The Straits Times
Published on Nov 27, 2012

PMETs deserve greater protection


WHITE-COLLAR workers - or professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) - should receive greater protection under the Employment Act ("NTUC proposes better protection for PMEs"; Nov 10).

This group of employees, particularly those at the lower levels, has little negotiating power when it comes to remuneration and benefits.

As for non-monetary benefits, everyone toes the companies' human resource policies; it is almost impossible to negotiate on these.

Currently, PMETs are not entitled to overtime pay, so employers and senior management may make these workers put in extra hours to achieve higher utilisation of manpower.

After all, why should an employer pay for productivity tools when junior executives can be made to work overtime without incurring higher costs to the company?

The higher an executive's pay, the greater the incentive to make him work longer hours.

However, if overtime pay is extended to PMETs, employers and senior management would be forced to re-evaluate their work process and find other ways to boost productivity.

Alvin Tan