Help for freelancers, self-employed in works
NTUC concerned about their savings, Medisave and other issues
Freelancers and the self-employed will not be left behind, and more will be done to ensure they are taken care of.
This was the assurance given by National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) secretary-general Chan Chun Sing yesterday, as it held its Ordinary Delegates' Conference.
There are between 180,000 and 200,000 freelancers and self-employed people in Singapore, forming about 10 per cent of the workforce here, said Second Minster for Manpower Josephine Teo.
In a dialogue session with different NTUC partners at the Suntec Convention Centre, Mr Chan said: "We are going to work closely with the Ministry of Manpower together with Minister Josephine and her team to see how we can better protect the new generation of self-employed people in our economy."
Mrs Teo said a big worry was getting freelancers to save for their future.
She said: "Today, all self-employed persons have to contribute towards their Medisave account. But we know from our interactions and from (Central Provident Fund) records, some of them have fallen behind. Some are not contributing regularly. We worry for them."
She said this is an area the Government is looking into.
She acknowledged other problems the group faces, such as issues regarding contracts and late payment.
Ahead of the conference, director of the NTUC Freelancers and Self-employed UnitAng Hin Kee, spoke to The New Paper about how this group of workers has its own problems, which warrant the attention his unit works to provide.
The NTUC assistant director-general also echoed Mrs Teo's worry that self-employed workers are not saving enough.
He said: "Every industry needs to find what works best for them. In our dialogues with many freelancers, we realise they may need some solution to save in a more regular manner. We are collating some of their feedback and we will work on it."
At a media briefing after the conference, Mr Chan highlighted other areas of concern for freelancers and the self-employed: medical insurance and intellectual property protection. He said the Government can work to provide legislation to protect workers while unions can focus on training and advocacy.