Singapore welcomes labour group's call for nations to work together

The Republic welcomes the International Labour Organisation's (ILO) call for countries to work together so that the global recovery from Covid-19 is inclusive, sustainable and resilient, said Manpower Minister Tan See Leng yesterday.

The Government is committed to ensuring that a post-pandemic future of work entails better jobs and safer workplaces for all, said Dr Tan at the annual International Labour Conference. This year's conference from June 7 to 19 was held virtually for the first time.

Dr Tan said Singapore is focusing on three key areas, guided by the ILO Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work.

The declaration in 2019 called on member states to develop a "human-centred approach to the future of work" by investing in areas such as maximum limits on working time and policies and incentives that promote sustainable and inclusive economic growth.

The first area Singapore will focus on is an inclusive recovery, said Dr Tan, adding that the Government has set aside nearly $100 billion to help workers and businesses. Close to 200,000 self-employed people have also received cash payouts amounting to $9,000 a person under the Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme.

"For lower-wage workers, our aspiration is to cover all sectors with progressive wages, to upgrade their skills and uplift their wages. We are also providing levy rebates and waivers to help employers retain migrant workers and to protect their livelihoods," he added.

Another area of focus is to develop a resilient and adaptable workforce, with Singapore's tripartite partners working together to help job seekers affected by the pandemic gain industry-relevant experience in key growth sectors.

Singapore will also do its part to support the region's preparations in answering the ILO's call to "work for a brighter future", through its Regional Centre for the Future of Work. - THE STRAITS TIMES