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Businesses that take up EDG funding must commit to 'fulfilment of worker outcomes': Koh Poh Koon

BUSINESSES that receive funding support from the Enterprise Development Grant (EDG) from April 1, 2020, will be required to commit to the fulfilment of worker outcomes such as wage increases, job creation, job-redesign or hiring older workers,  Singapore's Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Koh Poh Koon said in Parliament on Monday.

“With this change, workers’ outcomes will be a mandatory consideration from the very first dollar of EDG funding,” he said in his speech during the Committee of Supply debate.

This comes as the Inclusive Growth Programme (IGP), administered by the NTUC’s Employment and Employability Institute (e2i), will be merged into the EDG.

Under the IGP, companies receive help to kickstart productivity projects, and in turn, they are required to share the productivity gains with workers through higher wages, while the EDG supports projects to upgrade a business, innovate or venture overseas.

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“However, as the pace of our industry transformation quickens, we need to do more to encourage companies to move in this direction,” said Mr Koh.

He added that merged EDG represents a “significant change” in how the government approaches enterprise transformation efforts, where worker outcomes should “no longer be an afterthought” but fully integrated into enterprise grants from the start.

Minister of Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing had earlier announced that the EDG enhanced funding support will be extended for three more years, where companies will enjoy up to 70 per cent of qualifying costs till end of FY-2022. 

It aims to support small and medium-sized enterprises to undertake deeper and more ambitious transformation projects.