There are three statutory boards that operate under the Ministry of Manpower. The Central Provident Fund Board, the Singapore Labor Foundation, and Workforce Singapore all play vital roles within the context of Singapore's labor system, thus assisting and improving conditions for Singapore's many workers.

Functions of the Ministry of Manpower’s statutory boards

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is in charge of every issue related to labor in or the workforce of 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.

However, it would be a grave mistake to assume that MOM achieved all of this on its own. MOM oversees three statutory boards which have all made invaluable contributions to the success of the country’s labor force.


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 Chiang Chie Foo, while its chief executive office is Augustine Lee.

Thinking of incorporating in Singapore? Let’s get started.

E A S I E R • F A S T E R • B E T T E R

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, the chief executive is Tan Choon Shian, and the deputy chief executive is Goh Eng Ghee.