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27 September 2012

WorkRight: Let’s All Do Our Part

27 September 2012

70-year-old Chow Mui Kai has been working as a general worker at Ya Kun since 2008. She toasts bread, washes the dishes and clears tables at the F&B outlet located at Raffles City. Mui Kai works 6 days a week, either during the morning shift from 7am to 3pm or the afternoon shift from 3pm to 11pm. She was quite a feisty lady and I really enjoyed chatting with her. I asked her whether I could take a photo with her. She kindly obliged.


I met Mui Kai during a joint MOM-CPFB audit inspection last week. This was part of our routine inspections which aim to ensure companies comply with employment laws, such as the CPF and Employment Acts. Workers must receive their due CPF contributions, enjoy leave entitlements and get paid promptly and accurately. Mui Kai shared that besides receiving her monthly wage on time, she has also undergone training, fully supported by the company. She has enjoyed regular salary increments and has received her Workfare payouts.

I am impressed by Ya Kun’s efforts to employ older local workers - about 80% of their workforce is made up of mature employees. Ya Kun plans to expand the number of outlets by the end of the year by continuing to tap on our silver workforce.

During the audit, I also met 60-year-old Mohamed Taib Bin Mohamed who is a senior security officer. Taib had no complaints, and shared that he is happy with his job. He enjoys his current work and has no problems coping with the security duties. His employer pays him on time, he gets CPF contributions to save for his retirement and also Workfare.

Meeting the workers during our morning inspection reminded me why enforcement and education on the ground about employment rights is necessary. The majority of employers here are responsible. A good employer is a responsible one, who ensures that the employment terms and conditions of his workers are well taken care of. In turn, workers are more likely to be dedicated and committed.

While most employers are responsible, there are some who continue to flout the law, hoping to benefit from short-term gains. MOM and CPF Board are therefore ramping up inspections, audits and promotional outreach activities under our “WorkRight – I Know My Employment Rights. I Do It Right” Campaign. This is to ensure that workers are not underpaid for their contributions at work and enjoy their employment rights. It is crucial for workers to understand that going along with their employers to forgo their CPF contributions is to their disadvantage as they will be missing out on government subsidies such as Workfare. Employers also will be reminded to do the right thing and fulfil their due obligations under the CPF and Employment Acts.[1]

Even as we work on increasing the wages of our low income workers, inclusive growth isn’t just about the dollars and cents. A progressive workplace and fair work practices ensure that employers are responsible and our employees, particularly low-wage workers, are not shortchanged.

Everyone has a part to play, even if you are not an employer or an employee. We cannot do this alone. We need everyone to come onboard to create a fair work culture where everyone’s contributions are recognised. You can help to raise awareness about WorkRight amongst your friends and family members too. If you know of employers who are non-compliant, you can report by calling this hotline: 1800-221-9922, visit www.mom.gov.sg/workright or email workright@mom.gov.sg. The identity of the caller will kept strictly confidential.

So let’s WorkRight – so that workers know their employment rights and employers do it right.

Acting Minister for Manpower Tan Chuan-Jin


[1] For more details, please refer to the press release .
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