Fine-tune HR practices to protect workers

As the labour market gets more complex and turbulent, it is timely that Singapore is giving greater attention to this important area ("Law firms expanding employment practices"; Dec 28, 2015).

As we get more advanced socially, among First World countries, our human resource policies must keep pace. We should not - in the long run - depend on strict laws to get employers to be reasonable and more humane to their employees.

Of course, as a first step, the Government could galvanise all companies to adhere to certain benchmark practices in hiring and firing. Or it could even raise the maximum salary to qualify for labour law coverage.

Some legal entities have already started to enlarge their footprint in this regard, and they are indeed forward-looking.

If these various structures and processes are put in place over time, they will serve to uphold human rights and ensure companies do not simply fire their employees liberally (which may, in turn, have negative externalities on society and the Government's welfare support).

Lim Ngee Teck