NTUC's Budget recommendations out today

Labour chief Chan Chun Sing yesterday outlined three key areas that the labour movement will focus on when it makes its recommendations for the upcoming Budget.

It will table suggestions to enhance job placement, boost productivity and protect workers in areas such as the gig economy.

Speaking to reporters at an event, Mr Chan said the placement system to find a new job match for workers who lose their jobs should be improved. "How can we make sure our people are able to get into a new job quickly in the current challenging economic environment, where there are both cyclical forces and structural forces at play causing some of our workers to lose their current jobs?"

The system should minimise the matching of workers to jobs that they are ill-suited for, and the chances of them missing out on information about available opportunities, said Mr Chan.

More also has to be done at the sector and company level to boost productivity and move towards becoming a manpower-lean economy, said Mr Chan, who is secretary-general of the National Trades Union Congress.

PRODUCTIVITY BOOST

Only by improving productivity can we hope that workers get a fair share of the productivity gains.

LABOUR CHIEF CHAN CHUN SING

"Only by improving productivity can we hope that workers get a fair share of the productivity gains," he said.

Finally, workers in new employment models, such as freelancing, need suitable protection amid very challenging market conditions.

This challenge is not unique to Singapore and affects all countries because of the evolution of new business and employment models, said Mr Chan.

He added that the labour movement, the Government and employers are studying what long-term implications these trends will have on Singaporeans during their working and retirement years.

The recommendations will be released today, ahead of Budget Day on Feb 20.

Joanna Seow

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 17, 2017, with the headline 'NTUC's Budget recommendations out today'. Print Edition | Subscribe