Monday, June 10, 2013

'Get grip on changes affecting world of work'

10th June 2013
ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder
The 102nd International Labour Organisation (ILO) conference opened in Geneva yesterday with the organisation’s Director General, Guy Ryder, outlined his vision for tackling the various challenges that have an impact on workers, enterprises and governments around the world.

According to an ILO statement made available to The Guardian, the world of work is being transformed more quickly and more deeply than ever before by rapid changes in demography and technology, growing inequality, poverty and the slow economic recovery.

Speaking at the opening of the 102nd International Labour Conference, which takes place from 5 to 20 June in Geneva, Ryder said that these issues pose challenges for achieving the goal of decent work for all.

“The most important question, the one asked everywhere and with growing urgency and sometimes alarm, is ‘where are the jobs coming from?’ and it is most frequently a question addressed to the situation of our young people.” 

Private Retirement Schemes (PRS) – A Guide to Malaysia’s Voluntary Private Retirement Scheme – Part 1

THE soft launch of Malaysia’s voluntary Private Retirement Scheme (PRS) in July 2012 was greeted with much fanfare, but what is it exactly, and how can savers / investors / residents in Malaysia benefit from it? explains in the guide below.
Note: The PRS is a separate entity from the Employers Provident Fund (EPF), which is Malaysia’s mandatory Private Retirement Scheme and should not be treated as an alternative.

What is the Private Retirement Scheme (PRS)?
Basically, the PRS is a defined contribution pension scheme which allows people (or their employers) to voluntarily contribute into an investment vehicle for the purposes of building up their retirement income.

In a Malaysian retirement framework, it is to be complemented with (and not a substitute for) the mandatory contributions made by both employee and employers to the EPF scheme. Having a voluntary scheme in addition to the EPF also allows private company employees and self-employed persons to voluntarily contribute towards their retirement in a systematic way.

Experts lament ILO’s projected 208m unemployment rate

Experts lament ILO’s projected 208m unemployment rate
Experts are ill-at ease over the already gloomy unemployment situation across the globe judging by the new report released by the International Labour Organisation, ILO, which indicates that the number of unemployed persons in the world could rise to 208 million by 2015.
According to the World of Work report released in Geneva, Switzerland, the ILO revealed that global unemployment was expected to hit 208 million in 2015, a rise from the current 200 million unemployed people across the world.
The report also added that “long-standing labour market imbalances, such as high levels of labour market informality in developing countries and long-term unemployment in advanced economies, will remain acute.”
In Nigeria where unemployment is on the increase, the ILO suggested that to check the trend, countries could benefit from well-designed social protection and a boost of labour income.
The ILO report stated that “too low a level reduces the relevance of minimum wages; too high a level runs the risk of firms refusing to comply. Importantly, the report highlights the point that regular updates and the engagement of workers’ and employers’ organisations in minimum wage setting are crucial to leveraging the benefits of minimum wages and ensuring that they pave the way for decent work opportunities.”
Tagged: “Repairing the economic and social fabric”, the report recommended “Investment in key infrastructure projects, along with measures to facilitate the transition to formal employment and to expand well-crafted social protection and minimum wages that would help to further that objective.”
The report added that “Such policies would not only boost growth now, but would also consolidate the emergence of a large and growing middle-income group –which is essential for ensuring genuinely autonomous economic growth.”
Relating minimum wage to unemployment, the ILO report stated that “About half of the 151 countries for which data are available do not have a comprehensive system of minimum wages. And, in those countries where minimum wage legislation does exist, stronger action is often needed to improve compliance.”
Reacting to the report, Dr. Abel Umeh, an economist, said, the employment situation is a serious cause for concern.
On the implication on the nation’s economy, Umeh said, “It is certain that the country is not prepared for the worst. You can be sure that the government will pay scant regard to this whole report. In saner climes, such report will galvanise them to action but it is the reverse here.”
Echoing similar sentiments, Tayo Olapade, a financial analyst, noted that the ILO’s projection on unemployment should be a wake-up call to government at all levels to see how to mitigate the unemployment situation in the country ahead of the set date.
“Even without the ILO projection what we are already contending with is a huge crisis if you consider the spate of youthful unrest and terrorism threat in different parts of the country. So the government can only fail to heed the call at its own peril,” Olapade stressed.