I APPLAUD the Government’s move to reduce the inflow of S-Pass work permit holders (“Govt may curb inflow of S-Pass holders”; last Friday).
Currently, a company can hire an S-pass permit holder if it can pay the foreign worker at least $2,000 in monthly salary and if it does not breach the local-foreign hiring quota.
Many companies beef up the strength of their local workers by hiring low-end workers so that they have the quota to hire more foreign workers.
I have heard of some companies hiring more full-time tea ladies or non-essential staff so that they can bring in more foreign workers.
This does not augur well for the long-term skill enhancement of local workers.
We will be continually training foreign workers, leaving our local workers out in the cold.
Moreover, having too many S-Pass foreign workers will dampen the general wages of the overall working population.
It is timely for the Manpower Ministry to consider imposing a protection system for local executives.
Currently, local workers must compete unfairly with foreign workers, who are willing to work for far lower wages and for longer hours, resulting in a very unhealthy work-life balance here.
All this also has severe repercussions on our low birth rate as many Singaporeans fear for their job security and prefer not to have too many children as their jobs are no longer secure.
Moreover, employers can now easily hire a foreign worker to replace a local worker without even having to pay any retrenchment benefit.
Unless the Government can tighten the influx of foreign workers, the labour market will continue to favour the employers, who have the luxury of choice.
An oversupply of foreign labour will not only depress wages, but also create long-term uncertainty for average Singaporeans.
Transitioning – unemployment support services