Forum: Why certain models of unemployment insurance will not work here

I wonder how many people are aware of the long-term consequences of an unemployment insurance scheme (A good insurance plan can help the jobless, while avoiding pitfalls, March 8).

My husband was sent by his company to work in Canada in 1987. We lived there for six years.

During this period, I joined the parent volunteers at a public elementary school where my son was studying. I was pleasantly surprised to see many parents (both fathers and mothers) actively doing voluntary work at the school. I was, however, puzzled - didn't they have to work?

As I got to know them better, I realised that most of them had jobs and were covered under an unemployment insurance scheme.

So, they worked the minimum number of months to qualify for the unemployment insurance and then they stopped work, drawing benefits from the scheme for the rest of the year.

Many of my husband's Canadian friends shared the same attitude. They would rather spend the rest of the year going on long trips with their friends or families instead of working.

Singapore has many financial schemes to help various disadvantaged groups, including the unemployed. So, it may not be necessary to have an unemployment insurance scheme just to help the unemployed.

Canada's model of unemployment insurance would not work for Singapore, a small country with few natural resources. If Singapore were to have an unemployment insurance scheme, it would have to be well thought out, as Forum writer Luo Siao Ping suggested, to avoid disastrous long-term effects and consequences.

Khong Sow Cheng