Is reliance on migrant workers sustainable in Singapore?

Le Queux, Stephane, Wong, Caroline, Waring, Peter, and Kuah, Adrian (2023) Is reliance on migrant workers sustainable in Singapore? In: [Presented at New Labour Regimes in Contemporary Southeast Asia, Penang International Conference]. From: New Labour Regimes in Contemporary Southeast Asia, Penang International Conference, 14-15 December 2023, George Town, Malaysia.

[img] PDF (Presentation) - Accepted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only



Labour is the primary resource for economic development in Singapore and the contributions of migrant workers at all skill levels have been pivotal to the country’s leap from third world to first world nation status. The city-state’s dependency on migrants has more recently been a concern for the Singaporean regime due to the suspicion that it may be holding back efforts towards enhancing productivity and growth. As with most ‘dependencies’, weaning industry away from migrant labour has proved to be difficult, especially in the context of Singapore’s declining birth rate and ageing population.

During the COVID period, some of the challenges relating to the large migrant worker population came to the fore. In particularly, the pandemic raised questions about the living conditions of workers, their welfare, and their sheer numbers. Furthermore, the number of workplace fatalities has increased markedly in recent years leading to concerns around the adequacy of workplace safety. In this paper we question the sustainability of the continuing dependency on migrant labour in Singapore without appropriate policy change. It also outlines several labour norms that will need to inform policy change if a balance is to be found between economic growth and social cohesion.

Item ID: 81394
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
Keywords: Singapore model of development migrant workers
Date Deposited: 18 Dec 2023 23:10
FoR Codes: 35 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 3505 Human resources and industrial relations > 350504 Industrial and employee relations @ 100%
SEO Codes: 15 ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK > 1503 Management and productivity > 150301 Industrial relations @ 100%
Downloads: Total: 2
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page