MPs made various suggestions in the first day of the Budget debate yesterday, from measures to help older workers draw up favourable contracts to having mandatory workplace safety and health officers for every company. These were some of their recommendations:
BETTER CONTRACTS FOR OLDER WORKERS
Social service and community development agencies can help older workers draw up favourable job contracts, suggested Non-Constituency MP Daniel Goh. The agencies can provide advice and retraining opportunities to improve workers' income prospects as well.
ADJUSTING FOREIGN MANPOWER MIX
The mix of local and foreign manpower could be adjusted to support certain growth areas like data analytics, artificial intelligence and cyber security, said Ms Foo Mee Har (West Coast GRC). This should be done while maintaining the overall ratio of local to foreign talents in the workforce and a manpower-lean approach.
PROMOTING WORKPLACE SAFETY
It could be made compulsory for all companies to appoint a Workplace Safety and Health representative, said Mr Melvin Yong (Tanjong Pagar GRC). He said this could be achieved by making it a requirement, for a start, under the BizSAFE Level 3 certification on workplace health and safety .
HELPING STUDENTS KNOW THEIR INDUSTRIES
There should be programmes to better explain Industry Transformation Maps to students in institutes of higher learning who are poised to enter the respective sectors, said Mr Desmond Choo (Tampines GRC). This is so that businesses, workers and students are plugged into the relevant plans and developments.
REVIEWING OPERATIONS OF GIG PLATFORMS
There should be a review of the operations of companies that provide a platform for people to take on gig work, such as Grab, to better protect gig workers, said Mr Ang Hin Kee (Ang Mo Kio GRC). He said it is only right for such firms to take on more responsibilities as they grow.
A.I. TECHNOLOGY HUB
The Government should invest in an artificial intelligence (AI) technology hub, just as it invested in Biopolis for bioscience, proposed Dr Tan Wu Meng (Jurong GRC). This is to maintain some public-sector ownership, intellectual property and insights in AI research.
REVIEW PROXIMITY HOUSING GRANT
Mr Darryl David (Ang Mo Kio GRC) asked if the Proximity Housing Grant for people buying flats near their parents could be based on a percentage of a resale flat's selling price, instead of a fixed amount. He suggested that it would benefit those whose parents live in mature estates with higher property prices.