SINGAPORE: More companies have been praised for implementing good employment practices.
This is seen in the 30-per cent increase in submissions for the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP) Exemplary Employer Award.
There were 78 submissions this year, compared to 60 in 2012.
More small and medium enterprises (SMEs) participated as well – 36 submissions this year, compared to 15 in 2012.
About 30 per cent of the SME workforce are persons with special needs.
Events agency Adrenalin Group was awarded the Outstanding Inclusive Workplace Culture award.
The group has a social mission – it employs and trains the physically challenged, deaf, youth-at-risk and persons recovering from mental illness.
It had to make modifications to its office to accommodate about 10 such employees.
Michael Quek, an executive at Adrenalin Group who uses a wheelchair, said: “Working here makes me young, look young because in the whole company, I am the oldest, and they are all the youngsters. Most importantly, (I am) given a chance to give back to the society… disabled doesn’t mean unable.”
Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium is another company committed to having a supportive culture.
About 10 per cent of its workforce are persons with disabilities.
The hotel won two awards – Special Mention Award and Outstanding Leadership in Supporting Fair Employment Practices.
Thng Kai Bin, a bellhop at Holiday Inn, said: “I feel happy to work at the concierge, I help my parents to earn money.”
As the labour market continues to remain tight, the Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin urged organisations to rethink hiring options.
He said: “Can the organisation make use of better progressive employment practices to better attract workers from different segments?
“Can employers attract back-to-work mothers by putting in more flexible work arrangements to enable them to balance their family and career demands?
“Can employers put in place effective age management practices to better attract and retain experienced and skilled older workers?
“I think every organisation needs to consider these.”
Held once every two years, the award ceremony recognises organisations that champion fair and progressive employment practices.
This year, 13 organisations were honoured for implementing an inclusive and responsible work culture.