Forum: More expedient help needed for PMEs

The National Trades Union Congress is calling for unemployment support and benefits for professionals, managers and executives (PMEs) who have lost their jobs (NTUC seeks support for PMEs who lost their jobs, Aug 27).

NTUC assistant secretary-general Patrick Tay acknowledged that there are already support schemes for workers who lost income during the pandemic. But the labour movement wants PMEs to be given help beyond the existing grants.

NTUC also found that mature PMEs were also concerned about workplace discrimination arising from age and nationality.

Mr Tay said the task force comprising NTUC and the Singapore National Employers Federation will present a full set of recommendations later this year.

In April, NTUC secretary-general Ng Chee Meng announced that NTUC was exploring reserving certain jobs for local PMEs "where we have the skills" (NTUC exploring reserving certain jobs for S'porean PMEs, April 30).

As there has been no update on this matter, it is probably reasonable to assume that this is still a work in progress.

While local PMEs welcome and appreciate NTUC's multi-pronged initiatives, they need urgent help and relief, not more studies and reviews by task forces or committees.

Because they cannot be expected to put their lives on hold, many have already taken on lower-level jobs such as delivery service providers, drivers and hawkers.

Accordingly, I hope NTUC can expedite the processes so that help can benefit the PMEs in a timely fashion. After all, like justice, help delayed is help denied.

Ang Ah Lay

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