Dialogue with MOS Gan Siow Huang on Workplace Fairness Legislation

27 September 2023 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

SICC Members' Room

The pandemic has surfaced numerous employment vulnerabilities and it is critical to future-proof our workforce and workplaces and ensure equal opportunities for all. In a candid conversation with Ms. Gan Siow Huang, Minister of State, Ministry of Education & Ministry of Manpower yesterday, several recommendations on the Workplace Fairness Legislation (WFL) released by the Tripartite Committee on Workplace Fairness were shared and discussions focused on how the WFL can help build fairer and more harmonious workplaces.

  1. WFL strengthens protection of employees especially the more vulnerable groups against discrimination.
  2. WFL also supports businesses as fairer and harmonious workplaces help attract and retain talents contributing to better commercial outcomes.
  3. Embracing change with the right spirit and mindset is the key to staying relevant.
  4. All stakeholders have an important role to play, and employee-employer relations are crucial in establishing an open and harmonious workplace. Only by cultivating an environment of open communication, mutual respect and understanding can the organization grow and sustain a positive workplace culture.
  5. Tripartism in Singapore is unique and strong. Businesses, the union and the government collectively shape new norms and work closely to foster harmonious workplaces. Businesses are advised to calibrate existing employment policies and develop new guidelines (Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices (TGFEP)) irrespective of age, race, gender, religion, marital status and family responsibilities, or disability to attract and retain talent.
  6. Implement proper grievance handling channels and mechanisms to deescalate conflicts and ensure discriminated groups are well taken care of. Employees should have easy access to mediation and dispute resolution platforms if conflicts intensify.

In her concluding remarks, Ms. Gan encouraged businesses to continue to give feedback to help shape the legislation as it is still evolving.

A big thank you to Ms. Gan for her candor and valuable insights, to Dr. Bicky Bhangu, Chairman, SICC, for moderating the dialogue and to our audience for a perceptive session.

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