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Plenary Speech by Dr Tan See Leng, Minister for Manpower, Singapore, at the 112th International Labour Conference

Minister for Manpower Dr Tan See Leng, at the 112th International Labour Conference




10 JUNE 2024



ILO Director-General Gilbert F. Houngbo,

Minister Alexei Buzu, President of the International Labour Conference


Distinguished delegates, 


  1. My team and I would like to congratulate the ILO for convening this year’s International Labour Conference. The ILO and its constituents have showed great solidarity in overcoming COVID, which has had a massive impact on the world of work. We are now responding to the challenges of a post-pandemic world by reassessing how we can better ensure fair opportunities and protections for every worker, and empower our workforces to benefit from technological change. We therefore welcome the Director-General’s Report, “Towards a renewed social contract”.

    Forward Singapore

  2. Singapore recently went through such a renewal. In 2022, we launched Forward Singapore, a nationwide effort to engage Singaporeans on renewing our social compact. Singaporeans highlighted the continued need to reskill and upskill workers, make workplaces more progressive and uplift lower-wage workers. We have rolled out our first wave of programmes in response to this feedback, and I would like to share about some of them with you.

    Strategies to creative productive employment

  3. Firstly, we need to create productive employment in the face of rapid technological disruptions to jobs and skills. To help workers access good career opportunities, we have enhanced our Career Conversion Programmes by providing more salary support and monthly training allowance.

    Norms responsive to a changing world of work – progressive workplaces

  4. Secondly, we continue to shape norms towards fairer and more progressive workplaces. A level playing field is crucial for ensuring that every worker can achieve his or her fullest potential. We are working with tripartite partners to develop Workplace Fairness Legislation. We recently announced Tripartite Guidelines on Flexible Work Arrangement Requests to guide workers and employers towards win-win outcomes.

    Adequate social protection leading to positive worker outcomes

  5. Thirdly, the social contract must ensure that no one is left behind. We continue to uplift lower-wage workers through expanding our Progressive Wage Model, which benefits up to 9 in 10 lower-wage workers.
  6.  The platform economy has brought more opportunities for workers. However, Platform Workers’ protections require strengthening. We will introduce legislation to require Platform Operators to provide financial support for Platform Workers injured at work. We will also improve their retirement adequacy and enable them to access the benefits of collective representation.
  7.  We have also introduced an outpatient healthcare plan for migrant workers. Employers pay an annual fee for their workers who can then access a range of healthcare services.

    Working with the ILO

  8. We are also continuing our partnership with the ILO.
  9. I am pleased to announce that Singapore has joined the Global Coalition for Social Justice. We look forward to contributing to its mission to build a sustainable, equitable and socially just future. 
  10. I am also pleased to share that we will be extending the ILO-Singapore Partnership Agreement. Singapore will continue to organise joint technical activities to support governments, employers and workers in ASEAN.


  11. A truly successful society is one where everyone succeeds together. Renewing the social contract is an important step towards ensuring that no one is left behind. We will continue to work on this renewal together with tripartite partners and the wider ILO community.


Thank you.