A new scheme named as the Tripartite Standard for Grievance Handling was introduced on Friday (Oct 20) to guide employers in dealing with workplace grievances more effectively. While the initiative is voluntary, more than 220 employers across sectors with total about 245,000 employees have pledged to adopt the standard.
The scheme specifies a set of verifiable and actionable employment practices. For example, it suggests that companies set up proper channels for employees to directly express unhappiness emotions such as feelings of unfairness over wage cuts, dismissals, or retrenchments, such that bosses can investigate the issues and respond accordingly.
Additionally, supervisors should be trained to manage feedback and grievances from staff, as well as working with the union if the company is unionised. Organisations will also have to specify the appropriate authority to hear the appeal and a set of timeframe to take an action, Channel News Asia reports.
Companies which register the programme will have their names listed on the website of the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices, as well as getting to use the “Tripartite Standards” logo in their job advertisements and marketing material.
Speaking at the standard launching at the Devan Nair Institute for Employment and Employability in Jurong East, Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say said, “We can make our workplaces even more progressive and harmonious, our workforce more engaged and productive, and businesses more innovative and competitive as we strive for better growth in our future economy.”
Mr Lim added that the tripartite partners needs to keep strengthening the dispute management mechanisms, so such disputes can be resolved in a cheaper, better, and faster manner for both employers and employees.
One in five of 4,600 employees and employers who have registered salary claims with Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management (TADM) over the past six months are professionals, managers and executives (PMEs). The ministry can support and serve employees of all categories, including PMEs with higher salaries of S$4,500 who are not covered under the employment act.
Previously, these PMEs could only recuperate unpaid salaries through the civil courts. But with new TADM scheme and the Employment Claims Tribunal (ECT) in operation since April, those with larger paychecks will not have to go through lengthier and costlier process of filing their claims with the civil courts. Mr Lim added that the scheme has also helped lower-wage workers on the legal support, job search, and financial assistance front.
The Tripartite Standard on Grievance Handling is the third standard to be launched by MOM. The other two covered employment conditions for term-contract employees and flexible-work arrangements. Meanwhile, other standards are also being developed and they cover areas such as recruitment practices, procurement of services, as well as retrenchment processes.