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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Wage Flexibility in Singapore, 2012

Published on 5 Jun 2013 Large majority of private sector employees were under some form of flexible wage system in 2012, following the general uptrend in the implementation of flexible wage measures recommended by the tripartite partners in 2004. Narrowing maximum-minimum salary ratio was the most common flexible wage recommendation adopted, followed by linking variable bonus to KPI and having the MVC.

S Pass quotas to be cut, criteria tightened



The Government is clamping down on some S Pass holders, a category of mid-tier foreign workers earning less than Employment Pass holders but more than Work Permit holders.
Quotas for these workers will be cut for the services sector and S Pass criteria will be tightened, Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said on Monday.
Eligibility requirements for Employment Pass holders will also be tightened.
Mr Tharman, who is also Finance Minister, said the services sector's S Pass Dependency Ratio Ceiling (DRC) will be cut from 20 per cent to 15 per cent.
The reduction applies to new applicants from July 1 this year.
For existing permit holders and renewals, the new S Pass DRC takes effect on July 1, 2015.
The minimum S Pass qualifying monthly salary will also be raised from $2,000 to $2,200 on July 1 this year, Mr Tharman said.
He added that the Government would introduce a tiered salary system based on an S Pass applicant's age and qualifications.
Older applicants will need to qualify at higher salaries.

"This will help to level the playing field for our local workers in the same jobs and also nudge employers to bring in better-calibre workers."
As for Employment Passes, the Manpower Ministry will continue to tighten eligibility requirements, particularly for Q1 pass holders, Mr Tharman said.
Noting that the total number of Employment Pass holders fell last year, he said the Employment Pass policy "must ensure that firms in Singapore remain able to recruit the best teams, including both locals and foreigners".
"At the same time, we must maintain a level playing field for Singaporeans with respect to jobs and progression opportunities."
The minimum salary for Q1 pass holders, the lowest rung of Employment Pass holders, was increased by $200 to $3,000 on Jan 1 last year. Older applicants have to earn even more to qualify.
Mr Tharman said that this tightening has already led to more foreign employees falling to within the S Pass category which makes them subject to a DRC and levies.
For the longer term, the ministry will also put in place a framework to ensure that firms give fair consideration to Singaporeans in their hiring practices, he added.
Software translation firm Verztec chief executive Nicholas Goh said the measures would pose a challenge for his firm.
The firm employs 45 people, of whom 16 are foreign workers. Five of those are S Pass holders from countries such as Myanmar, Malaysia and Indonesia, while the rest hold Q1 Employment Passes.
"We may have to move some parts of our business overseas... we need specialised knowledge and the reduction makes it harder for us to bring on board people of such talent."
Verztec needs foreign workers for technical work since Singaporeans prefer managerial positions, Mr Goh said.


Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.


Employment Change (Q1 2013) : 20,800 (Prelim)

Employment

Year
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
Employment Level as at
Year-end ('000)
2,148.1
2,135.2
2,206.6
2,319.9
2,495.9
2,730.8
2,952.4
2,990.0
3,105.9
3,228.5
3,357.6
n.a.
Employment Distribution by
Sector as at Year-end (%)
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
Manufacturing
19.8
19.7
20.2
20.5
20.7
20.8
19.9
17.4
16.7
16.2
15.9
n.a.
Construction
11.8
11.0
10.3
10.1
10.2
10.8
12.2
12.6
12.3
12.5
13.2
n.a.
Services
67.7
68.6
68.9
68.7
68.4
67.7
67.3
69.2
70.3
70.6
70.2
n.a.
Others
0.7
0.7
0.6
0.7
0.7
0.7
0.7
0.7
0.7
0.7
0.7
n.a.
Employment Change ('000)
Annual
-22.9
-12.9
71.4
113.3
176.0
234.9
221.6
37.6
115.9
122.6
129.1
n.a.
1st Qtr
-10.3
-4.1
13.7
17.8
45.0
49.4
73.2
-6.2
36.5
28.3
27.2
20.8p
2nd Qtr
-3.8
-26.0
10.9
31.7
36.4
64.4
71.4
-7.7
24.9
24.8
31.7
n.a.
3rd Qtr
-8.5
0.9
14.1
28.5
43.0
58.6
55.7
13.9
20.5
31.9
26.2
n.a.
4th Qtr
-0.3
16.2
32.7
35.3
51.5
62.5
21.3
37.5
33.9
37.6
44.0
n.a.
Last Updated: 30 April 2013 | Source: Administrative Records
Latest figures published in: Employment Situation
Local employment rose faster in 2012, as foreign employment growth slowed amid tighter foreign manpower controls. With high employment creation, unemployment remained low, despite a rise in layoffs. Vacancies eased in December 2012, although there were still more job openings than job seekers available.



