Equip students with basic labour law know-how for part-time jobs

Every year, many teenagers take up part-time jobs as they wait for their O- and N-level results.

Such experiences are important for the personal growth of these youngsters, many of whom have led a more sheltered life, compared to the older generation.

However, they may not know their rights under the Employment Act, and they may be too intimidated to question companies' human resource staff when presented with unfair contractual terms.

I hope that our schools can provide these students with some basic labour law know-how.

For instance, secondary schools can hold workshops with National Trades Union Congress representatives to brief students on their rights, such as entitlement to overtime pay and Central Provident Fund contributions.

This can be combined with some education in soft skills, such as negotiation and people management.

Chiam Sheng Shi

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 24, 2017, with the headline 'Equip students with basic labour law know-how for part-time jobs'. Print Edition | Subscribe