Singapore explores more support for gig workers and older workers

June 4, 2023

The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) wants more opportunities and protection to be created for a growing gig workforce and older workers.

An inadequate level of protection and limited opportunities to upskill are some of the common challenges faced by gig workers and older workers in Singapore, said Desmond Choo, Assistant Secretary-General of the NTUC.

While the rise of the gig economy has led to an increase in groups such as platform delivery workers, many do not receive adequate protection or benefits, said Choo. “This means levelling the playing field for such workers, looking into issues like unemployment support and finding ways for them to upskill to get better jobs.”

He added that there is the possibility that a two-track economy could arise, resulting in one group of workers enjoying wage and career growth while the other group, who may be older and less educated, receiving fewer such opportunities, reported The Straits Times.

Choo was speaking at a conference organised by Singapore’s Institute of Policy Studies, which focused on the theme of work.

Also speaking at the conference was Patrick Tay, Assistant Secretary-General of NTUC, who raised the issue of older professionals, managers, and executives (PMEs), particularly those in their 40s and 60s, experiencing difficulties finding jobs. Some of the challenges they face, he said, include job displacement and challenges in re-entering the workforce after being laid off.

“NTUC is working closely with the government and employers to ensure we have a level playing field for our local PMEs so that they feel supported and valued, making them more likely to be motivated and productive, which is a win-win outcome for both businesses and our workforce,” Tay added.

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