Friday, 28 February 2014

Employment Woes

As long as you are an employee, be very afraid

Yes, you are an employee, in the private sector or in govt service, as long as you earn a living by working for an organisation, you must take note of the predicament you can be in. Even if you are a top civil servant or a CEO in the private sector, if you did not accumulate enough wealth for your children to live off the inheritance, think of what would happen to them when they cannot compete for a job with foreigners.

Think of what would happen to them when they can’t even get a decent job to live a decent life. This is the plight of Sinkies in the coming years when the island is filled with foreigners and foreigners turned citizens. They are not going to be kind to you or your children and grandchildren if you do not stop this trend of letting the foreigners to take over your country. Your generosity is idiotic. It is critical time and time is running out if we do not put a stop to the influx while we still can.

Increasing population is NOT the only way to growth and well being of a people. That is a sure way of self destruct. Everything just go up with the rise in demand. So the cleaners should be laughing and very happy that they are earning 4 figure salary. Of course you know that it is a delusion. The money is shrinking rapidly by this unsustainable formula of inflation, of inflating the price of everything with the influx of more and more people. There are other ways to provide a better life to the people than population growth.

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During the budget debate for the Ministry of Manpower, Dr Amy Khor said that the government is currently looking into raising the re-employment age from 65 t o 67.

This is one of the issues currently being discussed and is expected to start being rolled out after the best timing to raise the re-employment age has been determined.

Dr Khor explained that this is being explored as there was a very positive response to the re-employment regulations when they were introduced in 2012.

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Collective Bargaining Viable for Singapore Workers?

With a search for measures to mitigate poverty and manage the growing financial inequity in Singapore, collective bargaining presents a viable model and measure, rather than the minimum wage.

Countries such as Germany, Sweden and Denmark make us of this measure. For example, in Denmark wages and conditions are negotiated between labour unions and employer associations;; Sweden determines this through annual collective bargaining contracts and Germany maintains a minimum wage for specific sectors, particularly trades and skilled labour.

Creating a a minimum income threshold for cleaners is progress in the right direction, but still not enough. The minimum wage is not a subject palatable to the pro-business PAP government, for political reasons. Economically, a minimum wage can potentially result in more harms and greater costs than any benefits, due to the:

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Yes, Go On, Take That New Job

A lot of the people we talk to about job-hoppers speak about them with great contempt. These people are described as failures, dysfunctional and inherently defective. They are further dismissed as bad hires with flawed personalities, destined to live out mediocre careers of limited potential.

We read a recent article on CNBC claiming that 87% of workers in Singapore expect to have new employers within the next 12 months. We are pretty sure if you exclude those who are on work passes, this number will edge even higher. Whichever way you look at it, this is a staggering figure.

However, we don’t necessarily think that this is a bad thing. Employers increasingly claim Singapore is a pampered and smothered nation, filled with lousy workers. Employees constantly complain about their bosses and their pay packets. Hence, there are more reasons than ever to have a mercenary-type mindset.

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Lim Chong Yah suggests firms raise CPF payouts to low-wage workers

Former NWC chairman LIm Chong Yah speaks to reporters on 16 January 2014 at the launch of his latest book. (Photo courtesy of Wesley Lai)
Emeritus Professor Lim Chong Yah at the launch of his book, "Singapore's National Wages Council - An Insider's View"

Former National Wages Council (NWC) chairman Lim Chong Yah has made suggestions to the NWC to consider getting companies to increase their Central Provident Fund (CPF) payouts to low-wage workers.

Instead of a national minimum wage, this could be used to raise pay across the board for low-income employees, he said.

Emeritus Professor Lim was speaking to reporters at the launch of his latest book, "Singapore's National Wages Council - An Insider's View".

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Ex NTUC Secretary General, Lim Boon Heng, has called for the retirement age to be raised to 70.

Another former labour union leader, Lim Chong Yah of the National Wages Council (NWC) also suggested raising the retirement age.

