Initiatives designed to improve the employment rate among persons with disabilities and expand the progressive wage model (PWM) are among 2020 labor market measures flagged by Singapore’s minister of state for manpower.
Enhanced encouragements to hire persons with disabilities.
The Ministry of Manpower will enhance its current schemes to encourage the employment of persons with disabilities by increasing course fee subsidies to 95% (up from 90%) for eligible training courses and increasing the training allowance to SG$6 per hour. Employees with disabilities will receive a training commitment award of SG$100 for each course completed. Also, current credits will be replaced by a new Enabling Employment Credit (EEC) — a wage offset of up to 20% of monthly income, capped at SG$400 — to be given to employers that hire persons with disabilities who earn less than SG$4,000 per month. Employers hiring persons with disabilities who have not worked for at least six months will receive an additional 10% wage offset, capped at SG$200 per month.
Expansion of the PWM.
When economic conditions allow, the PWM will be introduced into more industrial sectors. Currently, the PWM applies to full-time cleaners, security officers and landscape workers. From 2013 to 2018, the monthly minimum wage paid to workers in those sectors increased by 30%, 31% and 32%, respectively. The PWM’s objective is to increase the wages of low-paid workers by upgrading their skills and achieving productivity improvements.
Increased focus on workplace mental health.
The government will publish a Tripartite Advisory on mental wellbeing in the second half of 2020 to increase employers’ awareness of progressive initiatives that could support their employees’ mental health. Tripartite partners would discuss including mental health expenses as part of an employee’s medical benefits.