Speech by Mr Stephen Lee, Chairman, Tripartite Alliance Limited, at the Tripartite Alliance Award 2018 Presentation Ceremony

14 Nov 2018Speeches

Mrs Josephine Teo, Minister for Manpower

Ms Mary Liew, President, National Trades Union Congress (NTUC)

Dr Robert Yap, President, Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF)

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen

1. Welcome to the Tripartite Alliance Award presentation ceremony this evening.

2. This is the first Tripartite Alliance Award, and we are very excited to arrive at this moment.

3. I am grateful for and encouraged by the presence of everyone here this evening. Whether you are an employer, an employee, a union representative, or one of the Tripartite Alliance’s partners, I want to thank you for taking time to join us this evening.

4. I wish to start this evening by showing our appreciation to the people who have made this possible.

5. Firstly, thank you to the employees and unions. Your nominations have shown us that there are many employers in Singapore who genuinely care about their people, and we have seen examples of such behaviour very clearly in the winners and finalists tonight.

6. And I also want to thank the nominated employers. For your hard work in compiling and submitting information about the employment practices of your company, and also during our visits to your company to understand more about your company’s culture, values and practices.

7. At this juncture, I would like to point out that the Tripartite Alliance Award requires all participants to be nominated by their employees and union representatives.The employers do not nominate themselves. So, companies, just by being nominated, I think it’s an achievement by itself. This shows that the employers’ efforts at improving the welfare of their employees are recognised and valued.

8. I would also like to thank the panel of judges led by Professor Annie Koh from SMU. They have worked tirelessly, behind the scenes, to examine each submission, and determine who is truly deserving of this inaugural Award.

9. The Tripartite Alliance Award is not your usual award. You can see this even in the way that it is organised. Our judges are a diverse group comprising union leaders, employers and government officials. Together, they contribute a wide range of perspectives and expertise that ensures the assessment process is rigorous, objective and comprehensive.

10. This is similar to how different companies have different strengths, and also the reason why we have put in place different Award categories to recognise both corporate and individual performance.

11. The tripartite partners have a tradition of paying tribute to exemplary employers and employees. Some of you may remember the TAFEP Exemplary Employer Award and the Work-life Excellence Award. The Tripartite Alliance Award builds upon these two awards to create a holistic system of recognition that encompasses the entire employment journey.

12. Despite the stringent evaluation criteria, we are encouraged by the positive response from unions, employees and employers. A total of 152 companies were nominated, of which 41finalistswere shortlisted.

13. The winners are not just exceptional in the categories that they have been nominated for. All winners possess strong fundamentals in key areas of employment, as seen in their adoption of at least four Tripartite Standards. The four Tripartite Standards are: Tripartite Standard on, firstly,the Employment of Term Contract Employees, secondly on Flexible Work Arrangements, thirdly on Grievance Handling, and last but not least,on Recruitment Practices. This also reflects the winners’ commitment to ensure that as their companies succeed, so do their employees.

14. For companies who are thinking about entering the next edition of the Tripartite Alliance Award, I encourage you to follow the example set by the finalists, and adopt the relevant Tripartite Standards as a first step.

15. Congratulations to the finalists and winners! I understand that many of you will be joining the Tripartite Alliance contingent at The New Paper Big Walk this Sunday. Thank you for showing your support, and ‘walking the talk’ for fair and progressive employment practices.

16. Thank you, and have an enjoyable evening.