Job Vacancy

2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
Job Vacancy ('000)
Annual Average
15.0
12.6
16.5
19.2
31.2
38.6
37.8
30.4
44.2
52.7
48.6
As at Mar
13.9
12.1
15.4
17.5
26.1
35.7
40.9
22.9
37.3
49.3
46.8
As at Jun
16.1
12.0
15.4
19.2
33.0
39.2
42.3
26.1
45.1
55.9
47.3
As at Sep
17.2
13.1
18.9
20.1
32.2
38.8
40.4
36.9
50.2
54.0
56.4
As at Dec
12.9
13.1
16.2
19.8
33.3
40.8
27.4
35.8
44.1
51.7
43.9
Job Vacancy Rate (%)
Annual Average
1.5
1.2
1.6
1.7
2.3
2.6
2.4
1.8
2.5
2.8
2.5
As at Mar
1.4
1.2
1.5
1.6
2.0
2.5
2.6
1.4
2.2
2.8
2.4
As at Jun
1.6
1.2
1.5
1.8
2.5
2.7
2.7
1.6
2.7
3.1
2.5
As at Sep
1.6
1.3
1.7
1.7
2.3
2.6
2.4
2.2
2.8
2.9
2.8
As at Dec
1.2
1.3
1.5
1.7
2.4
2.7
1.7
2.1
2.5
2.7
2.2
Job Vacancy to Unemployed
Person Ratio

(Seasonally Adjusted)
Annual Average
0.36
0.27
0.40
0.47
0.66
1.11
0.91
0.53
0.99
1.22
1.08
As at Mar
0.35
0.29
0.35
0.44
0.58
0.81
1.28
0.36
0.86
1.32
1.05
As at Jun
0.40
0.27
0.34
0.45
0.65
0.96
0.99
0.40
0.96
1.17
0.91
As at Sep
0.37
0.21
0.47
0.43
0.65
1.25
0.85
0.54
1.07
1.18
1.25
As at Dec
0.31
0.30
0.42
0.56
0.75
1.42
0.54
0.80
1.06
1.20
1.10
Last Updated: 15 March 2013 | Source: Labour Market Survey, MOM
Latest figures published in: Labour Market Report


Income

Gross Monthly Income From Work

Mid-Year
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
Median Gross Monthly Income From
Work of Full-Time Employed
Residents ($)
Including Employer CPF
2,380
2,410
2,326
n.a.
2,449
2,543
2,897
2,927
3,000
3,249
3,480
Excluding Employer CPF
2,083
2,100
2,100
n.a.
2,167
2,333
2,588
2,600
2,708
2,925
3,000
Change (%)
Including Employer CPF
Nominal
-0.3
1.3
-3.5
n.a.
n.a.
3.8
13.9
1.0
2.5
8.3
7.1
Real^
0.0
0.8
-5.1
n.a.
n.a.
1.7
6.8
0.4
-0.3
2.9
2.5
(0.0)
(0.6)
(-5.4)
(1.7)
(8.0)
(1.4)
(-0.7)
(3.9)
(3.4)
Excluding Employer CPF
Nominal
-0.8
0.8
0.0
n.a.
n.a.
7.7
10.9
0.5
4.2
8.0
2.6
Real^
-0.5
0.4
-1.7
n.a.
n.a.
5.5
4.0
-0.1
1.3
2.6
-1.9
(-0.5)
(0.1)
(-2.0)
(5.4)
(5.2)
(0.9)
(0.9)
(3.6)
(-1.0)
Last updated: 31 January 2013 | Source: Comprehensive Labour Force Survey, MOM
Latest figures published in:
Labour Force in Singapore

Key Manpower Statistics

The labour market statistics produced by the Manpower Research and Statistics Department conforms to the international guidelines recommended by the International Labour Organisation.

The release of key data like employment and unemployment follows the Special Data Dissemination Standards established by the International Monetary Fund.



