriCom started promoting work-life harmony in 2000. In view of the low fertility rate and the tight labour market in Singapore, there is now growing attention and interest in this area. Work-life strategies are means for individuals to manage their personal needs alongside their work responsibilities, and also for certain segments of our society to tap on as they may not be able to commit to full-time employment but can and want to do so on a more flexible basis.
  3. Flexible work arrangements such as telecommuting and flexi-hours are not just for the parents with children. Employers have given feedback to us that, for example, the generation Ys like to come in later, but also stay back later. Such flexibility accommodates the different working styles and needs that employees might have. Employees are happier working in the organisations where they feel that they are being taken care of. However, make no mistake about it: work-life strategies are not about giving even more benefits to employees. The returns are two-way as we can expect to see more engaged employees and, in the long run, create great workplaces that are productive and dynamic.

    Recognising work-life champions
  4. This year, we received many good applications from companies for the Work-Life Excellence Award. Employers are doing more to foster workplace cultures that support work-life harmony through more communication and sharing on work-life strategies, particularly from the management. We also have a good mix of first-time applicants and winners, as well as many repeated winners who have consistently supported work-life harmony over the years and reaped the benefits.
  5. To all the Award-winners, on behalf of the Tripartite Committee I would like to extend my warm congratulations. We are heartened by your efforts in championing work-life harmony, and hope many others will follow your example. For those who did not win the Award this year, do not be discouraged. You are already a winner in your own right by taking this first step to build a supportive and flexible workplace culture. The benefits to your employees and the improvement to your organisation alone will make this journey a rewarding one.
  6. I also want to specially congratulate our Leadership Award winners Mr Narihiko Uemura and Ms Yeo Mui Ean, for being leaders in their organisations and making outstanding contributions towards enhancing work-life harmony in the workplaces. I hope that we can see more leaders like them who aspire to make work-life harmony their way of life.

  7. Tonight's dinner is one of the major events that the Committee is organising to recognise companies and individuals for their commitment, and to spur greater adoption of work-life strategies among both public and private sector organisations. We have made decent inroads over the last 12 years in generating awareness and buy-in for work-life harmony. As we celebrate tonight and look forward, I am hopeful that more employers will embrace work-life harmony, whether as part of their business strategy or something that they strongly believe in.
  8. I wish you all an enjoyable and memorable evening. Thank you.