SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is reviewing a framework to strengthen the employment dispute resolution landscape in Singapore, said Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin today (April 29).
The tripartite partners are considering widening the coverage of the Tripartite Mediation Framework (TMF), such as by extending it to rank and file workers, removing the S$4,500 salary cap for professionals, managers and executives (PMEs), as well as allowing more PMEs, other than those with substantial managerial responsibilities, to make use of the TMF to resolve their workplace related disputes.
Tripartite partners — comprising of employers, employees and the Government — are also considering expanding the list of issues that can be heard through the TMF.
The MOM will announce further details when the review is completed.
Speaking during the National Trades Union Congress’ (NTUC) annual May Day Dinner, Mr Tan said strong tripartism and harmonious industrial relations have been the “bedrock” of Singapore’s success, and will be even more important going forward as the Republic progresses on its restructuring journey.
He noted that the Republic’s restructuring efforts and productivity drive will be for the long haul and not painless, with less competitive firms having to fold and some workers having to move on to other jobs.
To manage and overcome the structural challenges of Singapore’s economic restructuring, the Government will not spare any effort to help businesses restructure their processes and improve their productivity, he said.
Meanwhile, the Continuing Education and Training (CET) system, such as through the NTUC Employment and Employability Institute, will play an important role in increasing the resilience of the workforce, Mr Tan said.
The TMF was introduced in 2011, to provide an avenue for managers and executives — who are union members in non-unionised companies and who earn up to S$4,500 a month — to seek remedy for their employment disputes through a tripartite mediation process. Since its introduction, it has been able to successfully resolve many workplace disputes.
The disputes currently covered by the TMF include salary areas, payment of retrenchment benefits and breach of contracts by the employer.