On Nov. 22, the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) unveiled a special report, which called on the business community to take up sustainable employment practices.
President Halimah Yacob was at the SBF Sustainable Employment Conference to launch the Sustainable Employment Pledge alongside 20 Singapore companies, comprising of SMEs, MNCs and large enterprises.
President Halimah, as the Guest-of-Honour, also led the pledge on stage with business leaders and industry stakeholders.
Minister for Manpower and Second Minister for Home Affairs Josephine Teo, and Minister for Social and Family Development and Second Minister for National Development Desmond Lee also attended the conference.
Sustainable employment leads to long-term growth for businesses
The report gave six recommendations to help a variety of workers, including PMETs (professionals, managers, executives, and technicians), mature workers, and workers in essential services, such as labourers and cleaners.
The recommendations include
- developing platforms to match high-skilled professionals to gig work,
- redesigning jobs to match the profile, needs and strengths of mature employees, and
- stamping out age discrimination by championing policies and processes that help mature employees to contribute and thrive in their workplaces.
According to SBF chairman S.S. Teo, businesses who are proactive in adopting sustainable employment practices will benefit in the long-run.
"Ultimately, sustainable employment leads to better businesses and healthier long-term growth. We all can do business better," he said.
More than 60 organisations have pledged their support
At the conference, which was attended by more than 200 business leaders, President Halimah launched the Sustainable Employment Pledge, where companies pledge their commitment to sustainable employment.
Prominent organisations that have taken the pledge include Far East Organisation, CapitaLand, ExxonMobil Asia Pacific and Certis CISCO.
President Halimah was pleasantly surprised by the initiative, saying that such a report would normally be produced by a worker's group or the government, rather than a business association.
She praised the report as a good starting point for businesses, and noted that a sustainable business cannot be had without sustainable employment.
When asked whether there were other groups of workers that could be vulnerable, she brought up persons with disabilities and women as two potential groups for SBF to look into.
Besides the report, SBF will also establish a Programme Office, in order to work closely with the business community to take the recommendations in the report forward.
"This is just the beginning. We hope that the report will inspire companies to not just rethink the way they do businesses, but to act and commit to adopting a sustainable employment practice in the next 12 months," said Teo.
Top image from SBF.