Govt will take tough stand against firms that sidestep labour laws

October 28, 20139:43 am382 views
Govt will take tough stand against firms that sidestep labour laws
Govt will take tough stand against firms that sidestep labour laws

SINGAPORE: Singapore’s Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin has said that the government will take a firm stand against companies which try to circumvent the country’s labour laws.

He was responding to concerns over how some companies may find loopholes in the recently introduced Fair Consideration Framework, where employers are required to consider Singaporeans fairly before hiring skilled professional foreigners.

Mr Tan was speaking at a dialogue session at the end of his community visit to Woodgrove, where he also touched on the importance of community-rootedness in nation building.

Woodgrove is a new constituency carved out during the last general election. It has a population of about 55,000 residents, made up mostly of young families and a good mix of public and private housing.

Sharing a meal with neighbours or simply having a chat with them — these are the kind of activities that bring the community together.

Mr Tan said that these activities allow residents in a community to get to know each other, which is what nation building is all about.

However, nation building gets a little bit harder as the population gets more diverse. One resident said some volunteers do not want to be seen as being affiliated to any particular political party.

“It’s nothing to do with (politics),” said Mr Tan. “It’s out of the community. At the end of it, all we are concerned about is that you are pro-Singapore. That’s the key thing.”

Another resident, Ms Oun Hui Peng, raised concerns over the new Fair Consideration Framework. She said inter-corporate transfers allow companies to bring in foreigners without restrictions.

“It was being observed that when perhaps a project is started, then suddenly we have an in-flow of people coming from other countries you see. It’s just so strange why these positions are not opened to locals or even listed in newspapers,” she added.

In reply, Mr Tan said: “There are very strict rules about inter-corporate transfers. How long they have to be in the company before, the positions they are in and how long they can be here. So there are rules that govern that.

“But not all people who come here are Intra-Corporate transferees. There are people who come here on an employment pass, not transferees. So that’s where these different criteria will kick in.”

Mr Tan added: “There are loopholes we know, we try to make sure the rules are fair. It can be done, but when you get caught, we will whack them. So for example, I see companies where they are blacklisted because they violated some rules. They may say: ‘this is our first time, can you be lenient?’ I say: ‘But this is the first time you get caught, right? Not the first time you are doing it.'”

He also said policies must benefit Singaporeans. The key, he said, is to strike the right balance.

“All our policies must benefit Singaporeans and must benefit Singapore as a society. We don’t create policies that benefit foreigners. It doesn’t make sense, but foreigners being here play a part because when they are here, it also helps companies to be here because it’s diverse and competitive. So being open is important and being fair is also important.” he said.

 

source: channelnewsasia.com

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