The Singapore government announced a new tripartite standard, pushing for better benefits and employment conditions for workers on fixed-term job contracts.
First of a series of Tripartite Standards, this recent move is seen to benefit around 10% of resident employees in Singapore, or about 170,000 workers, who are on term arrangements.
This standard is jointly developed by the Ministry of Manpower, (MOM), National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF).
Prior to the new standard, the labour ministry said in a statement that these workers had their leave entitlements reset to the statutory minimum by the employer each time their contracts are renewed. They also had less access to training compared with their counterparts on permanent contracts.
With the adoption of the Tripartite Standard, employers will be able to provide term contract employees with leave benefits and termination notice periods that are commensurate with their cumulative length of service.
Additionally, employees will be provided with training to ensure effective performance of their roles.
To recall, labour minister Swee Say announced the series of standards during the Committee of Supply debates in March. These new standards are seen to fill the gap between employment laws and advisories that provide a reference guide for employers on best practices.
Each standard that will be rolled out defines a set of actionable employment practices which firms can publicly commit to adopting.
NTUC President Mary Liew said the group will be committed to encouraging firms to support the said practice.
"We are encouraged by the positive start and look forward to working with more employers as they come on board. In the Labour Movement, we are also working closely with management to implement it on the ground," Liew said in a statement.
To date, 296 firms have pledged to adopt the standards.
SNEF President Dr Robert Yap, on the other hand, sees this as an opportunity for firms to better attract and retain talent.
"Employers which adopt the Tripartite Standards will be able to distinguish themselves as organisations that have implemented specific progressive employment practices that better meet the needs of their business and employees," he stated.