议员呼吁增加最低年假天数,新加坡人力部这样回答

2024年06月10日   •   4万次阅读

2024年4月3日,新加坡永续发展与环境部兼人力部高级政务部长许宝琨医生在国会上针对《就业法》的发言。

以下内容为新加坡眼根据国会英文资料翻译整理:

黄国光议员问人力部长:

(a)人力部何时会审查《就业法1968》规定的七天年假最低标准;

(b)人力部会考虑哪些因素来决定是否应增加最低年假天数。

人力部高级政务部长 许宝琨医生(代人力部长回答):主席先生,我感谢这位议员提出这个问题,因为他对这个话题非常有热情,并多次提出过类似的问题。

虽然《就业法》规定了每年最低七天的年假,但如果员工在同一雇主处工作,每年会增加一天年假。2022年,90%以上年龄在25到64岁之间的全职本地员工享有超过七天的年假。此外,64.6%的全职本地员工享有15天或以上的年假,比2018年的61.1%有所增加。

年假规定需与其他支持员工平衡工作与个人需求的福利一起考虑,包括带薪公共假期、病假和最近刚加强的育儿假。除了员工的需求,审查年假规定还需考虑对企业成本的影响。目前没有计划审查年假规定,但我们鼓励更多雇主全面审查其就业福利,以更好地吸引和留住在当前紧张劳动力市场中的人才。

议长先生:黄国光议员

黄国光议员(义顺集选区):谢谢,主席先生。我感谢高级国务部长的回复。首先,我想确认一下,人力部是否担心增加最低年假天数会导致公司生产力下降?因为我认为可能恰恰相反,更休息好的员工会更有生产力。

其次,我记得三年前,高级国务部长在本院提到,担心增加年假会增加企业成本。已经过去三年了,我也给高级国务部长一些时间。请问这些企业成本具体是指什么?并且,考虑到我刚才提到的观点,休息好的员工会更有生产力,这可能会抵消一些人力部担心的企业成本吗?

许宝琨医生:主席先生,我感谢这位议员的问题。增加年假和提高企业成本的问题并不是那么简单的。但如果从一个非常简单的角度看,如果更多人休更多假,公司运作可能需要有人代替,可能需要雇用更多人来填补空缺,这样直接来看会增加企业成本。

但我们说到提高生产力,光靠增加年假并不是让员工得到更多休息从而提高生产力的唯一方式。生产力可以通过很多方式提升:更好的培训、工作设计的改进,以及更好的设备,比如对于那些需要进行体力劳动的员工。

我们正从一个更全面的角度来看待这个问题,确保有其他形式的工作安排,包括灵活的工作安排,同时也为我们的员工提供更好的技能,并利用科技来提升生产力。

因此,所有这些措施将共同作用,以确保员工能够更高效地工作,同时也确保有灵活的安排,平衡他们的工作和个人需求。所以,我们是从多个角度来解决问题,而不是仅仅通过增加年假来解决问题。

议长先生:黄国光议员

黄国光议员:谢谢,主席先生。我有一个跟进问题。我认为现在的担忧是,虽然有些人享有灵活工作的安排——我也努力争取了在家工作的权利——但现在的担忧是,可能是低收入的工人享有最低七天年假,他们没办法在家工作。因此,我希望人力部也能从这个角度来看待问题。增加最低年假真的会帮助到我们的低收入工人。

许宝琨医生:主席先生,我想向议员保证,我们将继续研究如何最好地支持低收入工人,包括如何确保他们有一个合理的工作和休息周期。

以下是英文质询内容:

Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang asked the Minister for Manpower (a) when will the Ministry review the minimum annual leave entitlement of seven days provided for eligible workers under the Employment Act 1968; and (b) what factors will the Ministry consider in determining whether the minimum number of annual leave days should be increased.

The Senior Minister of State for Manpower (Dr Koh Poh Koon) (for the Minister for Manpower): Sir, I thank the Member for raising this Parliamentary Question because he is quite passionate about this topic and has asked this several times before.

While the Employment Act stipulates a minimum entitlement of seven days of annual leave, this increases by one day per year of service with the same employer. In 2022, over 90% of full-time resident employees aged 25 to 64 had more than seven days of annual leave. In addition, 64.6% of full-time resident employees aged 25 to 64 had 15 days or more of annual leave, higher than the 61.1% in 2018.

Annual leave entitlements must be seen alongside other entitlements that similarly support employees in balancing their work and personal needs. These include paid public holidays, sick leave and parental leave, which we have just recently enhanced. Besides employees’ needs, reviews of leave entitlements must also take into account the impact on business costs. There are no plans to review the annual leave entitlements for now, but we encourage more employers to review their employment benefits holistically to better attract and retain talent in our currently tight labour market.

Mr Speaker: Mr Ng.

Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang (Nee Soon): Thank you, Sir. I thank Senior Minister of State for the reply. First, could I just check whether the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is concerned that by increasing the minimum annual leave entitlement, it will result in lower productivity in the company? Because I think it might be the other way, that a more well-rested workforce will be a more productive workforce.

Second, I think three years ago, the Senior Minister of State shared in this House that the worry is that increasing annual leave entitlement would entail business costs. It has been three years, so I did give the Senior Minister of State a good break. Could he just share an update on what exactly are these business costs? And also, whether – taking into account my first point – where a more well-rested workforce will be a more productive workforce and that might actually negate some of these business costs that MOM is concerned about?

Dr Koh Poh Koon: Sir, I thank the Member for his questions. The issue of giving more entitled leave and raising business costs is not something straightforward. But I think if you look at it from a very simplistic way: if more people do go on more leave, then the company’s operations will require some backfilling, which may then require them to hire more extra people to backfill the persons who are on leave. So, in that more direct way, you can look at it as raising some form of business cost.

But I think when we talk about being more productive, having more leave itself is not the only way to have people getting more rest and therefore becoming more productive. Productivity can come from many ways: through better training; better redesign of the job; and better equipment, for example, for those that need to perform manual tasks.

We are looking at this from a more holistic way, by ensuring that there are avenues for other forms of work arrangements, including flexible work arrangements, and also equipping our workers with better skills and leveraging technology to be a multiplier of productivity.

So, all this will work in concert to make sure that the person or the workers themselves are able to be more productive, while also ensuring that there is a flexible arrangement to allow them to have more balance of their work needs as well as personal needs. So, we are looking at it more from multiple angles, rather than just fixing the problem with more entitled annual leave.

Mr Speaker: Mr Ng.

Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: Thank you, Sir. Just one follow-up. I think that the concern is that while some have the luxury of flexible work arrangements – and I fought hard to legislate this right to work from home – I think the concern now is that, it is probably the lower-income workers who have this minimum of seven days of annual leave and who do not have, again, have the luxury of working from home. So, I hope MOM can look into this from that perspective as well. By increasing the minimum entitlement, it really would help our lower-income workers.

Dr Koh Poh Koon: Sir, I want to assure the Member that we will continue to look at how to best support our lower-earning workers, including how we can make sure that they have a proper work-rest cycle.

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