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The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is best known for Employment Pass (EP), Entrepreneur Pass (EntrePass) and other work visa applications. Other than this, MOM deals with all issues related to labour and workforce in Singapore.

The three statutory boards overseen by MOM are the Central Provident Fund, Singapore Labour Foundation and Workforce Singapore.

The history of MOM

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is one of the Singaporean government’s 16 ministries. MOM is among the most important ministries in the country. It oversees all matters related to labor and the workforce which exist in Singapore. Its primary task is to create and follow through with the implementation of policies related to labor in Singapore. For this reason, MOM had previously been known as the Ministry of Labor; it went by this name from 1963 to 1998.

The three statutory boards overseen by MOM are the Central Provident Fund, Singapore Labour Foundation and Workforce Singapore.

Ever since its formation in 1963, MOM has done a great deal to improve the well-being and positively change the lives of all workers in Singapore. One way this can be seen is in the fact that the country’s unemployment rate is just 2.1%, which is tied for eighth-lowest in the world. Singapore’s workforce is one of the world’s most productive and vibrant, and MOM can take much credit for this fact.

Its current headquarters are located on Havelock Road. In 2018, there were a total of 2,239 people who were working for MOM. Its estimated annual budget is S$1.98 billion. The current Minister for Manpower, and thus the current head of MOM, is Tan See Leng.

Divisions under the Ministry of Manpower (MOM)

There are 15 divisions and three child agencies which MOM oversees. Among the most important of MOM’s divisions are

  • the Corporate Planning Department,
  • the Human Resource Department,
  • the International Manpower Division,
  • the Occupational Safety and Health Division, and
  • the Work Pass Division.

There are also three child agencies which are all among MOM’s statutory boards. Each of these agencies performs important functions for everyone who works in Singapore. The three child agencies are:

  • The Central Provident Fund Board
  • The Singapore Labor Foundation (SLF)
  • The Singapore Labour Foundation (SLF)

Central Provident Fund Board

The first of these three statutory boards is the Central Provident Fund Board. This board is tasked with administering the Central Provident Fund (CPF). CPF is a social security savings plan which the Singaporean government has put in place for the well-being of Singapore’s workers. CPF is intended to ensure that Singapore’s workers remain financially secure after they have retired. The Central Provident Fund Board is also in charge of other schemes which are related to CPF. Some of the most important of these schemes include the Skills Development Levy, MediSave, and Workfare.

Employees and employers both contribute to CPF accounts. These accounts include the Ordinary Account which deals with housing, education, investment, and CPF insurance; the Special Account which deals with investments in financial products connected to one’s retirement; and the MediSave account which is related to hospitalization as well as any approved forms of medical insurance. All these matters are overseen by the Central Provident Fund Board.

The current chairman of the Central Provident Fund Board is Ms Yong Ying-I.

Singapore Labor Foundation

The Singapore Labor Foundation (SLF), established in 1977, oversees all of Singapore’s many trade unions. It ensures that these trade unions are operating in a proper manner and attempts to increase the general well-being of trade union members. SLF is closely linked to the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC). NTUC often organizes events and activities which may be social, cultural, educational, or recreational in nature. These events are usually funded by SLF. SLF also provides various welfare schemes to serve its lower-income members. SLF’s primary sources of funding are returns from investments, co-operatives, and contributions from unions.

The chairman of SLF is currently Lawrence Wong, who replaced Gan Kim Yong in June 2018.

Workforce Singapore

Workforce Singapore (WSG) is the third of MOM’s statutory boards. It is closely linked to SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG), which is another statutory board. However, unlike WSG, SSG does not operate under MOM, but under the Ministry of Education. WSG was known as the Singapore Workforce Development Agency between 2003, when it was formed, and 2016. Its primary objectives are to help people all over Singapore achieve their career goals, enable them to be suitably employed, and increase the competitiveness and efficiency of the country’s enterprises. By doing so, WSG helps Singaporeans improve the status of their jobs and careers. It also works with stakeholders to support companies and their owners to promote their adaptation and growth. This also helps improve the quality of the country’s workforce.

On its website, WSG also mentions that it provides certain grants, assistance, funding, programs, and initiatives. Depending on the criteria involved, these may be used by ordinary individuals, employers, or training providers. Regardless of who is to use them, they all serve as major boons to those who may benefit from them, thus leading to the general improvement of Singapore’s workforce.

The chairman of WSG is Lim Ming Yan.

MOM eServices

To facilitate their functions, there are several online services, or eServices, which MOM offers on its website. These include applications for an Employment Pass, the Self-Assessment Tool which helps one check for eligibility for an Employment Pass or S Pass, the option to check and pay the levy for foreign workers, a tool to check records for worker training, and several others. There is also an option to register for a CorpPass on MOM’s website. This is important because ever since September 1, 2018, MOM’s website only accepts CorpPass as a method by which users may log into the website.

These eServices have done much good for the workforce of Singapore. The eServices are just some of the many ways by which MOM has made attempts to make Singapore’s labor force the best that it could possibly be.

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