|Tripartite Advisory to Provide Guidance for Employers & Prepare for Economic Recovery|
|Thursday, 05 November 2009 11:24|
One year on from the Tripartite Guidelines on Managing Excess Manpower which outlined various downturn measures to cut cost and save jobs, the tripartite partners - the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) and the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) – have jointly released the Tripartite Advisory on Managing Manpower Challenges for Enhanced Competitiveness and Sustainability (see Annex).
2. The Advisory will help companies which are no longer confronted with excess manpower to better manage long term manpower challenges. Companies which still face excess manpower can continue to refer to the Tripartite Guidelines on Managing Excess Manpower.
3. The Advisory includes:
• Recommendations for companies which have experienced recovery to review cost-cutting measures which are still in place, in consultation with workers and trade unions (for unionised companies);
• Recommendation for companies to recognise employees for their support and sacrifices made during the downturn;
• Strategies for companies to enhance business competitiveness in the long term by implementing flexible wage systems and enhancing productivity.
4. Mr Stephen Lee, President, SNEF said "An advisory is useful at this time as economic conditions improve but prospects are still uncertain for many companies. Some companies may still need to continue to implement cost-cutting measures whilst others may face some wage pressures as they perform better than they had expected. In the short term such companies should consider one off bonuses as a way to reward workers for supporting earlier wage freezes or cuts. More importantly companies and workers must work together to tackle manpower and productivity challenges to enhance their competitiveness to sustain growth and wages."
5. Mr Heng Chee How, Deputy Secretary-General, NTUC, said, "The earlier tripartite manpower guidelines helped companies and workers cope with the crisis and survive. Many workers took pay cuts either directly or through reduced work and loss of overtime. They stayed loyal to their companies. Now, with more of the economy on the mend, it is right for these guidelines to urge companies doing well or recovering strongly to recognise their employees' sacrifices and reward them appropriately. This spirit of solidarity (同 甘 共 苦) will strengthen trust and alignment, and energise capability and productivity improvement."
6. Mr Ong Yen Her, Divisional Director, Labour Relations and Workplaces (MOM) said, "The advisory is timely and serves as a useful reference to guide employers in phasing out recession measures such as wage freeze or cuts, and better prepares them for economic recovery. Companies should start to shift their focus to managing their long term manpower challenges and prepare for the upturn. It is important for employers and workers to work together to raise productivity so as to achieve sustainable growth in the long term."