Currently, the retirement age in set at 62 with re-employment options (where employees can choose to lose benefits and take a pay cut in order to stay employed) up until age 65.

related: Raise retirement age to past 65: former wage council chairman Lim Chong Yah

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Looking abroad to weed out unqualified foreigners

IN an unusual move, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is turning to an overseas firm to ferret out foreigners who lie about their qualifications in work pass applications.

Last month, the ministry hired Dataflow Services (India) – a firm in New Delhi – to conduct random checks on education certificates and employment history declared by Indian nationals working in Singapore.

Even marriage and birth certificates are scrutinised, The Straits Times has learnt. When contacted, the MOM said that although it is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that the documents in work pass applications are genuine, the ministry will use “independent verification channels” like Dataflow to conduct its own random audits.

Singapore hires Delhi-based Dataflow Services to verify documents of Indians
MOM hires firm in India to verify education certificates
Singapore hires Delhi firm to verify documents of Indians
Singapore hires Delhi-based Dataflow Services to verify documents of Indians

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Young local graduates in Singapore working as service crew and security guards

The Malaysian Insider, 28 Dec 2013

Young Singapore graduates filling up service crew jobs, diploma holders standing in as security guards and master's degree holders taking up taxi driving – all in the name of survival and because they couldn't find viable ready employment in our high-GDP low-unemployment economy.

Welcome to our new economy whereby higher education and work experience do not count any more – it's who you know now or rather what kind of passport you carry that matters. so long it is not anything associated with the pink I/C.

Many of our aging experienced professionals, managers, executives and technicians also provide tuition services to our stressed-out young students ekking out a survival substenance, but it's hardly reassuring as students come and go and many have to eat grass during school holiday period. Full story

Thousands of unemployed Filipino professionals head to Sg as tourists to look for jobs
Indian expat families to employ educated Sporean as domestic maids for $600-$800
Khaw Boon Wan discourages ITE and poly grads from pursuing university degree
MOM, why not reveal the employment rate of Singapore citizens?
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Posting to his facebook page about the recent retrenchment of over 500 workers from HGST,  Tan Chuan-Jin said that retrenchments are inevitable. HGST is a subsidiary of Western Digital that recent decided to move its manufacturing from Singapore to Thailand resulting in the loss of about 500 jobs.

The Minister for Manpower acknowledged that the retrenchment was "one of the larger retrenchments this year."

He explained that such retrenchments are unavoidable and will occur even when the economy is doing well. This is because of restructuring that occurs in the economy.

related: Almost 500 Spore jobs lost as WD moves manufacturing to Thailand

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Job ads: What's fair and what's not

Office workers crossing Maxwell Road in the central business district (CBD) area on Aug 10, 2011. A list illustrating what is and isn't acceptable in job advertisements was put up on the website of Singapore's fair employment watchdog last week. -- ST FILE PHOTO: JOYCE FANG

You can ask for only Singaporeans, but not Singaporeans and permanent residents. You can welcome older workers, but not fresh graduates.

A list illustrating what is and isn't acceptable in job advertisements was put up on the website of Singapore's fair employment watchdog last week.

The Tripartite Alliance for Fair Employment Practices (Tafep) said it did this to provide greater clarity to employers and help them comply with existing guidelines on fair employment.

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Local recruitment agency blatantly flouts MOM rule by posting discriminatory ad on job portal seeking to hire exclusively Indian & Filipino F&B workers

Question: Will Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin direct his ministry to investigate and take action against such errant recruitment agency?, 12 Feb 2014

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Graduate working as service staff has to compensate company after she quits

Dear Gilbert, I’m currently in a fulltime contracted job with a cafe (7 months) as a waitstaff / barista.

I have served about 2 months of my job but I am really unhappy and will like to resign.

