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Singaporeans will not be left without assistance
PUBLISHED ON 08 May 2019
Singaporeans will not be left without assistance
 
Citizens who live in private property can apply for government assistance if they are genuinely in need of help.
 
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister for Finance Ms Indranee Rajah explained that broad-based schemes are applicable to all Singaporeans, regardless of the type of home they reside in. These include education assistance as well as the Merdeka Generation Package for citizens born in the 1950s to help with their healthcare costs.
 
Besides broad-based schemes, Ms Indranee pointed out that the Government also has targeted ones such as GST Vouchers that subsidise the expenses of the lower-income group.
 
Ms Indranne noted that there are some Singaporeans who still faced specific difficulties. "The ones who don't benefit from the broad-based schemes, we would encourage them to apply when they have a genuine need because the system does allow for appeals and consideration of particular circumstances,'' she assured.
 
Employers warned not to misclassify workers
 
Minister of State for Manpower and National Development Mr Zaqy Mohamad said there were 308 cases of workers who were allegedly classified wrongly in the last three years.
 
Revealing the numbers in Parliament, Mr Zaqy explained that 160 cases involved workers who were misclassified as self-employed. He added that errant companies have been punished with warnings and late payment fees.
 
"Rest assured that MOM and CPF will investigate the cases to ensure that employers make good their obligations and to pay affected employees what are due to them," he added.
 
Mr Zaqy also pointed out that casual workers, which made up 3.4 per cent of resident employees in 2018, are covered by various laws including the Employment Act and CPF Act.
 
Adoption of progressive workplace practices
 
More than 960 companies have adopted a set of good practices to address workplace unhappiness, said Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Manpower and Education Ms Low Yen Ling.
 
Giving this update in Parliament, Ms Low said the standard adopted by these companies also covers sexual harassment complaints.
 
"If the employer failed to address a workplace harassment case fairly, the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices would advise the employer to review the case again," she said.
 
In egregious cases where companies fail to provide a safe environment for their workers, Ms Low said the Manpower Ministry can take action against the company, such as curtailing work passes.
 
HSA continues to monitor quality of drugs to safeguard public health
 
The Ministry of Health has helped more than half of the patients affected by the high blood pressure drug recall to switch to alternative medicines, said Senior Minister of State for Health Dr Lam Pin Min.
 
The affected drugs were recalled because they contained higher than acceptable levels of a potentially harmful impurity.
 
Dr Lam Pin Min said the recall exercise is on schedule to end in June 2019, and the public healthcare institutions have reached out to patients to offer earlier appointments.
 
"As the short-term risk of taking the medicine was low, the advisory to affected patients was to continue taking their medicines until they are provided with suitable alternatives,” said Dr Lam.
 
The Health Sciences Authority is working with suppliers and international regulatory agencies to determine the cause of contamination. Dr Lam added, "HSA will continue to monitor the quality and safety of these medicines to safeguard public health."
 

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