During this year’s budget report, when Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam touched on Special Employment Credit (SEC) and he mentioned about the enhancements, I was heartened to learn of the changes.
When I became the accidental boss, I had hoped to create a wonderful working conditions and environment for my staff. I mean, we spent most of our life working, if we don’t enjoy working, it would mean most of our life will be spent living miserably. Things I’ve introduced to make working more enjoyable: flexi hours, choice of working from home, off days on birthdays, child’s birthday, wedding anniversary etc. I also give my staff a lot of autonomy in the day-to-day operations.
All along, I’ve known my company’s operations are such that it is suitable for certain candidates who are graduates of special education. And fate would have it, I’ve employed a staff who graduated from special education. It was all coincidental. The employment was simply based on the candidate’s technical knowledge and experience. That was all. I look past the candidate’s special education and was evaluated as I would any others. And my staff in fact, at times, performed above my expectations.
Sorry for the digression.
Anyway, this year, the SEC enhancements made were such that the SEC has been extended to cover younger workers (aged 50 years and below) who are graduates of the special education schools. The government’s objective was to encourage employers to hire them, so that more of them will be able to enter the workforce and remain independent.
I applaud the government’s effort and direction in making Singapore a more inclusive society. I’ve employed my staff as equals and I’ve already budgeted for their current salary. I did not employ my staff because of the SEC so I’ve decided to pass the company’s savings (SEC) to my staff instead.
Extension of Special Employment Credit (SEC)
To support employment of Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) who have graduated from VWO-run Special Education (SPED) schools, the SEC will be extended to employers who hire these graduates. The SEC for PWDs will be set at 16% of the employee’s monthly income, up to $240 per month.
I hope more companies will do the same too. It is the combined effort of the government, employers and citizens to make our Singapore a more inclusive society.