When I broach the subject with my boss, they brought up this clause in my employment contract: Breach of Contract of Employment

38yr old grad single mum ex-teacher desperate after rejected by MOE for relief teaching
Jobless fresh NUS graduate feeling the blues during festive season
Designer suicidal over sue threat by company over deleted files after termination
Single mum of two kids requesting another PWP protest due to Little India riot
52yr old woman terminated after father passed away and surviving on two part-time jobs
43yr old jobless PMET with degree & MBA forced to leave company,depressed

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Fair employment: One big shakespearean play?

Acceptable Ads? It states that “A list illustrating what is and isn’t acceptable in job advertisements was put up on the website of Singapore’s fair employment watchdog last week.

The Tripartite Alliance for Fair Employment Practices (Tafep) said it did this to provide greater clarity to employers and help them comply with existing guidelines on fair employment.”

When I read the above, the first thought that came to my mind was – well, fine – we now have a guide with examples of what are fair or unfair job advertisements – probably in reaction to so many unfair employment ads exposed by social media recently.

“Job ads: What’s fair and what’s not” (Straits Times, Oct 19).
Top 10 “most alarming” statistics of 2013

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I refer to "PAP Policies Have Caused People in IT Industry to Suffer" and "Why Companies in Singapore use Indian IT Workers"

Many Singaporeans should have known that IT industry is very vulnerable. One of my 37 year old IT executive in NCS National Computer Singapore keeps complaining to me that his salary is depressed by his Pinoy counterparts and during lunch, he also has no common topic with Pinoys. He might as well put NCP National Computer Philippines as he is the minority Singaporean working there which is very shameful as NCS was first started off by the PAP Government.

Recently, many government offices and stats board are on the major hiring trend to hire more security IT executives and systems analysts in the wake of online cyberhackers and The Messiah.

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Singaporeans have little understanding on unemployment. Partly due to the growing economy that we have for decades, many believe Singaporeans are all employed. The official media played a major role to disemminate information to DRUM numbers without explaining.

However we see the:
- the poor person picking cardboard
- the vagrant sleeping by the side of the road
- handicap on wheel chair selling tissue paper
- yet even more aunty selling tissue during lunch
Who are they? There are many ways to look at them, but some of these people wish they could find a job.

Singapore's Employment Rate Hits 66.6 pct

Singapore's employment rate has recorded a new high of 66.6 percent, up from the 66.1 percent last year, according to a report released by Ministry of Manpower on Friday

The ministry said the findings are based on data from the Comprehensive Labor Force Survey conducted in the middle of 2012.

According to the report, named "Singapore Workforce, 2012", the government attributed the increase to "the strong employment creation and the rise in labor force participation among women and older residents"

Get every Sinkie a job

The stories of many Sinkies that are jobless for months or years are very depressing and make one boils down under. On the other hand, more than a million foreigners are here gainfully employed, some through foul means make things more difficult to swallow for the Sinkies.

And many foreigners are coming in forming a long queue, I hold your hand, you hold another, with jobs fixed up for them by their countrymen. This is not only not cute but disgusting, intolerable and must be put to a stop.

There is this latest letter by a Susan posted in Gilbert’s blog. I reproduce a part of it here. ‘I graduated from NUS in July this year, and have since been unemployed. Over the past 6 months, I have been sending out - I would say 50 or more - resumes daily via Jobsdb, Jobstreet, Jobscentral, NUS career site for their Alumni etc. You name it, I think I did it.

Singapore workers tread water on millionaires' island

Patricia and Sham: 'Knowing how rich some people are in Singapore, I think we are poor.' Photograph: Marc Nair for the Guardian

It is a balmy Saturday afternoon in the suburbs of Singapore. Patricia, 21, and her partner Sham, 28, share their first meal of the day: a box of chicken nuggets at McDonald's. "It's getting much harder to survive in Singapore," Patricia says between bites. "I love my job, but my pay doesn't match up to the cost of living here. But what choice do I have?"

Patricia recently moved out of her parents' house to be with Sham. In Singapore, with its sky-high housing prices and conservative Asian values, most young people have no choice but to live with their parents until they get married. Singles cannot apply for public housing until they turn 35.

