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Kelvin Poa

Kelvin is a principal in the Corporate & Securities, Investment Funds and Employment Practice Groups in Singapore. Kelvin is recognised by various legal publications as a leading lawyer for investment funds and employment in Singapore.

Earlier this year, the Tripartite Committee released an interim report outlining its 20 recommendations for the proposed Workplace Fairness Legislation.
On 4 August 2023, the committee published its final report setting out its final set of 22 recommendations, following consultation and engagement with various stakeholders including employers, human resources and legal professionals, trade associations and chambers, union leaders, and various community organizations. The Singapore Government has accepted the final recommendations and will work closely with the Tripartite Partners to implement the recommendations in law in 2024.

The Tripartite Committee on Workplace Fairness has released its interim report on 13 February 2023 with its 20 recommendations for the proposed Workplace Fairness Legislation.
In 2021, the Singapore government announced that it will be taking steps to enshrine the Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices (TGFEP) in law. The TGFEP, which is non-legally binding, sets out principles of workplace fairness and best practices for employers. While the TGFEP has improved standards of workplace fairness in Singapore, it does not have legal force. Enshrining the TGFEP in law is a significant step towards strengthening Singapore’s stand against workplace discrimination.

Due to workplace safety and health concerns arising from the lack of improvement in rates of workplace fatalities and a rise in major injuries in certain sectors, the Ministry of Manpower has announced the following:
• A three-month extension to the Heightened Safety Period (HSP) to 31 May 2023. The HSP, which applies across all industries, was due to end on 28 February 2023
• Additional measures adopting the Recommendations by International Advisory Panel to Strengthen Workplace Safety & Health on 19 January 2023

Following the concerns raised by some politicians that the repeal of section 377A of the Penal Code (which criminalizes consensual homosexual acts in private between male adults) may result in employees being pressured to attend their employers’ inclusion and diversity events, the Ministry of Manpower and its tripartite partners the Singapore National Employers Federation and the National Trades Union Congress have added new guidelines to the Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices.

The Ministry of Manpower, on 23 November 2022, accepted the 12 recommendations proposed by the Advisory Committee on Platform Workers in its report Strengthening Protections For Platform Workers issued on 17 November 2022. The 12 recommendations in the Report aim to provide basic protections to platform workers in the following areas: (i) adequate financial protection in case of work injury, (ii) improved retirement and housing adequacy, and (iii) enhanced representation.

The Code of Practice: Chief Executives’ and Board of Directors’ Workplace Safety and Health Duties will, when gazetted in October 2022, apply to all directors and equivalent officers involved in policy making and executive decisions for business affairs of companies in all industries, even for companies which have no manual work and little risk of physical injury.