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Govt, unions seek work-life balance for low-wage workers

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean on Sunday (June 8) called for work-life balance for low-income workers.

SINGAPORE: The Government and unions want low-wage workers to have a good work-life balance as they work together to raise the workers’ wages, said Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean on Sunday (June 8).

Speaking to low-income workers at the Family Recreation & Fun (FRF) Carnival organised by the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), Mr Teo pointed out how the Government and unions have worked closely together to help lower-income Singaporeans.

For example, more than one million workers have been trained under the Workforce Skills Qualifications framework since 2005 to help them take on better-paying jobs. About 400,000 workers received an average of S$1,500 through the Workfare Income Supplement scheme last year, he added.

“But we also want you to have a good work-life balance – to be able to spend time with your family, to have some relaxation time – so you and your family can be closer,” said Mr Teo.

“Otherwise, all we’ll do is spend our time working and studying and we have no time for each other. The parents are working, the children are studying, and then we just walk past each other.”

To that end, the labour movement yesterday introduced a S$1.5 million initiative that will allow about 60,000 lower-income union members and their family members to take part in activities at Downtown East, including free entry to attractions such as the Wild Wild Wet Water Park, eXplorerkid and a bowling centre.

It will also allow about 15,000 low-income union members and their families to enjoy six FRF Carnivals in June, September, November and December.

The carnival was started in 2008 and run by the labour movement’s leisure and entertainment arm NTUC Club. A year-long campaign to celebrate Singapore’s 50th anniversary was also launched by NTUC on Sunday.

Called U Care for Singapore – Celebrating SG50, it will involve supporters and beneficiaries of NTUC’s U-Care fund designing their own anniversary cards and penning their wishes for the nation. It will end with a mass display next year.

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