Patricia works full time as a nurse in a government hospital. She is undereducated by Singapore's standards, with only n-levels (below high school) and an ITE (technical college) certificate in nursing, and earns S$1,400 (£670) per month.

NTUC Chief Lim Swee Say wants to change Singaporeans' mindset on low-wage jobs, and make it "jobs of the future" for them


Related:Khaw Boon Wan: We need more local crane operators
Singaporean workers tread water on millionaires' island - Marc Nair, The Guardian

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Half of production PMEs retrenched are SGs

HGST, a Western Digital company that specialises in data storage, has retrenched 530 workers from its Singapore facility. Most of those retrenched are production managers, and about half are Singaporeans. That means the other half retrenched production managers are foreigners.

It’s not known who the decision makers were in deciding who to retrench. But if the decision makers were foreigners, it’s not known if they are attempting to protect their own kinds by deciding to retrench more Singaporeans first.

About 1,840 workers still remain in the Singapore office – many of them are engineering and support staff. It’s not known how many of them are Singaporeans but it is expected that the proportion of Singaporeans to be lower among the engineering and support staff. HGST’s Singapore facility manufactures high-end hard drives.

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Contract PMEs - The Woes Of 2nd Class Employees In Singapore

employment contract Contract PMEs   The Woes Of 2nd Class Employees In Singapore featured education  Employment of Foreign Manpower Act Singapore Employment Act Singapore Contract Workers Singapore Contract Professionals Singapore Contract PMEs Singapore Contract employees Singapore

In today's highly competitive global economy, businesses need to keep themselves agile when it comes to managing their cost. With manpower forming bulk of businesses costs these days, a shift is underway in how businesses manage their human resources. More companies are incorporating temporary and contract professionals into their overall staffing mix to gain flexibility and reduce costs.

While the arrangement works great for corporations, Professionals, Managers & Executives (PMEs) in Singapore are forced to adapt to this growing trend to gain employment. It is inevitable for contract PMEs to share their woes of being 2nd class employees in Singapore.

Why The Demand For Contract PMEs? Beside the private sector, many government employers are also introducing Contract PMEs into their workforce mix. Here are the common reasons behind the demand:

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Candidates prematurely rejecting job offers adds to employment woes

Tech companies in Singapore are probably facing a lot of problems lately, especially in the area of talent acquisition and retention. Just six months back, recruitment firm Hudson released a report indicating that Singapore has the highest levels of employee burnout in the whole of Asia Pacific.

This week, Hudson released another report titled "Salary & Employment Insights 2013" that seems to add to the plethora of issues bosses need to address—fickle-minded would-be employees who pull out at the last minute.

According to the report, talent shortages in Singapore are putting employers at greater risk of candidate withdrawal with almost one in four candidates (23.2 percent) withdrawing from the recruitment process and a quarter (25.2 percent) willing to reject signed offers.

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Young homeowners sidelined by employment woes

Young adults between the ages of 25 and 34 are still struggling in the job market, bad news for the housing industry that is relying on first-time homebuyers to bring the recovery into full fruition.

According to Friday’s report from the Bureau of Labor and Employment Statistics, only 74.8% of young adults are working — the lowest number in 12 months and far below normal levels. During the recession, between 73% and 74% of young adults were employed.

Consequently, the unemployment rate for young adults rose to 7.8% in August, representing the highest level since February.

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Budget 2013: The end of employment woes?

The 2013 budget covers the much-debated issue of the influx of foreign workers in the country. Indeed, the debate which has opposed those that are worried about their rice bowls being taken away by foreign workers to those seeing measures such as the recent population white paper as “xenophobic” has some  very high stakes and needs urgent attention.

Acknowledging the fact that “foreign workers now comprise 33.6% of [the] total workforce”, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam assured Singaporeans that Singapore’s policies will remain guided by the objective of moderating the growth of the foreign workforce and only relying on it when the country has “major infrastructural projects under way,as is the case currently”.

So what does that mean for Singaporeans navigating the job market?

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