Singapore –At an event organised by NTUC Singapore together with M3 – a collaborative effort between Muis, MENDAKI, and MESRA to harness each other’s strengths and resources – as part of the #EveryWorkerMatters Conversations, leaders from the Malay community came together to discuss worker-related issues from their respective communities.
Various participants surfaced important pointers and topics highlighting challenges and issues in the Malay community, especially those related to employability. On top of that, there were also discussions on progressive workplace practices, job redesign, and meeting caregiving needs while pursuing a career.
Present at the event was Senior Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad, NTUC Vice-President Abdul Samad Abdul Wahab, and NTUC Director Fahmi Aliman.
Do more for workers with caregiving needs
One prominent topic discussed during the session was the topic of doing more for workers with caregiving responsibilities. Some participants shared possible areas that the government, employers and NTUC can look at to do more for those with caregiving needs:
- Normalising family care leave for those in the private sector, not just those in the public sector
- A dynamic leave system that provides flexibility for workers to “payback” off days
- Providing childcare services e.g. MyFirstSkool centres at workplaces that require workers to work on a shift basis
While these solutions seem viable, SMS Zaqy also shared that tripartite partners need to look at “both sides of the coin” when creating policies. Apart from thinking about these solutions from a workers’ perspective, there’s a need to understand the concerns of employers as well.
Upskilling best “insurance”
Apart from the issue of caregiving, Mr Fahmi Aliman also urged participants to continue upskilling to remain employable amidst turbulent times. Participants also pointed out the importance of getting companies involved in job redesign for their workers and allowing them to attend courses that align with market needs.
Panellists also urged Malay community leaders to encourage their community members to speak up to those who matter, especially on platforms such as M3 and #EWMC so that they can bring about real change.
The focus group discussion was part of the #EveryWorkerMatters Conversations, a larger-scale series of engagements by the Labour Movement to engage all workers across various life stages.
To participate in the #EveryWorkerMatters Conversations, visit conversations.ntuc.sg.
Editing is my work.