Labour Force Last updated: 31 January 2013
Employment Last updated: 30 April 2013
Unemployment Last updated: 30 April 2013
Job Vacancy Last updated: 15 March 2013
Labour Turnover Last updated: 15 March 2013
Hours Worked Last updated: 15 March 2013
Redundancy Last updated: 30 April 2013
Re-entry into Employment Last updated: 15 March 2013
Income Last updated: 31 May 2013 

Mrsd Report on Wage Practices 2012



How to trun a woman on!

AskMen dating coach and founder of The WingGirl Method, Marni discusses how to turn women on. For more from Marni check out How To Avoid Being Creeping Around Women


"Meanwhile, 27% of women admitted to sending nude pictures via email or text message."
And you thought Blake Lively, Miley Cyrus and Rihanna were exceptions to the rule. As it turns out, sexting is quite popular with the ladies. Harlequin, the popular romance novel publisher, ran a survey with women that reported that 43% of women talk dirty through texts.

Drilling down into that 43%, a whopping two-thirds said they would only send racy messages while in a serious relationship, while 35% only need a few dates before they’re ready to start sexting.

Meanwhile, 27% of women admitted to sending nude pictures via email or text message. It’s become so common that it’s not even embarrassing or career-threatening (for celebrities) to be seen nude.

For women like Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton, it’s actually been a boon for their careers. So much for sugar, spice and everything nice. What started with a raunchy high school girl outfit in Britney Spears’ “Oops!...I Did It Again” video has now transformed the new generation of women.

Meet Local Women

Meeting Women In The Most Isolated Place In The World (Almost)

"I began to wonder if my lack of a six-pack played any importance in a land where everyone is ridiculously fit."
Meet Local WomenEver since I took the plunge and moved to Australia, I've had to deal with a lot of things, but nothing prepared me for the toughest of all: meeting girls in this city in the middle of nowhere, 2,500 kilometers away from the next big city. I am talking about Perth, the capital and largest city of Western Australia, a tiny dot next to a vast desert land right on the Indian Ocean. The original plan was to maintain a long-distance relationship, but after a few months and a couple of misunderstood Facebook likes, I was loveless and back on the market. Trouble was the game in Perth had new rules.

Well, let me start with the basic problem: the lack of bars. New York might be the city that never sleeps, but Perth is the city that goes to sleep early. Because everything pretty much shuts by 10 p.m. on weekdays, nightlife is a bit meek. Perth still has many elements that remind me of a village rather than a city. In Perth, girls seem scared and lacking the experience to flirt with a man, probably because of this isolation (OK, sure, Honolulu is more isolated, but come on) and lack of world travel.

In a place with more than 1.5 million people, it has never felt harder to meet women. I met a bunch of cute girls when I worked on a fashion project the first month I arrived here, only to realize that all three were married. All three girls dated "FIFO" workers in mines, meaning their man flies in and out every third week to work in the mining industry. Most of the girls over the age of 23 seemed to be married. I'd tried to talk to a few girls here and there, but did not even receive a smile in return. I began to wonder if my lack of a six-pack played any importance in a land where everyone is ridiculously fit.

I asked one of my mates where I should hang out. "Well, first of all, you are 29 and single. I mean, what is wrong with you?" was his reply. And although back home, being a single guy in his late 20s is totally normal, here it is rare. He let me in on a little secret: "The only single ones are the divorced ones. Aim for late 30s, and you are in the money." He was right. I soon found out that the place could rightfully be called Cougarville. A few bars, no more than four, are the typical hangouts of such women.

After briefly dating a 31-year-old I met at one of them -- recently divorced and ridiculously hot -- I was back on the market once again. The reason it did not work out was simply because I had no experience with divorcĂ©es and single moms. So I decided I needed to change the field, and headed to the beach. The annual roster of Australian hotties that Victoria’s Secret drafts convinced me that there had to be a myriad of pretty girls hanging out by the sea. "Don’t even bother talking to them, mate," my friend warned me. "They are not into that." He knew what he was talking about. At the end of the summer, I had no new female romance.

After months of literally no successful flirting I got desperate. And then it hit me: They are all into internet dating. Yes, Perth is the No. 1 town in Australia with subscribed users on dating sites. A 35-year-old receptionist I met told me she loves it, a 25-year-old waitress and pole-dancing instructor even told me that she prefers if someone first talks to her online. Well, at first I struggled. When many of the profiles I saw read, "I only read magazines" and "books are a waste of time," I thought I had nothing in common with anyone. But after a few days, I actually got hits. And even went out with one of them, a cute Irish 25-year-old. "Why the hell does a girl like you need internet dating?" was my first question. "I don’t know. Everybody does, I guess."

