Thursday, September 27, 2012

MOM & CPF Board to boost enforcement inspections

SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and the Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board will increase their joint enforcement inspections on employers by ten-fold from this November.

The increase from 500 to 5,000 inspections a year is meant to improve compliance with the CPF Act and Employment Act so that employees may enjoy their basic employment rights.

This is particularly so with more vulnerable groups like low-wage workers.

Areas of focus include payment of CPF contributions, on-time payment of salary, provision of paid annual and medical leave, and working-hour requirements.

Greater attention will also be placed on industries where the number of cases of non-compliance with the CPF Act and the Employment Act tend to be higher.

These include the food and beverage, retail, security and cleaning industries.

In a joint statement on Thursday, MOM and CPF Board say they will complement enforcement with education.

Through the "I Know My Employment Rights, I Do It Right" campaign, workers will be educated about their employers' obligations towards them.

Employers will also be educated about their responsibilities.

Tapping the power of the community to multiply the effect of the campaign, a hotline and an email address will also be advertised.

Workers and the public can report non-compliance of the CPF Act and Employment Act through the hotline or the email address.

In the Manpower
Blog, Acting Minister for Manpower Tan Chuan-Jin commented on why enforcement and education on the ground about employment rights is necessary.

He noted that while most employers are responsible, there are some who continue to flout the law, hoping to benefit from short-term gains. This created the need to step up enforcement.

He said it is also crucial for workers to understand that going along with their employers to forgo their CPF contributions is to their disadvantage, as they would be missing out on government subsidies such as Workfare.

Mr Tan commented that even as efforts are made to increase the wages of low-income workers, inclusive growth is not just about money.

A progressive workplace and fair work practices ensure that employers are responsible and employees, particularly low-wage workers, are not shortchanged, he said.

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