Help for PMETs, stricter EP criteria for some firms: Changes announced by Manpower Ministry

 Office workers during lunch hour in the Central Business District at Raffles Place.
Office workers during lunch hour in the Central Business District at Raffles Place.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - The Manpower Ministry on Friday (April 8) announced changes to help people and firms adapt to a challenging, leaner economy.

Here's a look at the key changes:

PMETs

* Expand Career Support Programme from May 1 to include :

- All PMETs who lose their job and are jobless for at least 6 months

- PMETs aged 40 and older as soon as they lose their job

 

* Increase sectors with professional conversion programmes and add specialisations in existing sectors

- New sectors include retail and pharmaceuticals

- Workers don't have to change sector, just change specialisation

* Increase target number of PMETs placed in SMEs from 800 to over 1,000 a year under P-Max programme

- P-Max helps SMEs improve human resource practices and do better in recruiting, managing and retaining newly-hired PMETs

RANK-AND-FILE WORKERS

* More industries to get place-and-train programmes

* Work-trials attachment programme to raise:

- training allowance for Singaporeans from $4.50 to $7.50 per hour, capped at 80 hours

- bonus for workers who stay beyond three months from $300 to $500

OLDER WORKERS


PHOTO: ST FILE

* Re-employment age to go from 65 to 67

* Law allowing wage cut at age 60 to be removed

Both changes to take effect from July 1, 2017

LOW-WAGE WORKERS (for work done from Jan 1, 2017)


PHOTO: ST FILE

* Raise income ceiling for Workfare from $1,900 to $2,000

* Workfare payouts to be bigger and given monthly, not quarterly

* Expand Workfare Training Support subsidies and awards to include disabled people below age 35

ALL WORKERS

* Employment Claims Tribunal to replace Labour Court, expected by early next year

STRENGTHENING SINGAPOREAN CORE

* Companies obliged to develop Singaporean staff

 

- How they will be assessed:

- Proportion of Singaporeans compared to industry average

- Commitment to hiring and developing Singaporeans

- Importance to economy and society

* Firms strong in all three areas will get special concessions in applying for work passes to bring in oversea experts or foreign trainees on staff exchanges

* Firms weak in all three could get application for new or renewed work passes rejected, on the recommendations of the Tripartite Alliance for Fair Employment Practices

HELPING COMPANIES STREAMLINE MANPOWER

* Get more companies onboard Lean Enterprise Development Scheme