After reaching out to over 42,000 workers through its year-long public engagement exercise, NTUC will now use the findings of its #EveryWorkerMatters Conversations (#EWMC) to shape its renewed workers’ compact.
At the #EveryWorkerMatters Conversations (#EWMC) closing event, held on 29 September 2023 at the NTUC Centre, NTUC Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng shared that the congress will continue forging strong relationships with workers while journeying with them at every life stage.
The closing event was attended by over 600 workers, unionists, employers and Government partners. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong was the guest-of-honour at the event, which was co-hosted by Mr Ng and NTUC President Mary Liew.
“NTUC wants to reaffirm our compact with workers, including PMEs. Having heard from over 42,000 working people, we have a deeper understanding of their anxieties and aspirations. We will do our best to support them throughout their life stages.
“In this renewed compact, all of us have important parts to play. Let’s make it a habit to put our heads, hearts and hands in collective action to build better lives and livelihoods for all,” said Mr Ng.
He added that the congress will continue working closely with tripartite partners to push out the recommendations specified in its 100-page #EWMC Report.
Key worker groups identified in the #EWMC Report were youths, mid-career workers, caregivers, older workers and vulnerable workers.
To help youths kickstart their careers, the report proposes a more comprehensive support system.
Through surveys, it was discovered that the two top resources youths feel will empower them in their careers are internships and career mentoring. The report proposed more opportunities for youths to gain quality internship experiences, career exploration and mentorship.
To help mid-career workers meet industry demands and enhance their career prospects, a more proactive ecosystem is needed to help these workers acquire new, deeper skills at an earlier stage.
The report, therefore, recommended providing training allowances for workers undergoing longer courses and protected time off for training beyond company-mandated ones.
To help workers with caregiving needs balance their work and personal commitments, employers need to redesign jobs to offer more flexible working arrangements.
Beyond disclosing the details and types of FWA offered in job advertisements, the report recommends providing more paid and unpaid caregiving leave and enhancing employee support schemes for workers with elderly family members.
To help older workers stay employed for as long as they desire, they would require fair employment and training opportunities in our multi-generational workforce.
Employers should provide equal training opportunities for older workers while leveraging job redesign to create more inclusive work environments.
The report also suggests more support for more vulnerable workers to reach their basic retirement sum, particularly those who have been consistently employed.
To support vulnerable workers, especially those in essential services, they would need to be recognised, respected and rewarded for their contributions.
It is recommended that the Progressive Wage Model be rolled out to cover more lower-wage workers, along with a newly proposed Career Progression Model to help professionalise skilled trades.
While each worker group had their own priorities, they all shared a common denominator. That is the desire to have “autonomy in their work and life decisions, endeavour to remain adaptable and resilient in a volatile and dynamic economy, and seek assurance that they will be supported” at whatever life stage they may be in.
To this end, NTUC will make it its mission to help workers earn a better living and live a better life so that workers of all collars, ages and nationalities can live and play together as one.
Following the #EWMC closing event, the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) issued a media statement commending the report, saying that the recommendations “distil the aspirations and anxieties of workers in Singapore”.
SNEF President Robert Yap shared: “NTUC had undertaken a massive effort of engaging over 42,000 workers through the #EveryWorkerMatters Conversations to reflect workers' views. I congratulate NTUC for the launch of the #EWMC Report and the renewal of their Workers’ Compact to stand by all workers in Singapore into the future.
“SNEF will study the report carefully and work with MOM and NTUC to co-create solutions that will achieve win-win-win outcomes for Singapore, employers and workers.”