I can’t forget the words that pole-dancing instructor told me, while looking at me with her dreamy eyes: "What do you mean, where do I meet guys? I finish work and go home and chat with a dozen of them on the internet. But going out with them? I don’t know… It is a bit scary." What scared her face-to-face disappeared through the computer screen. That was the secret of Perth girls. Yes, Perth is in the middle of nowhere, but ultimately it is pretty difficult to be entirely isolated anywhere in the world in 2013. The game of love was always a tough one. In Perth I just had to change the field to internet dating to keep playing.

Read more: http://www.askmen.com/dating/dating_advice/meet-local-women.html#ixzz2VrqpRXlx

Sunday, June 9, 2013

USGS Works Toward Seismic Safety in Burma

Geophysicists’ visit lays a foundation for future collaboration between the United States and Government of Burma aimed at mitigating earthquake risk



The country of Burma straddles a complex and highly active earthquake zone — the junction between the Himalayan front to the northwest of the country and, to the south/southeast, the subduction zone responsible for the enormous magnitude-9.3 Sumatra earthquake and ensuing tsunami of 2004. A record of damage to ancient and beautiful pagodas throughout Burma’s cities and countryside attests to the past occurrence of major earthquakes. Few of these damaging earthquakes, however, have occurred during the 20th century. There is an urgent need for steps to mitigate earthquake risk in Burma, as it is not a question of “if” future large earthquakes will occur, but rather “when.” With our knowledge of earthquakes, it is certain that significant earthquake disasters will occur in the country’s future, and earthquake hazards remain poorly characterized. Exacerbating the concern, southern Burma, including the country’s most populous city, Rangoon, sits on the Irrawaddy Delta, underlain by a thick blanket of soft sediments that would significantly amplify earthquake shaking.


The Schwedagon pagoda, Burma’s most revered shrine, has been damaged multiple times by earthquakes throughout its long history.

The Schwedagon pagoda, Burma's most revered shrine, has been damaged multiple times by earthquakes throughout its long history.
As Burma’s government moves forward with political and economic reform, it has also shown greater openness to working with U.S. government agencies on a variety of issues. The U.S. Geological Survey is using this opportunity to work with seismology and disaster management experts to help design a long-term disaster risk reduction program for Burma that will assess seismic hazard and take steps to reduce risk. As a first step to launching this project, USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) sponsored an initial visit May 21-25, 2012, by USGS research geophysicists Susan Hough and Mark Petersen and USAID/OFDA regional adviser Brian Heidel.

The U.S. government team met with counterparts from the Burmese government, including the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology and the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief, and Resettlement, as well as United Nations agencies and nongovernmental organizations such as the Myanmar Earthquake Commission and the Myanmar Engineering Society. The visit culminated with a lively half-day Earthquake Preparedness Planning workshop that was well-attended by key staff from all of the above-mentioned groups.
The May 2012 visit focused on an assessment of needs and gaps in current earthquake risk-assessment programs. Through meetings and site visits, the U.S. team identified high-priority future program activities that will be addressed by future USAID/OFDA-supported USGS missions. Most importantly, the visit laid a foundation for future collaboration between the United States and Government of Burma aimed at mitigating earthquake risk. As Burma enters a new period of economic expansion and potentially rapid construction growth, these steps will be of vital importance to help ensure that the earthquake resilience of Burma’s future development will match the enormous resilience of its people.

9_wang2011-GJI

Friday, June 7, 2013

Unique Entity Number (UEN)

Home > About UEN

What is UEN?
What is my UEN?
How does UEN benefit me?
Who will get UEN?
Who will issue UEN to me?

What is UEN?
UEN is the standard identification number of an entity. UEN shall be for registered entities as NRIC is for Singapore citizens. The UEN uniquely identifies the entity.

What is my UEN?

If you are a business or local company registered with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA), there will be no change for you. Your existing ACRA registration number will be retained as your UEN.
If you are not a business or local company (e.g. limited liability partnership or society), a new UEN will be issued to you by the government agency that registers or oversees you (known as UEN Issuance Agency).
The table below describes the three UEN formats.

