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Government exploring ‘further refinements’ to Employment Pass framework: MOM

Government exploring ‘further refinements’ to Employment Pass framework: MOM

Vehicles pass by in front of the Ministry of Manpower building in Singapore (photo: Francine Lim,

SINGAPORE: The Government is looking at further refining Singapore’s Employment Pass framework, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said on Friday (Oct 22) in response to a report calling for better employment support for PMEs.

The report by the Professionals, Managers and Executives (PME) task force, issued on Thursday, had nine recommendations to improve the employment and employability of local PMEs.

Among them were proposals to introduce income support for unemployed PMEs, and to differentiate foreign worker access by occupation, with less access granted for occupations in which there is “strategic interest” to have a higher proportion of local PMEs.

The report by the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) also had suggestions to strengthen enforcement on errant companies that adopt unfair practices and to enhance support for PMEs to progress in their careers or help those out of work to move to “meaningful employment”.

The Government said that the recommendations will be taken into consideration in its ongoing review of manpower policies, the workplace fairness framework, and employment support initiatives.

“We have been exploring further refinements to the Employment Pass framework to achieve our objectives of a strong Singaporean core, complemented by a diverse foreign workforce,” said MOM. 

“The task force’s suggestions will be taken into consideration, and more details will be announced in due course.”

On workplace fairness, the Tripartite Committee on Workplace Fairness has assessed that legislation is the next step forward and it will study the recommendations put forth by the PME task force as it designs a legal framework, said the ministry.

MOM added that the Government will take into consideration the task force’s recommendations in its review of support measures for local workers.

“Helping locals access opportunities has been the Government’s priority, especially given the impact of COVID-19 on the economy and labour market. The National Jobs Council has spearheaded the national effort to bring together jobs and skills opportunities under the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package.”

Manpower Minister Tan See Leng said in a Facebook post that MOM shares the task force's goals of strengthening workplace fairness and support for PMEs.

"These recommendations are also timely, as the Government has rolled out several initiatives in recent months to support local workers, including our PMEs," he wrote.

Source: CNA/hm