HomeMedia Statement by the Singapore National Employers Federation on Singapore Budget 2023
Media Statement by the Singapore National Employers Federation on Singapore Budget 2023
14 February 2023
- The Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) welcomes the incentives and support provided to employers as we press on with economic restructuring and business transformation to build capabilities and seize opportunities in a new era of global development.
Sustaining Efforts to Uplift Lower-Wage Workers and Support Vulnerable Workers
- SNEF appreciates the additional employment support initiatives for senior workers who wish to continue working; and persons with disabilities and ex-offenders to secure employment. For senior workers, the extension of the Senior Employment Credit (SEC) and the Part-time Re-employment Grant (PTRG) till 2025, will not only support employers to meet their manpower needs but will also help defray business costs. The CPF Transition Offset to support employers alleviates the rise in business costs due to the increase in CPF contribution rates for senior workers, is welcomed.
Upskilling and reskilling of the workforce
- We believe that the newly announced Jobs-Skills Integrators will help create high-quality jobs for Singaporeans through the creation of an ecosystem of partners bridging the demand and supply of skills and jobs. A recent SNEF survey noted that government grants to encourage training and upskilling have impacted overall net training spend. As such, we would like to renew our call to boost the Absentee Payroll funding which will help defray manpower costs incurred when employers send employees for skills training. To further help employers invest in the capabilities of employees, SNEF also hopes to see the continuation of support from the government through programmes, such as the SkillsFuture Enterprise Credit, to cover part of the expenses on training courses and job-redesign.
Ensuring Housing and Retirement Adequacy
- SNEF understands the need to raise the CPF monthly salary ceiling to help middle-income Singaporeans save more for retirement. Amidst the backdrop of slower economic growth, increasing business cost and tight labour market, the phased-in implementation of the rise in CPF monthly ceiling will allow employers to gradually adjust and factor this increase into their overall business cost.
Promoting Family-Friendly and Progressive Workplaces
- We recognise that employers play a key role in helping employees to better manage work and family responsibilities. Any enhancements to the parental leave provisions, including paternity leave and unpaid infant care leave, would need to be balanced with employers’ manpower and operational needs. Taking a phased approach to the new parental leave provisions – in particular, the additional two-week paternity leave on a voluntary basis – would allow both employers and working parents time to adjust to the additional leave and make leave arrangements accordingly, subject to work exigencies.
- SNEF will continue to work with the tripartite partners to keep businesses sustainable, and urge employers to leverage the various schemes and support provided in Budget 2023 to transform their business and upskill their workforce.
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Dr. Robert Yap
Singapore National Employers Federation