By Sng Ler Jun
The Singapore National Co-operative Federation (SNCF) has disbursed $100,000 in a special grant support to 25 co-operatives in Singapore.
The Special Grant Support – Progressive Workplace Grant
The Progressive Workplace Grant is a one-off $4,000 grant that eligible co-ops, who have adopted at least one of the Tripartite Standards, can tap on to enhance their human resources practices. It was first launched at the Annual Co-operative Leaders’ Conference in 2022 by Minister of State for Community, Culture and Youth & Trade and Industry Alvin Tan.
Co-operatives were encouraged to adopt the standards and subsequently apply for the grant between January 2023 to December 2023.
Issued by the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP), each of these standards aims to promote fairness, inclusivity, agility, sustainability and productivity, and comes with a set of verifiable, actionable employment practices. TAFEP was set up by the tripartite partners, the Ministry of Manpower, the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and the Singapore National Employers Federation.
Job-seeking employees can look to these co-ops, who have adopted the standards, as employers of choice with good employment practices. Other benefits include creating happier workplaces, improving productivity, having low turnovers, and encouraging talent retention.
“We have engaged people beyond their retirement age. We also allow flexible work time to suit staff’s requests,” says Mdm Arifah Begum, an executive at the Singapore Teachers’ Co-operative Society. The Singapore Teachers’ Co-operative Society had recently been issued the Tripartite Standard for Age Friendly Workplaces.
“We are looking to use the grant to fully pay for enrichment courses or training that the staff have enrolled for,” she adds.
Like the Singapore Teachers’ Co-operative Society, the Singapore Professionals’ and Executives’ Co-operative Society (SPEC) has also been issued the Tripartite Standard for Age Friendly Workplaces recently. “We intend to enhance our resources to support hiring mature workers and implement flexible work arrangement with the grant,” says SPEC’s director Mr Kao Beng Lee.
He says: “With an ageing population, we need to tap on available talents, regardless of age groups.”
The 25 co-ops, who have adopted one or more of the standards and have gotten the Progressive Workplace Grants, are:
- AUPE Credit Co-operative Limited
- AUPE General Services Co-operative Limited
- Citiport Credit Co-operative Ltd
- Co-operative Society of Nanyang Technological University Limited
- Employment for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities Co-operative Limited
- GP+ Co-operative Limited
- Industrial And Services Co-operative Society Limited
- Love Empowered Co-operative Ltd
- Mercatus Co-operative Limited
- Ngee Ann Polytechnic Consumer Co-operative Society Ltd
- NTUC FairPrice Co-operative Ltd
- NTUC Foodfare Co-operative Ltd
- NTUC Health Co-operative Ltd
- NUS Multi-Purpose Co-operative Society Ltd
- POLWEL Co-operative Society Limited
- Premier Security Co-operative Ltd
- Runninghour Co-operative Limited
- SGTUFF Co-operative Ltd
- Singapore Amalgamated Services Co-operative Organisation Ltd
- Singapore Government Staff Credit Co-operative Society Ltd
- Singapore Muslim Teachers’ Co-operative Limited
- Singapore Professionals' And Executives' Co-operative Ltd
- Singapore Shell Employees' Union Co-operative Ltd
- Singapore Teachers Co-operative Society Ltd
- Straits Times Co-operative Ltd
New Special Grant Support – Sustainability Grant
For 2024 and 2025, SNCF will be doling out a new special grant support for co-operatives to tap on to kickstart or progress their sustainability journeys.
The grant is designed to support co-operatives in their sustainability journey with measurable outcomes across three phases: (1) Training, which encourages co-operatives to understand the importance of sustainability; (2) Adoption, which provides resources to implement practices that are in line with the SG Green Plan; and (3) Development which combines knowledge with actions to support co-operatives’ enhanced efforts for sustainability.
The Central Co-operative Fund (CCF), a trust fund under the purview of the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, has set aside S$500,000 for this endeavour.
“This is to encourage co-ops to learn about sustainability and how to contribute to our Singapore Green Plan, recognise adopters of sustainability practices and environmentally friendly actions, and further co-ops’ sustainable efforts with measurable outcomes,” the Minister of State added.
“Adopting the Tripartite Standards is one of the approaches that is available and the Federation is glad to have supported the efforts by co-ops to meet those requirements,” said SNCF’s Chief Executive Mr Ang Hin Kee. “We are heartened that co-ops have invested in making their workplace more progressive and conducive for their staff.”
For more information on the new Sustainability Grant, click here.