Issued To
UEN Format
Description
A
Businesses registered with ACRA1
nnnnnnnnX 
(9 digits)
“n” = a number
“P” = a alphabetical letter
“Q” = an alpha-numeric digit
 “PQ” = Entity-type 2
“Tyy” / “Syy” / “yyyy”= year of issuance 3
“X” = a check alphabet
For example, the UEN for a limited liability partnership (LLP) formed on 1 January 2009 could be “T09LL0001B”.
B
Local companies registered with ACRA1
yyyynnnnnX
(10 digits)
C
All other entities which will be issued new UEN
TyyPQnnnnX
(10 digits)
1 No change from existing ACRA Registration Number
2 E.g. ‘LL’ = ‘Limited Liability Partnership’
3 ‘T’ represents ‘20’, ‘S’ represents ‘19’ and ‘R’ represents ‘18’. E.g. T08 means year 2008, S99 means year 1999 and R00 means year 1800



How does UEN benefit me?

Your UEN is your one number for convenient interaction with government agencies. Whether it is filing your corporate tax returns or applying for import and export permit, you will no longer need to use different numbers to interact with different government agencies. Your UEN will be all that you need.



Who will get UEN?
UEN will be issued to entities (such as businesses, local companies, LLPs, societies and representative offices) that
  • have multiple interactions with government agencies
  • are recognised by a UEN Issuance Agency (e.g. ACRA, ROS)

A list of entity-types that will be issued with UEN and their corresponding UEN Issuance Agencies is available here.

UEN will NOT be issued to:
  • Individuals
    •   They will interact with government agencies using their NRIC numbers
  • Entities that have no or only one-off interactions with just one government agency
    •   E.g. overseas company that sells products to government agencies on a one-off basis
  • Sub-entities such as branches and divisions of an entity

However, some government agencies may choose to add sub-entity codes to UEN in their systems if they need to identify and interact with branches and divisions.
Who will issue UEN to me?

Businesses and local companies currently registered with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) will retain their ACRA Registration Number as their UEN. Other than business and local registered companies, all other registered entities will be issued with a new UEN. For more details of the three UEN formats, please click here.
The following agencies will issue UENs to the entity-types listed below.

Issuance Agency
Entity-Type
Entity-Type Indicator (PQ) *
Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA)Limited Partnership
Limited Liability Partnerships
Foreign Companies
Public Accounting Firms
Unregistered Local Entities
Unregistered Foreign Entities
LP
LL
FC
PF
UL
UF
Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC)Foreign Law Practice Representative Offices
RP
International Enterprise Singapore (IE Singapore)Representative Offices of:
- Foreign Companies,
- Foreign Government Agencies
- Foreign Trade Associations/Chambers/Non-Profit Organisations
RF
Islamic Religious Council of Singapore
Majlis Ugama Islam Singapore (Muis)
Mosques
Madrasahs
MQ
MM
Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth - Charities UnitCharities and Institutions of a Public Character
CC
Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth - Registry of Co-operative SocietiesCooperative Societies
CS
Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth - Registry of Mutual Benefit OrganisationMutual Benefit Organisations
MB
Ministry of Defence (Mindef)Foreign Military Units
FM
Ministry of Education (MOE)Government and Government-Aided Schools
GS
Ministry of Finance (MOF)Government Agencies
- Organs of State, Ministries and Departments
- Statutory Boards

GA
GB
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA)High Commissions, Embassies
Consulate
International Organisations (registered with MFA)
DP
CP
NR
Ministry of Health (MOH)Healthcare Institutions and Clinics
- Only Medical Clinic
- Only Dental Clinic
- Both Medical and Dental Clinic
- Hospitals
- Voluntary Welfare Home
- Commercial Home
- Maternity Home
- Clinical Laboratory
- Xray Laboratory
- Both Clinical and Xray Laboratory      

CM
CD
MD
HS
VH
CH
MH
CL
XL
CX
Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI)News Bureaus
NB
Ministry of Manpower (MOM)Trade Unions
TU
Ministry of National Development (MND)Town Councils
TC
Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)Financial Representative Offices
- Bank Representative Offices
- Insurance Representative Offices

FB
FN
People's Association (PA)PA Services
Grassroot Units
PA
PB
Registry of Societies (ROS)Societies
SS
Singapore Land Authority ( SLA)Management Corporations
Subsidiary Management Corporations

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