In Relations Actors and Legal and Institutional Frame

In Singapore, there are several areas that need to be focuson. They are Legislative and Institutional Framework for Industrial Relations,Industrial Relations Actors and Legal and Institutional Frame work and Practiceof Collective Bargaining. The legislation on labour standards considers differentacts that address different labour matters (Appex 1). The main acts that playimportant roles are Employment Act, Industrial Relations Act and Trade UnionsActs. These acts help to improve the efficacy of collective bargaining between theemployer and his employees.

 Employment Act covers all sorts of benefits such asmaternity benefits, working hours, overtime pay, paid sick leave, annual leaveand rest day. However, employees who are classified under contract of serviceare omitted from the benefits of coverage. This exception includes people in thehigher level such as confidential, managerial and executive positions. Not onlythat, the act also excludes maritime workers, domestic workers and people whowork for the government or statutory board. These groups of people who are excludedunder Employment Act have their issues taken care by the Industrial RelationsAct.

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This is to ensure that unions will be engaged in collectivebargaining.   Before going into in-depth details, the most dominant form ofcollective bargaining in Singapore is the tripartite industrial relationssystem. Tripartite refers to the involvement of three parties which are theemployers, unions and the Government. This system is also the key competitiveadvantage for Singapore. The partners involved are the Ministry of Manpower(MOM), Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF), and the National TradesUnion Congress (NTUC). The common goals shared among all the parties are todevelop and maintain industrial harmony as well as to have a productive andefficient workforce in order to help Singapore stay competitive globally. With the guidelines of tripartite, it helps to avoidconflicts and clear misunderstanding through dialogue by considering the needsand concerns of both parties. Tripartite helps to address different issues likehow the business can run and grow efficiently, wage increase, workingconditions and employment opportunities.

With the help of tripartitepartnership, people can work more closely and successfully together byresolving differing ideas and problems in a more judicious way. Hence, it willeventually benefit both employers and employees at the work place.  To ensure that the collective bargaining process is valid,there are a few compulsory steps to get the Collective Agreements certified.  There must be an agreement between an employer and the trade union onthe employees’ term and conditions of employment. There is a minimum of 2 years and maximumof 3 years for the Collective Agreement to be valid. Once the partieshave agreed with the Collective Agreement, the documents have to be submittedto the Industrial Arbitration Court for certification for one week from thedate of signing of the agreement.  In cases where the agreement cannot be done at employer’slevel, the employer or trade union can request help from the MOM for conciliationassistance. The court has the authority to enforce it.

All the proceed willtake effect within 14 days upon the receipt of the notification from eitherparty. If the conciliation at MOM still does not help with the situation, theCommissioner will be notified of the deadlock.


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